A very important but often forgotten task is creating a home inventory – making note of every single item you own. If you’re ever in a situation where all of your property is destroyed, it can be extremely difficult to figure out what everything is worth. Itemizing your property is also a great way to make sure you’re not underinsured and help you purchase enough insurance to cover all of your belongings.
One quick way to start your home inventory is by simply writing everything down in a notebook. Go room-by-room, and make note of your personal belongings. You’ll also want to write down the value for each item. If you have receipts, save those in your notebook, too.
Special items that may need to be appraised by a professional:
Remember to update your inventory any time you make a big purchase.
After you’ve completed your home inventory, make a copy and keep it in a fireproof safe or bank safe-deposit box. You can also create a spreadsheet and save the information on your computer.
Another way to itemize your belongings is by taking photo and video each item. Just walk through your home with your camera, and record all of your things. Save the footage on your computer, and create a backup on an external hard drive or cloud storage service.
If you have a smartphone or other mobile device, there are plenty of home inventory apps available to help you keep track of all your belongings.
The Insurance Information Institute offers a free tool on their website: Know Your Stuff Home Inventory
The following websites have reviews of both free and paid home inventory mobile apps:
Mashable – Spring Cleaning: 8 Home Inventory Apps to Log Your Stuff
New York Times – Apps for Taking Inventory at Home