DIY Moving Tips: Color-Coded Boxes

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Rachel at Useful Beautiful Home.

We’ve been in our Florida home for a year. It was a whirlwind move that we did ourselves to save some cash. If you find yourself facing an upcoming move and planning to do it yourself, then follow along in the coming weeks as I share my DIY Moving Tips & Tricks.

Are you moving soon? Here is a great moving tip for keeping track of your boxes

Today’s highlight jumps straight into labeling your boxes. My first tip of a DIY move is to label by contents and by room. The easiest way is to use colored duct tape. FYI, the largest selection of colored choices I found was at my local Wal-mart. They had everything from patterns to all the colors in the rainbow and then some.

Use a color coded system to label your moving boxes

How to use duct tape for your big move

Each color of duct tape should indicate a room or “zone” in the house. Assign each room in your house a color. For instance, all my kitchen boxes received a red piece of duct tape. After I finished packing a box with kitchen items, I would put a piece of red duct tape somewhere on one of the four sides of the box. Do not put it on the top, that doesn’t help when all the boxes are stacked a mile high in the moving van or shipping container. Put it on one of the sides so you will see at first glance.

Color coded moving labels makes the job so much easier

When it comes time for unloading, then each box gets taken to the new room where it belongs, saving you time on the un-packing side of the move.

Some boxes I further labeled with all the contents inside, this was especially helpful for kitchen boxes so I could find items I needed if they hadn’t been unpacked in the first days. Using a black sharpie, I wrote the contents directly on the colored piece of tape. Crockpot, cookie sheets, oven mitts… you get the idea.

Other boxes, like you see below, contained items I didn’t need to know the details (ie baby gear we’re keeping for the next child). These boxes only received their color-coded piece of tape but no further labeling. I didn’t bother writing every detail on these boxes because I wouldn’t be needing the items inside immediately after moving. However, the color-coded tape label told us which room to put it in on moving day.

That saved me a little time on the packing side of the move but of course, you can label as much or as little as you desire.

use this simple tip to make a move much easier

Don’t forget to create a master list of which colors are assigned to which rooms. Keep this master list somewhere safe and easily accessible. I did so by keeping a copy of my color-coded list on Google Docs/Google Sheets. If that link doesn’t help you and you’re not sure how to do it, then make an internet search for “how to use Google Docs or Google Sheets”. By using an online program I could access my color system anywhere, anytime and using any device. I also printed a copy to keep with me, but that got lost somewhere on moving day. You can imagine I was thankful to have an online back-up! 🙂


In the professional world, I’m a nurse by trade. But, around our house, I’m known as Mommy to our young daughter. My two worlds collided and began shaping into a blog. Useful Beautiful Home represents the hours I’ve dedicated to managing my household as efficiently as possible. I offer you motivation to keep your home healthy, organized, and welcoming. My goal is to share what I’ve implemented in my home to inspire you with fresh ideas and to encourage you to keep up the good work in yours! Learn more about me HERE or visit me at

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See all moving posts HERE.

Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Moving, Rachel


6 Responses to DIY Moving Tips: Color-Coded Boxes

  1. 1
    Melinda says

    Love this idea! And just in time, as I’m moving next week!

  2. 2
    Seng says

    This is such a great idea – wish I thought of this when we were nomads a few years back 🙂


  3. 3
    Rosie says

    This is the great tip! I hate the unloading and unpacking part because it always seems to become a huge mess for me. This will help my husband and I be better organized for our move this summer. Thanks 😉

  4. 4
    Shannon says

    I have color coded the boxes on my last four moves. Not only do the movers love this because it makes their job easier, but once the furniture is in, I can relax a bit more because the movers know where all the boxes are supposed to be put. 🙂

  5. 5
    Emma says

    Additionally, you should give each box an alphanumeric code, that relates to an inventory that you fill in as you go. This serves three purposes.
    1) It means that thefts are dramatically reduced at a time when everything is easy to steal and necessarily unsecured because no-one can see what is in the boxes – could be jewelry, could be sequins…
    2) It means that if anything DOES go missing, it allows more redress with your home insurance
    3) If you desperately need something you can dramatically reduce the number of boxes you have to search

    Use blue tape for dining room. Label box as A1 for first set of purely decorative plates, A2 for decorative ornaments, B1 for cooking books, B2 for other books, B3 for more books, C1 for utilitarian cutlery and bowls, C2 for utilitarian plates and napkins…..

    Seems a little involved, but it really, really makes a difference. Start with the most unimportant items: decorative items, out of season items, books etc and then the boxes in each room have the most important/urgent items in the LAST boxes in the alphabet in the room.

    Also, make sure that you have two boxes with emergency stuff in (Last into the van). One box with bedding and fresh sheets/pillows etc. Another with food and bowls for pets/tea/coffee/bottled water/toilet roll/medicines/cups/sugar/towels/kettle/disinfectant and cloth/ etc etc etc. VITAL!

  6. 6
    Theresa says

    Oh my! I LOVE colorful duct tapes! Thanks a lot for the great idea, I hope I’ll be using it soon!


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