Blogging Tulsa Real Estate: Moving Tips -- Creating Box Lists and Indexes Instead of Writing on the Boxes

Moving Tips -- Creating Box Lists and Indexes Instead of Writing on the Boxes

Here's a moving tip you can use to control your clutter while you are getting your home ready for sale.  The fancy words for this are space clearing and staging.  It's just plain clutter control. 

Start boxing things that you don't absolutely have to use (your house will look bigger and uncluttered). Just take a legal pad and put at the top:  "Box 001" and then write "Box 001"  with a magic marker on a box. (Or do as one client did and create Box Labels on your computer).

Whenever you place or throw something into the box just jot it down onto the legal pad.  You can be as generic or specific as you want.  You can say, "Stuff from under Johnny's bed" or you can make a list of items as specific as "Books from Living room  Bookcase 3 Shelf B:  1) Gone With the Wind / by Margaret Mitchell...."  

Do you want your things to go into different rooms, or if you are a Senior, would you like to give things to different children?  Create Box Series so that each kid has their own sequence.  Your box numbers could look like A-001 or Deb-001 or 01-001.  Be creative. 

I have boxes in my storage unit that have been there for twenty years.  To see what is in them I just have to pull out my "Box Index" notebook.  

You can reuse boxes after you have emptied them -- or just cross individual items off your list as you remove them from the box.   Stack your boxes in your garage or in a spare room.  If you have many boxes, rent a POD or a storage unit.   

If you get hundreds of boxes together you can easily map where they are by the box numbers, so you can get to stuff while you are trying to sell the house or while in the moving process.

The important thing is to get your stuff out of the house so that prospective buyers can move their things into your house in their minds when they are touring your home.  You want them thinking about furniture placement and so they need to see the walls!

You don't want them looking at your things anyway!

So start boxing and enjoy yourself in the process!

[In case you are wondering, in a previous career -- a long long time ago in a galaxy far away -- I was a Certified Records Manager.  In fact, I was among the first 500 people to ever receive the prestigious CRM designation by the Institute of Certified Records Managers.  I let my certification lapse when I changed careers, but I still have the principles in my head.  I was trained in Library School to be a Records Manager, Rare Book Librarian, and a Law Librarian.  I ended up being in charge of the file rooms and libraries for the Law Department at Gulf Oil Corporation's Corporate Headquarters in Pittsburgh.  That was a long long time ago.  I indexed 1,500 boxes of litgation documents and had them put in a mine forever!  I boxed up entire libraries and gave attorneys access to the books while they were in storage so we could remodel the libraries and rearrange the space.  We're talking about lots of books!]

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Coldwell Banker Select, Realtors -- Land & Ranch Division
4408 S. Harvard Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74135

Office:  918-712-4473

Cell:  918-724-8201

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Comment balloon 7 commentsDebbie Durkee • September 23 2008 08:39AM


I have box template I run off via my printer itemize the interior all nice and neat. have a great week.

Posted by ~ Dallas Real Estate Agent Top Team (Dallas Houses for Rent Dallas Apartment Rentals ) over 11 years ago


Sounds great.  Is that a label for the outside of the box or an inventory sheet?

Posted by Debbie Durkee, ALC, CRS -- Land & Country Estates near Tulsa (RE/MAX T-town) over 11 years ago

Debbie, these are very helpful ideas. Thank you for the post.

John March

Posted by John March, "Engage, connect, prosper" (Matt 6:33) (Charisma Media Group, LLC) over 11 years ago


I always just used a pen and wrote the box number on a yellow pad and used a black marker to write on the boxes.  I like to put the box number on at least two sides.

One of my clients printed numerous labels so she would have one for the top of the box, one for each of four sides, and several for consecutive pages of the box lists.  I am not quite that organized.

Just keep it simple.

-- Debbie

Posted by Debbie Durkee, ALC, CRS -- Land & Country Estates near Tulsa (RE/MAX T-town) over 11 years ago

Great tips. I like the idea of labels on 4 sides if possible. This way you do not have to move the box to read.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 11 years ago

So simple, yet I have moved over 10 times in my life and never managed to create a system SO helpful...I am planning a move in the next year or two and can't wait to start decluttering with this system!  I will definitely put labels on all sides of the box though, as I wind up with quite a large number of boxes stacked in my garage...thanks!

Posted by Elena Malfi (Behind Every Agent) over 11 years ago

Good Morning Debbie, you have some great tips here for staying organized, not just for preparing for a move but for storing things away as well!  Thanks :)

Posted by Kara Casamassina, Boomers and beyond (International Property Management Group, LLC) over 11 years ago