A home inventory is essential before moving.

Protect Yourself With a Home Inventory

Do you have an up-to-date list of everything in your home? A home inventory is essential if your house is damaged or burglarized. It’s documentation that will help you estimate the value of your property and file an insurance claim.

Knowing what you own helps you when you’re getting ready to move or place items in storage. If you keep a running inventory for insurance purposes, it’s a simple matter of updating the list ahead of packing.

Making the List

An inventory will take some time. You’ll be going through your entire home, room by room. Set aside a few hours for the task and enlist the help of family members.

Create a Spreadsheet

Use accounting software or a notebook to create a spreadsheet. You can download a printable checklist here. If you design a spreadsheet, organize the document by room. Make the following columns: item name or description, quantity, model/serial number, purchase price and year purchased.

Work Room by Room

With document or laptop in hand, walk through the house. In each room, list the belongings. Begin with major items. You can list less valuable items, such as shirts, towels, etc., by category. Count the number of items in the category and note that on the list. The level of detail in the inventory is up to you, but the more meticulous, the more useful the list will be.

Supporting Documents

Keep receipts or appraisals for expensive items. You can scan these supporting documents or attach hard copies to the inventory. Take digital photos of everything on the list. Include shots that show an overview of each room and detailed photos of items such as computers and appliances. Take group shots of things such as dishes, bedding and clothing.

Don’t Forget Outdoor Items

If you have lawn-care tools or patio furniture, include these in the list. Go through the garage or other storage rooms to complete the inventory.

Make Copies

Keep your documents safe by making copies or backups. If your inventory is digital, back it up and store a copy online. Making a backup that lives only on your computer isn’t enough. In a disaster, your computer could be destroyed. If your list is hard-copy only, store a copy at a separate location, such as a safe-deposit box, a relative’s house or your storage unit.

Keep it Updated

Each time you make a major purchase, add it to the inventory. When you donate, trash or sell items, remove those from the list. Keeping an inventory can help you stay organized and reduce clutter. When everything is listed, you can easily identify areas of excess or scarcity.

The experts at Master Movers are here to help you at every stage of a move. Give us a call at 503-762-1288.