Creating a Home Inventory of your life is a great idea to help you figure out how much insurance to buy, speed up the claims process if you should ever have any loss or damage of your home or items in your home and to help verify losses for your income tax return. You might not even realize just how much you have in your home of value or that mean a lot of you if you don’t actually take an inventory and list them down.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. All opinions are 100% mine.
Nationwide provided me with information regarding its In The Nation blog post.
How To Create A Home Inventory
Make a detailed list of what you own to ensure that you won’t overlook anything if you have to recall what was in your house should it be lost by fire, theft or other circumstance. You can start by assembling the tools for documenting what you own and by figuring out how you will store the inventory list. If you choose to document the traditional way by using a notebook and a camera, you’ll also need to store the inventory in a physical location like a safety deposit box, with a lawyer or with a trusted family member or friend. The great thing about digital camera is that you can take unlimited photos and store them on a thumb drive or in the cloud. You will also want to make actual prints to keep in a safe place as well. Make sure to make paper copies and take digital scans of documents such as warranties and receipts to also keep in a safe place away from your home. Consider using a trusted friend or keeping in your desk at your work office. You may also set up a digital storage account, but be sure you have documented how to access it, including the password. Decide how you’ll ensure the account is maintained and paid for so the inventory doesn’t evaporate in the cloud.
- It’s easiest to take the inventory room by room. Set up the same system for each room so your documentation makes sense to you and to whoever must decipher it if you are not around. Take several photos of each room, from different angles. A good way to go about this is to stand in the doorway and slowly rotate clockwise, taking overlapping frames that eventually take in the whole room. Open blinds and curtains and turn on the lights, even in the daytime, so your photos are well lit and clear.
- Using sticky notes, label each item with its name so you can clearly refer to it in the documentation.
- Zero in on documentation, labels and marks that establish to whom valuable items have belonged.
- Focus on details that illustrate the unique properties of each item, such as stained glass, carving and painted trim.
- Scan or copy receipts, appraisals and other documentation about each item.
- For electronics and appliances, include warranties, receipts, repair bills and serial numbers.
Organizing Your Inventory
- Create a subfolder for each room. Include a cover sheet that explains how you organized and tagged items.
- Group all the documentation for each item, from photos to repair bills.
- Be sure you refer to each item with the term on its sticky note label. For instance, if the label says, “blue and white pitcher” use the phrase “blue and white pitcher” on all related documents, appraisals and receipts.
- Make a printed copy of the inventory to include with your essential legal documents, even if you are storing digital copies in the cloud and with legal advisers or trusted ones.
- Finally, be sure your will includes access information, including passwords, to your inventory, no matter where it is stored.
These Tips for Creating An Inventory of Your Life are a great way to really organize the items in your life should the need ever arise. It’s just a smart idea for renters and homeowners alike.
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