How to Create a Home Inventory

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In the unlikely event that disaster strikes, you’ll want to be prepared for the worst. After a burglary, house fire, or flood, it’s hard to think clearly about next-step details like filing an insurance claim. Having a complete home inventory will relieve some stress by ensuring you’re quickly reimbursed for stolen or damaged possessions. Here’s how to make one:

What Should You Include in Your Inventory?Include any possessions you would want to receive reimbursement for if they were destroyed or stolen, such as expensive furniture, jewelry, firearms, electronics, antiques, tools, and designer clothing. A thorough way to document items is to focus on completing one room before moving on to the next. Also, don’t overlook storage places such as the basement or garage.

Create an Extensive Record. When creating a record on paper or digitally, you’ll need more than just a list of your possessions. Take pictures of each item, include descriptions of their condition, and save any original receipts or serial numbers. There are home inventory apps to help you organize your photos and pertinent information.

Take Videos of Your Possessions. Taking a video walk-through of your possessions provides clear documentation without the need to list every cup and fork you own. Get close-ups of smaller items to ensure you have a clear image. Keep a running dialogue while you record to provide descriptions of each item’s condition. You’ll still want to save original serial numbers and receipts.

Regularly Update Your Inventory and Keep It Secure. You should update your inventory when you receive expensive gifts, such as during the holidays or after your birthday. Make it a habit to record new furnishings, electronics, or appliances, and remove items on the list that you no longer own. After all your hard work, don’t accidentally lose your home inventory. Make sure it’s securely stored in a fireproof safe, safety deposit box, or digitally in the cloud.