The longer you have lived in one home, the more you’re likely to accumulate things without realizing that you’ve already got plenty of them. And do you know what’s a great way to get on top of your things, and donate them if need be? Why, a home inventory of course. And here’s how to do a home inventory.
If you’re going to do this though, it can take a few hours up to a full day depending on how thorough you want to be. When you know how to do a home inventory, it offers helpful benefits that go far beyond just having a basic accounting of what you own.
So if you have enough time on your hands, put it to use by doing an updated and accurate home inventory.
A simple process doesn’t require much, and you’ll be happy later on because knowing how to do a home inventory can be a major time-saver later if you encounter any mishaps.
Why You Need to Know How to Do a Home Inventory
Home inventories are just complete lists of items that you own inside your house. That ranges from valuable items like furniture and jewelry to essentials like linen and clothing. The idea is to get a total breakdown of how much you own and what you own. This is so you’ll have a quick point of reference when you need it.
This is particularly for a move or for filing homeowners’ insurance claims.
There are plenty of reasons why you’ll want to know how to do a home inventory. There’ll be situations where having one is going to be a necessity.
- Insurance claims: Home inventories make a difference when it comes to homeowners’ insurance reimbursement claims after a robbery or a disaster. It gives your provider a full breakdown of what was taken or ruined. They will know the value of those items as well. It’s easier to document your claims, and you’ll get proper reimbursement too.
- Moves: When hiring a professional moving company, you’ll have to provide as accurate an inventory of your things as possible. This is for the movers, so they can give you a quote and ensure that they send over the right size of a truck and number of household movers. Yes, any moving company can do their own general inventory. But having your own can save lots of time for you and everyone else. Especially when you choose the right home movers.
- Organizing & home maintenance: Loads of homeowners undertake the process as part of organizing and general maintenance. It’s very good practice to set aside time once a year to take an accounting of your possessions and donate or discard things that you don’t need or want anymore.
4 Tips for Doing a Home Inventory
In order to do your home inventory, you’ll have to go room-to-room inside your own home and log each item, as well as every general description and all of their estimated values. And as you go, gather all your receipts, purchase contracts, or other documentation that can help you with your inventory assessments.
Store these documents with your home inventory, so you’ve got all you need in the event where you’ll have to file a claim.
Take pictures of your belongings and store them in files that you can easily access later on, if you need to. Particularly, take pictures of your highly valuable items, since your reimbursement is based in part on their condition. You can also use a home inventory app, so you can catalog your every possession. You can reference them later on as needed.
Still, doing home inventories is an overwhelming process, especially if you’ve lived in your house for so many years.
#1 Store lots of copies
Home inventories aren’t much use if they’re destroyed, lost, or becomes inaccessible. So make sure you cover as many bases as you can, and keep multiple copies of your inventory. That includes both a paper copy and a digital one.
Where possible, have at least one copy that is kept outside of your home as well, like in a safety deposit box. When it comes to home inventory apps, you should consider exporting the data to an alternate file. As you update your inventory, update your copies as well.
#2 Never forget the documents
Key documents don’t really have a price tag value, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to log them. Describe and list everything from titles to marriage certificates, and even taking images to reference later on.
Make sure you note in the description where the items are stored as well, just in case you’re struggling to find something you need.
#3 Make updates and review
As mentioned previously, it’s important to update your home inventory with new items as you obtain them. In addition, you also want to review your home inventory list to remove items that you don’t have anymore.
If you sell your possessions or update them with something new, make sure it’s no longer logged on your inventory.
#4 Start on the larger items
When you start with larger items, you can make good progress right from the get-go. That way you’re motivated to keep going. True enough, value isn’t always directly correlated with size. It’s likely that a lot of the big ticket items inside the home are also big in stature.
When you go room by room, make sure you inventory the big stuff first and then move onto small items in drawers and closets.