Moving house box register

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At this point I don’t think I need to emphasise how much of a nightmare moving house can be.  If you’ve done it at least once I’m sure you can completely relate. 

As I’ve mentioned before, our most recent move involved packing up the biggest house we’ve ever lived in and unpacking the boxes into the smallest house we’ve ever lived in.  This meant that we basically had a maze of boxes around the new house for the first week (or two!) as we unpacked the essentials and relocated any non-essential boxes into the garage.  For this juggling process it was really important that we knew exactly what was in each box without having to rip the tape off and sift through each one. 

Enter the ‘moving house box register’.  Here’s what the box register included:

  1. Box number
    Fairly self explanatory – essentially the glue that holds this whole system together!
  2. Box size
    This might not seem important, but when you’re faced with 50 boxes and half of them are small and you know you’re looking for a large one, it helps with the process of elimination.  I should also note at this point that we only used the small and large sized boxes supplied by the removalist company.  Using uniformed sized boxes (rather than odd shapes and sizes) helped with packing the removalist truck as efficiently & quickly as possible.
  3. Room allocation
    As the boxes came off the truck we could nominate which rooms they needed to be dumped in.
  4. Description
    It’s up to you how detailed this part is, but the more descriptive you are the easier it will be to find what you’re looking for at the other end.  This part is even more important if there are boxes to go directly into short or long term storage (like ours!).

The system that worked best for us was having one paper copy of the blank register on the go that we could both add to as we packed.  This way we weren’t doubling up on box numbers and there weren’t multiple copies floating around to be lost.  This paper copy already had the numbers listed but no other details.

Here’s the mechanics…

  • We setup a central spot (on the kitchen bench) with the printed box register, the laptop, the packing tape and a black marker.
  • When one of us had finished packing a box we would carry it out to the kitchen, fill in the box register, add the box number and description to the box, seal it up with tape, then carry it out to the garage.
  • We filled the empty car spots in the garage with all of the boxes.  This meant it was quicker for the removalists to take them from one central spot instead of from each individual room – a big deal when they’re paid by the hour.
  • If one of us wanted a break or the list was getting a bit long, then we could start updating the electronic version on the laptop, bin the paper copy and print a fresh list.

This register has been an absolute lifesaver now that we still have a dozen or so boxes in the garage.  We’ll get them unpacked eventually, but for the time being whenever my husband says “where’s the…?” a quick keyword search in Excel gets me the answer.

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