Tips for Preparing a Home Inventory
Documenting your belongings can save you time and worry later, and ensure proper reimbursement for all of your losses.
The most effective inventory combines a detailed written list with one of the following:
- Video recording with audio narration
- Photographs of valuable or unique items
- Audio recording with photographs of valuable or unique items
No matter which method you choose, make sure to approach this project systematically so you don’t miss anything. Keep a copy of your completed inventory off premises in a safety deposit box or with a relative or friend.
Your inventory should include the following information:
- Number of items
- Description of items
- Year purchased
- Cost new
- Estimated current value
Some tips in completing a home inventory:
- Begin in one room and cover its contents thoroughly before moving on.
- Remember to include your hallways, attic, basement, garage, porch, patio, and garden.
- Open closets and drawers.
- Group like-items together when possible, i.e. clothing can be grouped by category, quantity, and overall cost. Note anything of special value.
- Record serial numbers of major appliances and electronic equipment.
- Attach sales receipts/appraisals to the inventory list.
- Photocopy important documents and attach them to the inventory list. Keep originals in a safety deposit box.
- Photograph valuable items against a plain background, next to a ruler. Turn items over to show any hallmark, manufacturer, or pattern information.
- Keep your inventory list updated by documenting any new items acquired.
- Collections/specialty items, such as jewelry and art, should be professionally appraised to establish their value. Attach appraisals to the inventory list.
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