Let's Talk About Home Inventory

Let's Talk About Home Inventory

Have you ever taken time to think about all the stuff you own in your home, storage, or vacation home? If you stop to think about it you may instantly think of that big screen TV in the living room or that antique dresser in your guest room, but what about everything else? What about the small stuff that is stashed in the back of the hall closet? or that jewelry your great-aunt left you last year?

Now think about those worst-case scenarios, like a fire or tornado, or even theft, that destroys everything. Would you be able to go back and list everything you owned or lost for insurance purposes?

This is why you need a home inventory...

With that being said, I think we all can agree that listing everything you own, without being able to see it, would be an impossible task! Creating a home inventory is a great way to protect your interest. Constructing a good home inventory involves keeping track of key information like:

  • a description of the item, the make and model, if applicable.
  • the date the item was purchased and from where.
  • the item's purchase price or estimated value of the item.
  • any item identifying numbers like serial numbers, VINs, ISBNs, etc.

With this inventory you should also keep any receipts you may have for bigger items, you won't have receipts for everything, but any you do have would be helpful to include.

It is also important to remember, that you do not need to list every single item, it is ok to group them. For example, kitchen dishes, you can simply list 15 plates, 5 serving bowls, 8 wine glasses, and so on. However, if any of that china is expensive or valuable you would want to list it separately.

Don’t forget to inventory those not-frequented places, like basements, attics, and storage units too!

Ok, I'm ready to create a home inventory...where do I start?

You may ask yourself, how do I make a home inventory? Well, the Printable Pages by CJY home inventory bundle is here to help! The pages included in this bundle can be printed as many times as you need to complete your inventory list. You can then add the pages, photos, and receipts into a three-ring binder, or scan them in and save them to a digital file. 

printable template page with columns and rows related to home inventory

Alright so then what?

Once you have your home inventory bundle printed there are two ways to go about cataloging your possessions. The first option is you simply pick a room and get started. The second option is that you can choose to group like items together. For example, you could list all of your books on the book inventory sheet, or your massive DVD collection on the media inventory, and catalog by category instead. Either way don’t forget the small stuff, like decorations on the mantle, trinkets on the shelves, wall art in the hallway, you get the drift.

printable template page with columns and rows related to book home inventory

It is also important to be as detailed as possible, photos or videos of valuable items would be helpful here! 

It is also a good idea to pick a time every year, or a few times a year, to update your inventory. This way you can add anything you may have acquired during that time, or gotten rid of.

About those photos and videos…

Smartphones have made taking photographs and videos so easy now they should be part of your home inventory. Take a video walk-through of your house, that will help you capture each item. During your walk, you can also describe each item, and the estimated value. Photos of serial numbers, ISBNs, or identifying markings are also a good idea.

printable template page with columns and rows related to media home inventory

Other things to think about…

A few other things to consider while you tackle this project are things like insurance for valuable items. Now is a good time to check that homeowners insurance policy and see what your coverage is in specific circumstances.

Does it have a $2,000 limit on theft of jewelry and watches? What are the specific coverages on the “contents” of your home? Now that you have your inventory totaled up, would it be enough to replace all of your possessions, furniture, clothes, and appliances?

Does your policy cover the replacement value of your possessions or the actual cash value? The actual cash value would not pay you for replacements but for the depreciated value of your items.

printable template page with columns and rows related to room home inventory

Final Thoughts…

Regardless of how you make your inventory, be sure to store a copy outside of your home. That can mean a copy on a cloud storage service, a safe deposit box, or with a family member or friend.

Creating a home inventory will be a daunting task no doubt. Be prepared that it could take you weeks or even months to complete. However, considering the alternative, at least you can put your mind at ease that your papers are in order.

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