How to Label Moving Boxes

During a move, the easiest way to keep track of your things is by labeling boxes. Olympia Moving & Storage has some tips on the most efficient ways to label.

Moving can be an exciting time. You’ve found a new home, a place to make new memories. Then comes the draining part: packing and labeling all of your boxes. Whether you purchased boxes online or from a moving company, your boxes will need some type of labeling system for transport between residences. How are you going to tell which box has your first night supplies and which box has your high school yearbooks? We have some tips for labeling your boxes so you can find your belongings easily during the move process.

To begin, you will need a pack of at least five permanent markers, preferably in different colors; clear and colored tape; and labels. The markers should be permanent and waterproof, if you can find them. Weather is unpredictable, and you don’t want your label to become illegible due to rain or normal wear and tear.  

You will want labels on at least two adjacent sides of the box, and one on top. It’s going to be easier to unpack or store boxes if you can see what is in it from at least one angle.

Use the same color for all boxes going to the same room, such as red for kitchen or brown for living room. Write the main things on each label, such as books, power cords or place settings. If you have colored tape to correspond with the markers, use the tape as an additional way to easily identify the box’s room by taping the corners of your box. Use clear tape over the labels to add another means of security to the marker. The clear tape will prevent water from getting on the label and block rips and tears. A great resource is to download Olympia’s free printable moving box labels which are color-coded and labeled by room and include an area to write a short inventory.

If you are packing a box of fragile items, make sure it is labeled “FRAGILE” on each side in marker or a fragile label sticker, with THIS END UP written near the top of the box.

You should also make sure to pack and label a First Night box filled with the essentials you will need right away.  Read our blog post for a checklist of items to put in this box.

Another great tip is to use a numbering system to easily find items and identify that all your boxes have been delivered safely.  Write a large number on your boxes or packing labels, then create a chart with each box number, the room it belongs in, and a brief description of its contents.  

Finally, make delivery smoother for your movers by taping a label next to bedroom doors and other rooms that might be easily confused.  You may know which bedroom is little Sally’s and which room is the library vs. the family room, but the movers won’t. Use the same colored marker, tape, or label on the sign as on the box to make it easily identifiable as well.

If you need help packing and labeling your belongings, Olympia Moving & Storage offers several packing plans from full or partial home to fragile items. You may reach Olympia at 800-222-4744 or request an estimate online.

The First Steps to Organize a Pack to Move

When you start to pack your home it can be overwhelming. It is hard to know where to start. To minimize the chance of losing something the best thing to do is take a step back and plan. The key to success for the steps leading up to move in day is organization. Here are some tips on how to execute a smooth pack from the start.

1. Walk around the house with a pad of paper and pen and make a plan on what rooms you’re going to pack first. The office full of stuff you haven’t touched in a few months could be first, and maybe the kid’s room one of the last. Prior to packing it is essential to have a solid plan.

2. Acquire packing materials before you dive in to packing. Olympia has excellent packing materials available for purchase & delivery. Click here to order.

3. Learn how to pack using Olympia’s “How to Pack” video series. In these videos Olympia’s training manager, John, demonstrates how to pack even the most fragile items to arrive at your new home safely and in one piece. Click here to view them now.

4. Pack one room at a time. While this sounds like an obvious solution, it is crucial for when you move in to your new house. You will have boxes labeled by room and you’ll be able to find things quickly. If you’re really feeling organized keep a running list of what is going inside the boxes and place it on top. Utilize Olympia’s free printable box labels to help keep organized.

5. Pack the most important items separately: When you’re in the process of packing it is hard to gage what you will and will not need. To be safe, make a separate box of all of these things and label it “IMPORTANT” for now put everything you might need in there, from laptop cords, TV cords, remotes, headphones, and passports. If you may need it, put it in there for now. Learn more about packing what you need right away in our blog about the “First Night Box.”

If you don’t want to pack at all, no worries! Ask about a quote for Olympia’s full-packing services by calling 800-222-4744 or request a quote online.

How to Recycle or Repurpose Your Moving Boxes

After moving and settling into your new home, there are always going to be those empty cardboard boxes left over. Olympia Moving & Storage has some ideas for how you can reuse or recycle these used boxes.

So you’ve finally moved and began the process of unpacking your life in your new home. Soon everything is going to have its place in your new space, but what to do with the moving boxes you painstakingly collected for weeks or even months? Inexpensive boxes can be hard to come by, but you probably won’t want to keep them after your move. The most eco-friendly way to dispose of your boxes is to reuse or recycle them.

Give boxes to a friend. Do you have a friend or relative that’s close and moving soon? Save them time and money and gift any boxes that are up to another move. The boxes will be out of your home and you’ll save your friend the hassle of finding their own boxes.

Use boxes for storage. You’ll still need storage in your new home. You can continue to use moving boxes as storage in closets and basements, or even on shelves or in corners with some redecorating. You can use fabric or colored paper to make the boxes more aesthetically pleasing.  Yes – really!  Check out this DIY.

Sell boxes. If you want to try to profit off your materials, you can try selling moving boxes and other packing materials on a variety of websites. Just keep in mind that this could be more of a headache than it’s worth: demand could be low, and people may be unwilling to pay even a small amount of money for used boxes. Some good sites for selling used boxes include:

Recycle your packing materials. Any boxes that have been damaged in the moving process will ultimately need to be recycled. If you visit your town’s website, there should be a link about how your town handles recycling, and what can and cannot be recycled. You will need to break down the boxes before recycling them, in order to make them easier to transport. Oftentimes, they can be left in your regular recycling bin on pickup days. If you live in an apartment complex, you may have a specific cardboard recycling bin. You should contact your local recycling service to be sure of the specific requirements for your area.

