Color Code Your Move

Organization is an important aspect of a successful move. In order to efficiently unpack all of your belongings in your new home, you have to know what’s in each of your boxes without having to open them and root through the contents. Labeling each box with the room it belongs and the items inside may seem like the obvious solution, but what happens if you have several bedrooms and bathrooms? How will your movers (or you) know which one the boxes labeled “Bathroom” or “Bedroom” belong?

The simplest way to avoid any confusion and facilitate your unpacking is to color-code your move.

  • Purchase colored packing tape, stickers or markers. Designate a specific color to each room in your new house. For example, red for the kitchen, blue for the living room, green for the dining room, yellow for the downstairs bathroom, etc. Keep a list of which colors correlate to which room so you don’t get confused.
  • Color-code your boxes. Use the red tape to seal your kitchen boxes, place a red sticker in the corner of the box, or use a red marker to draw a circle on the box. If using stickers or markers be sure to mark them on the same spot for every box to make it easier to find. One of the top corners is the best place for visibility. You should also identify the floor it belongs on–write one for ground level, two for upstairs, three for attic, B for basement.
  • Make a key. Take a sheet of paper and place a piece of each color tape or sticker, or draw a circle with each color marker, and write the room it represents beside it. Post the key somewhere clearly visible when you first enter the home.
  • Color-code the rooms. Go to each room in your house and place to appropriate sticker or strip of tape on the door or doorway. If you are using markers, color a small Post-it or piece of paper and tape it to the wall. This will make it even easier for the movers to find the correct location for each box.
  • Get even more specific. If you want to increase unpacking efficiency even more, consider purchasing a wider range of colored tape or stickers, perhaps even in different patterns. Designate each pattern an item category–for instance, in your kitchen boxes you may have plates, cutlery, glassware, and cookware. If red is your kitchen color, all of these boxes will have red markings. You can then designate a different patterned tape for each kitchen item–stripes for glassware, polka dots for cutlery, flowers for plates.