Picture the scene.
You come home from holiday only to find you have been broken into.
The stress levels are high, the emotions are everywhere – and the police/insurance are asking you exactly what has gone.
Most people will be able to think of the majority of their items, but some may be forgotten in the heat of the moment, and whether or not you could describe everything well enough for valuation purposes is another matter entirely.
Unfortunately it’s not just burglary, it could be a fire, a flood, a whole number of other ways that your items could be ruined.
So – why add to your stress levels when you can spend a little time now preparing for the worst?
Better to be prepared than to regret it if the worst happens, and that’s why I think every home should have a home inventory.
What Is A Home Inventory?
- A list of what you own
- Includes details of codes / identifying marks of items
- A great visual record – as it can include photos as well for easier recognition and valuations
It can include absolutely EVERYTHING, or more commonly is a list of your more pricey possessions such as cameras, jewellery, electrical etc…
How Do I Make A Home Inventory?
It’s dead easy.
Don’t complicate things as you will procrastinate about doing it and never end up getting it finished.
Keep it simple!
Go around your house with a pen and paper and a camera (there is a ready made sheet for this in the Home File if you prefer – see picture below, or just make your own).
Write a list in each room of all the items you want to record, and write down all the details you can about it (you may have kept the receipt or warranty information which would also help).
Here’s a quick list of things that are definitely worth recording, to get you started:-
- Electrical equipment
- Computers /Laptops
- Mobile Phones
- Kitchen gadgets (especially things like blenders and high priced items)
- Microwave / Cooker etc…
- Light fittings
- Clothes and Accessories
- Musical instruments
- Antiques / Heirlooms
- Attic / Garage contents (theres usually loads in these spaces!)
- the list really is endless!
NOTE – if you are not sure of an items value – it’s worth getting it valued by a professional.
Remember that everything adds up – so even though you may think why bother with the lower priced items such as CDs and DVDs – these can cost a LOT to replace if you have a few.
When you have filled in the form, then take a photo or two of the item. An overall view is important, but secondary shots of serial numbers, details, even a photo of the receipt would be good as well.
It takes seconds to take a photo – and could make all the difference if you ever had to recall what you had.
Additional safety measures would be to take photos of each wall/cupboard, drawer, bookshelf etc… in each room of your home as well – this will mean that you can quickly go round and compare as to what’s been taken of the lesser valuable items, and you should have an overall view of what you own.
Don’t get overwhelmed, doing a room a week is fine if you prefer – but I suggest doing this as quickly as possible and then you won’t be fearful of the worst case in the interim.
When you file the home inventory, make a note on it as to where the pictures are on your computer (I suggest creating a Home Inventory specific file), and then you will be able to find everything you need as and when you ever need to make a claim.
Keep your home inventory in a safe place that’s accessible should you need it – I keep a copy in my Home File, of which I have a printed out copy to hand in the kitchen, and a copy on my computer that I back up on Dropbox, so I can access it from anywhere.
NOTE – Make sure you backup your list because if you have suffered a fire / flood etc… then your original hand written list may well be damaged as well. If you take the time to create a home inventory then you want to make sure it’s around when you need it…
Whenever you buy something, add it to your Home Inventory and keep it up to date.
I tend to review it annually, and it doesn’t take long – just a walk around the house checking off each item and adding in anything new.
Having a home inventory created for your home and possessions will pay back dividends in terms of peace of mind.
If the worst ever happened then its one less thing to worry about, and it’s always handy to know what you have.
Have you created one yet? Let me know how you have done it.
PS – if you want to create a full Home File – take a look at the post HERE all about it, and if you want to grab a copy of my Home File then please click here to buy (why create it yourself as I’ve done the hard work for you!)