If you plan to buy or sell your home in Berks County, no doubt you're already thinking about how to move all of your belongings to your new home. No matter how you slice it, moving is a big task. But there are certainly ways you can make your next move a bit easier and more organized.

The first thing you should do is put a binder together to keep notes as you pack your things and move.

As you pack, you should index all of your boxes so you can be more organized when you reach your new home. Write on each box what the contents are. You can also inventory your possessions and capture the contents on film or video.

Make two copies of the box contents to keep in your binder, and the other with the box. Then if the box doesn't make it to your new home, you'll know exactly what's missing. The other thing that's good to do when you are labeling your boxes is to label it as bedroom box 1 and then you'll have the index with it. Then bedroom box 2, bedroom box 3, etc.

Packing is just the first step. There are many other things to arrange and make sure are in order. If you have enough time to plan before you make the big move, you should set out an 8-week schedule to help you bring everything in line.

Here's a suggested schedule to make before you move:

 Eight weeks: set up a zippered three-ring notebook, keep all important documents in it, record payments made, have a copy of your budget, contact information, maps to your new location, keys, etc.

• Six weeks: inventory and index your possessions, begin giving away items you do not need/want, make arrangements to consign items.

• Four weeks: start packing up things you don't use frequently, label boxes with indexes, hold a garage sale to unload items you won't be moving, contact a moving company.

• Three weeks: assemble packing materials, arrange to cancel phone and utility services and have them installed in your new location, find childcare and pet boarding, and arrange for cleaning help.

• Two weeks: arrange for any necessary banking changes, service your car.

• One week: order and pick up prescriptions, get keys to new home, pack two suitcases with items mentioned above and keep them handy during the move.

• Two to three days before your move: defrost the refrigerator, unhook any electronics, set aside a box that contains your legal documents that you will take with you.

• Day of the move: make sure your address is correct on the bill of lading, double-check everywhere in the home.

With just a little extra planning, you can make your next move go more smoothly and avoid complications.

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