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Mobile “Inventory” Software

Don’t get spooked by the word “inventory” or system. Think of it this as a just fancy way to refer to your favourite stuff. Here’s a few suggestions for mobile apps to keep your moving day inventory nice and organized.

  • Keep: Keep is a Google app that lets you keep and organize a collection of small notes. You can color-code the notes, add lists and photos to each, and drag-and-drop to organize your collection.
    For moving, you can easily write notes and reminders for yourself (such as addresses or directions) to help with the move. You could also make notes reminding you which box has what using the list function.
  • Trello: Trello is a job board that’s organized a bit like a communal cork board with sticky notes. You can create “cards” that contain information and organize them by categories. It’s great to see what’s going on at a glance, and it’s quick and easy to manage items using this.
    For super-organized moving, you can have a category column for each room, add a card for each box, and add the contents of that box like a list.
  • Boxmeup: This is an inventory app that’s more detailed and advanced than the other two on our list. It has tons of features, letting you organize your boxes, keep track of what’s inside each and even includes a QR code generator and reader for your really advanced types (we’ll say more about this further down).
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Labeling Systems

You’ve got your boxes, you’ve sorted your things, but how do you keep track of everything once the lids come down and the tape comes out? Labels! Having an intricate labelling system isn't mandatory for every move, but when moving day comes and goes, it helps having a method for sorting out all the madness afterwards (and differentiating 50 identical boxes from one another).

Labeling by Room

Instead of writing what's in the box ("forks and knives") write where the box is supposed to go ("kitchen").

While this could lead to slightly slowing sorting later (especially if you have umpteen boxes in a given room), it will help keep things organized during the move itself. Movers often don't have the time to ask where a specific box goes, but seeing the room listed a glance goes a long way to making sure your utensils don’t end up buried in the living room after the move.

Color Coordinate

Color-coordinating can add a second layer to your moving "inventory." You could either color-coordinate your labels by room (blue for bathroom, green for kitchen, etc.), or if you've already labelled boxes by room name, consider coordinating by priority (red for necessary, blue for things that can stay packed a few days, green for food, etc.).

Pro Tip: Since it's not always possible to find multi-color label packs, you can still get the job done with different colored markers and drawing stars on the labels.

Labeling by Weight

To avoid surprises on moving day (and unnecessary back pain) clearly label your heavier boxes. Something as simple as "Heavy!!!" gets the message across.

Pro Tips: If you notice a box is heavy, consider changing the contents. Earlier, we mentioned packing half clothing and half books was a great way to keep the weight down on your boxes while using up the space. Another general suggestion when packing and organizing would be to not think about how much you can fit into a box, but instead think about how much the box will weigh at the end.

“This Side Up”

Usually, it’s easy to tell which way a box is supposed to sit. However, if it’s not clear, slap a label on the side with an arrow pointing up or on the top with the words “this side up.”

Labeling by QR Code

This is for all you ambitious, tech-savvy types out there: try using QR codes the next time you move. It might seem counter-intuitive, and more work intensive than the basic labelling options we mentioned above. But if you’ve got an A-type personality when it comes to organization, there’s nothing better.

There’s a few programs out there (along with free websites) that generate QR codes, but Boxmeup is a great example of an app that handles this. It has a QR code generator and print function, as well as virtual organization tools. After you set your virtual inventory up, and slapped on a few codes, scanning a box with your phone will reveal where the box is going and what’s inside.