Creating Home Inventory – What you Should Know

November 15, 2019

Do you have a list of your home belongings? What would happen if you lost everything in a fire right now? Would you know what you lost?

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Chances are that you wouldn’t be able to name everything, especially in the face of disaster. A home inventory list helps take the stress off you as you try to file a claim for your loss. Making a list now, while you are of sound mind can help you in the face of disaster.

How Should you Take Inventory?

You don’t need fancy tools to take home inventory. Paper and pen is fine. You’ll also need a camera – your smartphone will do. If you want to make it an electronic copy, you can type up the inventory on your computer.

However you take the inventory, you’ll need to think of a safe place to keep it. Paper lists must be placed in a safe place. A fireproof safe in your home may suffice, but consider keeping copies elsewhere too, such as your bank’s safety deposit box, your parent’s house, or your attorney’s office.

If you take inventory electronically, save a copy in several places, not just one. Store it on your hard drive, on a flash drive, and in the cloud. This way if something goes wrong with one method, you’ll have copies stored elsewhere.

How to Take the Inventory

Once you choose your method, it’s time to take inventory. Break it down by room. Start by taking pictures of the entire room. Take the pictures from different areas so that you get a good shot of everything.

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Once you have an ‘overview picture,’ it’s time to take pictures of each item. Label each item as you go so that it’s easily identifiable in the pictures when you need them. Make sure to take zoomed-in pictures that clearly show the label and all details of the objects.

On your list of inventory, make sure to include any details that you can. The more details you provide, the more likely you are to get the value of the item. Along with your list, you’ll need proof of ownership and purchase. Receipts and appraisals are great documents to have, as there’s no disputing the cost or value. Appraisals are highly recommended for high priced items, such as expensive jewelry.

Update Your Inventory

Even if you have a home inventory already done, when’s the last time you took it? If you’ve made large purchases since then, it’s important to update it. Consider choosing one date every year to update your inventory. As a general rule, though, you should add any new purchases to the inventory as you purchase them, especially if they are costly purchases.

Home inventory comes in handy if you need to make a claim on your insurance. Trying to scramble and find receipts or think of what you may have lost just adds to the stress of the situation. Referencing your home inventory makes things easier on you and the insurance company as you try to file your claims.

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