How to Create a Detailed Home Inventory

Contemporary technology has made it easier than ever.

A detailed home inventory is an important part of getting ready in the event of a fire. We mentioned inventories in our blog on insurance, but they’re so important we want to go into more detail. Even the best insurance coverage on the market won’t do you much good if you’re not sure what losses to claim. It’s important to know what you own.

Make a comprehensive video or a digital photo album.

Use your smartphone to create a mini-documentary of each room in your home. Get good shots of all your personal belongings, furniture, art & décor pieces, and everything, making sure to include whatever is in your closets and drawers. If video isn’t your thing, take lots of photos.

Go into a lot of detail about your belongings.

Your mini-documentary isn’t going to any film festivals, so don’t be concerned about making it long and boring to the general public. As you introduce items in your video, mention how much you paid for them and where you got them. If you’re not using video, you’ll need to create a computer file of your information or record it as a voice memo.

Highlight expensive items.

Be sure to include lots of detail on expensive items such as kitchen appliances, computers, TVs, tablets, electronics, musical instruments, and other big-ticket items.  Zoom in on or take close-ups of model numbers, serial numbers, and other information helpful in locating replacements. If you have a valuable collection of some sort, be sure to document it in detail. Depending on the collection’s value, you may want to consider insuring it separately.

Safeguard receipts for big-ticket purchases.

Video or photograph your receipts for expensive items and store the originals in a fireproof strongbox, being sure to keep a copy of everything in the cloud.

Don’t forget your garage and basement.

Make your garage a featured player in your mini-documentary. You’ll be surprised just how many valuable/meaningful items you’ll find out there (include your car and anything you keep in it). If you have a basement, go down there and document everything you’ve stored away.

Put your inventory someplace safe.

Make copies of all your electronic files and put them in a fire-proof strong box or a safe deposit box at your bank. If you’re a cloud user, the cloud is an excellent way to safely store and retrieve your inventory.

Update your inventory.

Consider your mini-documentary a franchise. Once a year, create a sequel introducing any new belongings in your life.