Can you name everything you own in your home off the top of your head? It’s likely more difficult than expected, and you be surprised by the number of items you own. The average American home contains around 300,000 items. The longer time lived at a residence; the more things are accumulated. Using a home inventory keeps track of belongings, saving time and avoiding headaches when emergencies strike.
What is a Home Inventory?
A home inventory is a document that is a comprehensive list of all items in a home, complete with descriptions, make and model numbers, and photos for reference. Some home inventories will include prices, purchase receipts/invoices, and the estimated replacement cost.
When creating a home inventory, list everything from big-ticket items like cars, home appliances, and electronics to essentials like clothing and décor. The goal is to create a total breakdown of all items for quick accessibility and at a moment’s notice.
What Do I Use a Home Inventory for?
Emergencies can occur at any time and usually when it’s least expected. Natural disasters, home fires, extreme weather, and burglaries are all examples of incidents that may require you to file a homeowners’ insurance claim to receive reimbursement for your damaged or stolen property. Having a home inventory at hand will streamline the claims process. Such situations may be challenging, and having this comprehensive list available will make the experience avoid added stress.
Relocating with the help of a moving company will require a basic inventory to provide a proper estimate of the job and allocate appropriate resources like trucks and movers to accommodate moving requirements. Many moving companies will perform a general inventory of their own; however, providing your home inventory will help. If you opt to take care of the move yourself, the home inventory is an excellent resource to help keep you organized as you pack up and settle into your new home.
Home maintenance is a significant responsibility for homeowners, and when left ignored, it can lead to costly repairs down the line. The home inventory is a great tool to reference when making your maintenance plan. For example, suppose your dishwasher is acting up, and you call someone to service and repair it. Chances are you won’t remember too many details about the appliance if you have owned it for a few years. However, you can refer to your home inventory to provide your repairperson with more information, including the appliance’s make, model, and age. With the repairs complete, you can record those detail in the home inventory.
Getting Started on Your Home Inventory
If you don’t already have a home inventory for your home, this may appear to be a daunting task to complete. However, you’ll be happy to have it ready to go before it’s needed to save yourself some additional stress.
Creating this document can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day, depending on how detailed you are and how things you own. However, there are several templates and software to help keep you organized.
Starting with more critical, expensive items can help get the ball rolling, then moving from room to room to fill out the inventory. Once the home inventory is completed, keep it updated and record any new items purchased. Be sure to keep a few versions saved in different places to be easily accessible at a moment’s notice.
Often, homeowners will not have their home inventory created until after they need to use it for a particular situation. Get ahead of any emergencies or incidents by making your home inventory now, and have one less thing to worry about when disaster strikes!