I recently moved my wife and four kids 1,700 miles to the desert.  

Let me rephrase that to give you a better picture of what actually happened:

I stuffed 4 children, aged 9 and under into my minivan.  I then drove said minivan solo through scrubby Midwestern scenery (it's not actually scenery, in case you were wondering), a snowstorm, and 105-degree heat.  When we arrived, it took more than 2 weeks for our items to arrive, and in a condition that was less than perfect - to be generous.  

Light Blue Tape on items we'll use this year

But the preparation that my beautiful wife and I did before we left Kansas made things much easier once we unpacked our belongings in Phoenix.  You see, we're just going to be renting a small house for a year or so until we figure out what in God's brown sand we're actually doing here.  So we'll be leaving about a third of our items packed up for storage.  No point in packing, un-packing, re-packing, and unpacking is there?

Words like...

  • Fragile
  • • Glass
  • • Very Delicate Computer, Please For The Love Of All That Is Holy Be Careful!

...are but mere suggestions for certain Orange Moving Companies.  Knowing this, we knew that less important words like "Storage" or "Unpack" would be ignored even more.  

Fl. Red Tape shows boxes that will hang out in our garage this year

So we labeled the outside of our boxes with either Light Blue Color Code Tape, or Fluorescent Red Color Code Tape.  Just a simple strip on the outside of each box, along with a quick scrawl about which room it goes to allowed us to quickly and easily figure out where the different boxes go.

While it's not a perfect system (I would have preferred a spreadsheet with a check off button once each item made it to its final destination) it made a moving process that was insanely frustrating just a little easier.