Move by Number

Jacob Allred


For our recent move to Texas, I decided to try something a little different when packing our boxes. Instead of labeling them with the room they were from and scribbling a brief description of its contents, I simply labeled each box consecutively with a number. I.E., 1, 2, 3, 4… all the way up to 125. No marking for which room the contents were from. No labeling as to the boxes contents. Just a number, written on all four sides and the top.

The next step was to create a spreadsheet in Google Drive that listed each box number and its size (small, medium, large, wardrobe, etc..). As each box was packed I created a detailed list of its contents. A few examples:

Becca was a bit skeptical at first, but in the end this made it extremely easy to pack and to unpack. We had the movers put all the boxes into our two extra bedrooms (they’ll eventually be an office/craft room and a guest bedroom). It made it faster and easier than trying to figure out which box went to which room, and kept the whole house from being flooded with boxes. Next, we figured out what we needed to unpack immediately. For example, I needed my toolbox. A quick search of my list showed that my toolbox was in a medium box labeled 100. Only took a moment to find it once I knew the size and number. We did the same thing with clothes and everyday cooking items (like pans, dishes, glasses..). We didn’t even begin opening the boxes that contained unimportant items (like books) until over a week after delivery.

It wasn’t a perfect system though. I didn’t think to label plastic tubs or mirror boxes. If I did it again I’d label absolutely everything. We also ran into a few snags where the movers (without our knowledge or permission) reboxed a few boxes. On the plus side we knew if something was missing because we had a detailed inventory, but on the downside it made it difficult to find a few boxes because they were no longer numbered. I think the solution to that is to hire better movers or move things on my own next time.