I'm getting ready for a double move. First, moving everything from California to Oregon, followed quickly by a much smaller move to South Korea.
One of the common problems with moving is that once you get to your new place, it's a challenge to find everything. Typically I've labeled boxes with the destination room. These boxes go to the kitchen. Those go to the bedroom. But inevitably I'll end up hunting through multiple boxes to find that one thing that I need right now. It's like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack — with one “haystack” of boxes in each room.
This time, I'm trying something new, and it looks promising. It's an iOS app called Sortly that helps you inventory your stuff without a lot of extra effort. You can use it to keep track of your household inventory, your record collection, or –as in my case– your move.
The Promise of Sortly
I don't want to spend a lot of time typing in detailed inventory for my move. Instead, I'm grouping items in collections and boxing them up. Sortly allows me to create folders to catalog my stuff. For my move, I've got a folder for each location in my new place — kitchen, office, bedroom, garage, etc.
With your folders created, you can then add items to those folders. For my move, I'm not being super-granular. I'm simply creating an “item” for each box. I give the item (the box) a title that describes it's contents (i.e. “Books – Hiking”). I'm also snapping a photo of the contents of the box before I seal it up.
Where the Magic Happens
Having the boxes cataloged is fine, but next up, Sortly will generate color coded, sequentially numbered labels for your boxes using standard Avery shipping labels. Select the color and how many you want, and Sortly generates a printer-ready PDF and emails it to you. From there, I print to the label paper, and apply.
Each of the labels has a unique QR code that is associated with the box it goes on. I simply scan the QR code and Sortly will tell me what's in the box, along with my description and photos. Magic!
Sortly uses the Freemium model, where the basic functionality of the app is free, giving you a chance to kick the tires. An extra $7.99 will let you create an unlimited number of folders and items, as well as integrating and synching to Evernote–one of my favorite personal productivity tools.
For now, I'm only using Sortly for organizing my move, but it can do much more, including keeping track of stuff that you've loaned out, warranty expiration dates and pretty much anything that you might want to keep track of from an inventory perspective. I'll give those features a try, but for now, Sortly is already making this move much easier.
Learn more about Sortly on their website.