Before we get started, let’s understand what a home inventory is. A home inventory is a list of important items inside a residential property. It includes photos and the price of each item. The loss of an item from the inventory can be reported to the insurance for replacement or refund.
How much does it cost to make a home inventory?
Depending on your time and resources, you can make a free house inventory. A number of apps offer assistance for a little monthly cost, or you can choose to engage a specialized agency to manage everything for you.
Should you have a home inventory?
An updated home inventory can do a lot of things and can prevent losses just by simply maintaining a list. What this list will do for you is:
- It helps you buy the right kind and appropriately priced insurance: Making selections about homeowner’s or renter’s insurance coverage with your insurance expert is made easier if you have a complete inventory of all your belongings. After all, how can you properly insure what you have if you don’t know what you have?
- Filing claims are easier. After a fire, storm, or other disaster, the majority of individuals struggle to recall even their breakfast, let alone the contents of their attic, kitchen cabinets, or downstairs closet. Disasters are frightening and stressful, which can make it difficult to list damaged items on a claims form. In situations like these, having your possessions included in your home inventory can be a tremendous comfort.
- Provide evidence of financial losses when requesting financial aid or for tax purposes. The only way to find out whether you qualify for a tax break or disaster assistance is to substantiate your financial losses. A structured and accounted home inventory can be helpful in this situation.
- It helps clear the mess. You can use this time to downsize and declutter any stuff you no longer see necessary when you are already planning to review all of your possessions. Maybe you only wore three of the seven winter jackets you own last year. It’s possible that you have a kitchen appliance stashed away in a cabinet that you haven’t used since 2001. You can pick what objects you wish to keep and what items you have been unnecessarily storing in your home by taking an inventory.
Now that we know what a home inventory can do, let’s look at how to prepare and maintain this list.
- Choose a simple point to start with. The process of creating a home inventory can definitely be nerve-wracking considering the amount of items that you need to account for. Start with choosing items in a small space such as a closet as opposed to a larger space so that you get the hang of it slowly and also understand what you own.
- Start With Recent Purchases. If you still feel that the closet is overwhelming, begin with filing your most recent purchases instead.
- Make a list of simple and basic details to note down. You should list the price, a brief description of the item, and any further identifying information, such as the product’s make and model or number, for each item on your home inventory.
- Always take photographs. Use your phone or camera to capture photographs of all your items and back them up on a device or a cloud storage system to keep exact track of what items you possess.
- Categorize your belongings. Categorization can simplify keeping stock of your home possessions. For example, you don’t need to individually list every item of clothing you own. Instead, you can categorize them broadly as clothes or something more narrow depending on how detailed you want your home inventory to be.
- Keep track of your receipts. This becomes a vital component in the process of preparing your home inventory. Your insurance company may always request proof of purchase when you file claims so it’s best to store receipts of all items you have purchased.
- Give importance to high-value items. If some of your possessions have a very high worth, you should include that information in your inventory. To make sure you buy the right amount of insurance, go through these matters with your insurance representative.
- Constantly update your inventory. This also becomes an integral part of the process. An outdated home inventory will not provide as much value as it holds unless it is continuously updated after the purchase of new items.
Optimizing your Home Inventory
Now that you know how to create a home inventory, let’s look at some ways to make your home inventory easier.
You can utilize a variety of tools to simplify the home inventory procedure. Of course, you can write everything down on paper, but if there is a fire or flood, you run the danger of losing both your inventory and your possessions. A better, faster, and more secure solution could be to create a digital house inventory.
Home Inventory Apps and Technology
There are a lot of apps and tools that can help you maintain and keep track of your home inventory. Right from capturing photos and storing photos to categorizing and organizing your things by category, these are some of the best apps and tools to help with your home inventory.
- NAIC Home Inventory
- United Policyholders Home Inventory Spreadsheet
Hire Professionals or Companies
There are experts who can assist if you are completely overburdened or simply lack the time to do your house inventory yourself. To add a knowledgeable touch to your house inventory, experienced professional home inventory specialists are frequently accessible in numerous locations.
Probably maintaining an excel spreadsheet isn’t to maintain a spreadsheet and constantly update it. A simple method for efficiently documenting everything you own is to just record a video of each area in your home.