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How to Make a Home Inventory in 6 Easy Steps

home inventory

If something goes wrong, these tactics and tools can help you recover thousands of dollars.

Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, and fires are all-natural occurrences that occur on a regular basis. Most people believe such an event would never affect them unless it happened close to home.

We all have insurance to assist us in recovering losses if something goes wrong. However, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to recall all of your possessions in the event of an emergency. Furthermore, unless you’ve kept track of everything, you won’t receive what your insurance policy is meant to cover.

The goal is to have a complete list of your possessions. Here are the essential stages for making a house inventory.

1. Select your desired software and storage options.

Taking a few photographs or scribbling on a napkin is acceptable, but there are several better options that don’t cost anything.

What You Own, for example, is a program that helps you keep track of your belongings. These types of software are often simple to use but aren’t free. DIY solutions like the home inventory sheet from spreadsheet site Vertex42 are typically free but need more effort on your part.

Before you get started, do some research and figure out which path is best for you.

2. Make a list of your belongings.

Tackle this project one room at a time, starting with the bedroom. Make a list of every item you own in the room, even if they’re of different types; for example, kitchen utensils and books.

Take photographs and make notes on the condition, model, and estimated value of items. If you have receipts, keep them with you.

3. Take pictures and video.

Use a digital camera or a smartphone camera to snap photos of your home. Make a short movie while describing what’s in each room and how much things are worth, both aloud and on video.

Don’t forget to display everything in closets and drawers, as well as record storage and utility spaces, such as the basement, laundry room, and tool shed.

4. Don’t forget to pack your official documents.

Digital records, financial and legal paperwork and identification might all be time-consuming to replace. So, make efforts to keep and protect these papers.

5. Separate the valuable things from the rest.

Personal property, such as jewelry, collectibles, high-end electronics, and boats may require additional coverage. You could want a separate line on the list for them if they’re big-ticket items like automobiles or homes. If you’re meticulous in any place, it should be here. Try to include:

  • Model
  • Make
  • Serial number
  • Date and place of purchase
  • Multiple photographs

The most important thing to remember is that the more you spent, the more you should document.

6. Keep copies away from your residence.

Whatever plan you choose, keep in mind that nothing can replace the hard drive of your computer. After all, your computer might be damaged in a calamity.

The easiest way to keep track of your inventory is to save it online so you can access it from anywhere. Send yourself an email or store it in free cloud storage services, such as Dropbox. 

Otherwise, print copies or record your inventory to a digital storage device and hide it in a fireproof safe or a safe-deposit box. Alternatively, collaborate with family and friends on lists.