Schedule a debris pickup.  If all else fails, an easy solution is to schedule a debris pickup with your moving company.  Many moving companies will come by your home to pick up the used boxes for recycling for a small fee.

To order moving boxes or to schedule a debris pickup, you can contact Olympia Moving & Storage at 800-222-4744. Just starting to plan your move?  Request an estimate online.

Olympia Donates Logistics to Special Olympics Massachusetts Summer Games for the Fifth Year

Olympia’s volunteerism at Special Olympics Summer games has become cemented in Olympia culture as an annual tradition. This June marked the fifth year of Olympia’s partnership with the organization, with Summer Games as the hallmark event for Olympia’s work with athletes with intellectual disabilities.

The event requires the donation of over 350 man-hours from our crew to transport equipment, move athletes in and out of their weekend accommodations, manage luggage, and break down the event. The Olympia team always looks forward to this opportunity to meet the athletes and play a small role in making their biggest competition of the year a success.

Our team assists in the whole week leading up to the games, picking up the equipment, food, and supplies for the competition.

The excitement then truly begins the day of the Game’s opening ceremonies, when the athletes arrive at the event.  They are greeted by the Olympia Movers, who valet their luggage to their dorms.

Between competitions, Olympia’s “Are You Stronger Than An Olympia Mover?” hi-striker game has becoming a big hit with the athletes and their families – an impressive number have proved their strength by hitting the bell!

Loading the move-out luggage on to the truck

The weekend concludes with event break-down (including extremely heavy gymnastics equipment!) athlete-move out, luggage sorting, and delivering the luggage to families as they depart for home. We love asking athletes to show us their well-earned medals from the weekend!

We’re looking forward to participating in Special Olympics Massachusetts Summer Games next year and for many years to come!

To learn more about our year-round partnership with Special Olympics, visit http://www.olympiamoving.com/specialolympics

What Not to Pack When Moving

The benefit of working with the moving company is not having to worry about transporting your items. However, from liability, convenience, and peace of mind standpoint, there are several items that you should transport to your new home in your own vehicle. While you’re packing, place these items and boxes in a separate part of your house to ensure the movers don’t load them into the truck by accident. You can even ask your movers to load these items into your own car or vehicle for you.

The essentials for your first night

After a long day of moving, there is nothing worse than opening all your boxes to find your bed sheets, phone charger, and toilet paper. We highly recommend packing a first night box, full of things you will need to during the first few days in your new home. These items might include:

  • Clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Linens
  • Electronics & chargers
  • Keys

Click here to read our blog on the first night box and download and handy checklist to help you pack it.

Hazardous items that are illegal to ship on a moving truck

For the safety of your shipment, there are several items that are illegal to move on our moving trucks. These items are flammable or combustible, so they cannot be moved on the truck as a safety precaution to prevent fires. Other items, such as cleaning agents and bleach, are both flammable and if they leak they could potentially ruin your furniture on the shipment. Be sure to discard these items before your move or move them in your own vehicle.

  • Aerosol cans regardless of content
  • Heating agents such as Sterno
  • Nail polish/remover
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Any type of gas in bottles or tanks including propane or oxygen (we can move lawnmowers etc. if the gas tank is empty)
  • Paints, varnishes, solvents, thinners and oils
  • Ammonia, bleach and other household cleaning agents
  • Chlorine granules or powder
  • Muriatic acid (also called hydrochloric acid)
  • Auto batteries
  • Charcoal/lighter fluid
  • Matches and lighters
  • Ammunition
  • Fireworks & flares
  • Fertilizer
  • Any other combustible product

Valuables, medication, and important documents

Although the crew is trustworthy and careful, we recommend transporting your small valuables and irreplaceable items as well as items that contain personal information in your own vehicle. Also remember to pack items that you may need during the course of your move, such as medication, closing documents, and laptops, to take on your own. Items that should not be moved on the truck include:

  • Valuable Jewelry
  • Cash, gift cards, and checkbooks
  • Guns and firearms
  • Valuable furs
  • Hard-to-replace documents such as birth & death certificates, marriage certificates, deeds and other important documents
  • Documents you may need for your closing
  • Laptops or computer hard drives
  • Social security cards
  • Insurance policies
  • Ashes
  • Passports
  • Stocks, bonds, and securities
  • Valuable collections such as wine or stamps or coins
  • Family photos and videos
  • Small heirlooms

Also, don’t forget, any items that are moved on the truck that exceed a value of $5,000 should be noted on a Declaration of Extraordinary Value form.

Perishable items

If you are doing a multi-day or long-distance move, there are many items that should not be moved on the truck because they may be ruined in transit due to temperature changes on the truck. These items include:

  • Frozen/refrigerated food
  • Plants and potted trees
  • Open non-perishable food items
  • Wine (click here for our blog on wine transport alternatives)

Transporting these items on your own will go a long way in preventing issues and ensuring you have a smooth relocation. If  you ever have any questions about what can or cannot be moved, you can ask your relocation coordinator.

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