The longer you live in a house, the more you tend to accumulate things without realizing what you already have. A home inventory, which can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day depending on how thorough you want to be, is a great way to keep track of your belongings, offering useful benefits that go far beyond just having basic accounting.
If you have some time on your hands, put it to use by taking an up-to-date and accurate home inventory. This simple process doesn’t require a lot and will save you a lot of time later if something goes wrong with your move.
So why is a home inventory so important? Below, we’ll outline the purpose behind a comprehensive home inventory, along with tips on how to do it right.
What is a home inventory?
A home inventory is simply a complete list of all the items you have in your home. This includes valuable items like furniture, electronics and jewelry, as well as essentials like clothing and linens. The idea is to have a full breakdown of what you own so that you have a quick reference point when and if you need it, especially when you are moving.
Moving: When hiring a NYC moving company, you’ll need to provide as accurate an inventory of your belongings as possible so your transporters can provide a quote and ensure they ship the right size truck and the right number of employees. While many moving companies do general inventory on their own (in person or virtually), having affordable home inventory can save you a lot of time on both ends.
How to do a home inventory
To inventory your home, you will need to go room by room in your home and record each item, as well as its general description and estimated value. As you go along, gather all receipts, purchase agreements, or other documentation that can help you with your inventory assessments, and store these documents so you have everything you need in case you have to file a claim.
Images are also beneficial, so take pictures of your belongings and store them in a designated file that you can easily access later if needed. In particular, be sure to take photos of your high-value items, as the refund will be based in part on their condition.
Tips for taking your inventory
Even with the right tools or models, a home inventory can be a complicated process to begin with, especially if you’ve lived in the same house for many years. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Start with the big stuff: Starting with the bigger items will help you make good progress from the start so you stay motivated to keep going. And while value isn’t always directly related to size (case in point, jewelry, cell phones, and other small but highly valuable possessions), chances are that many of the expensive items in your home are also large in stature. So as you move from room to room, inventory the big stuff first and then move on to the small items in drawers and closets.
Make copies: A home inventory won’t be very useful if it’s destroyed, lost, or becomes inaccessible. To cover as many bases as possible, keep multiple copies of your inventory, including a digital copy and a paper copy.
Update and Review: We’ve already mentioned that it’s important that you update your home inventory with new items as you get them. In addition, you also want to review your home inventory list to remove any items you no longer have. If you sell something or update it with something new, make sure it is no longer registered in your inventory.
Don’t Forget Documents: Important documents don’t necessarily have a price tag value, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t file them. List and describe everything from marriage certificates to titles, taking pictures for future reference. Be sure to note in the description where these items are stored in case you have trouble finding something you need. Owning a home entails many responsibilities, and that includes maintaining an accurate inventory.