There’s nothing like moving — whether it’s across town or across the country — to make you realize just how much stuff you have! When moving, you’re likely to let some things go, but you’ll probably also add some new appliances, furniture and other items to your list of possessions. That’s why once you’re settled into your new home, it’s an ideal time to create or update your home inventory. Here are the three components of an effective home inventory:
Photos or video. You can take photos or video, but you’ll want a visual inventory of entire rooms and close-ups of items such as electronics, jewelry, collectibles, guns and any individual items of significant value. It’s a good idea if you’re using video to provide a narration as you walk through each room, explaining what you are recording. Don’t forget closets, drawers and cabinets as well as the belongings you have in the garage and in on-site storage. Ideally, you should update your photos/videos once every year or two so that you have the most accurate accounting of your belongings possible.
A written inventory. You’ll also want to prepare a written inventory of your belongings. You can create a Word document on your computer or use a blank sheet of paper. Keep your written inventory with receipts for items you’ve purchased.
Safe storage. If you have a fireproof safe, keep both your visual and written inventories there or in another safe place. You also may want to keep a copy off-site as well, in a safe-deposit box or with a trusted friend or family member. If your written and visual inventory is saved electronically, make sure it’s backed up.
Having a home inventory makes surviving and dealing with a home disaster a lot less stressful. Can you imagine trying to recount every single item in your home that was damaged, destroyed or stolen? With a home inventory, you’re more ready for the unexpected.