Would you be able to remember all of the possessions you have accumulated over the years? It’s never fun to imagine a fire or other disaster destroying your home or your possessions, but being prepared with a home inventory can make the process of getting your life back together much easier.
A good home inventory will include a detailed list of your belongings with descriptions, photos, videos, receipts, values, and any other information that will help verify your losses.
A full home inventory can do wonders for your Home Insurance. It can:
- Help you figure our how much insurance to buy
- Speed up the claims process
- Verify losses for the insurance adjuster and on your income tax return
What a Home Inventory is and Where to Start
A home inventory is exactly what it sounds like – a list of all of your possessions in your home. From television sets to computers, jewelry to Japanese artwork. If it’s something that you have purchased, it goes on the list.
First check with your home insurance company to see if they have any reimbursement requirements or suggestions when it comes to creating a home inventory. Often times, the insurance company will have free tools for you to use.
For the items on your inventory, always try to include the following:
- Detailed description
- Serial Number
- Purchase Date
- Estimated Value
How to Create your Home Inventory
Creating the home inventory is completely up to you! You can write everything down in a notebook, make a spreadsheet, use inventory software such as Know Your Stuff, take photos, or even record a video. Whichever method you decide to use, just make sure that you are thorough.
- Organize your lists by room. It’s faster and easier.
- Save your receipts from all major purchases. Store them on your computer or in a safe box.
- Use two methods: A spreadsheet and video recording will allow you to have both a visual and hand-written component.
- Don’t Wait. The best thing you can do is get your home inventory done as soon as possible. The sooner the better
Once you have your inventory, make sure to protect it. Store it in a safety deposit box, in a strong safe or lockbox, in the cloud, or with a friend. Just make sure it’ll survive if there’s major damage to your home. Remember that’s what it’s there for.