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How to Create a Home Inventory

October 21, 2021

Whether you live in a single-family home or a city apartment, keeping track of your possessions can be cumbersome. Creating a home inventory–a detailed list of everything in your house–is a great way to keep track of your belongings.

The list can be categorized by room, item type, or collection, but should include as much information as possible.  More importantly, a thorough accounting could save time if you ever need to file a claim; your list will be used to verify the value of your personal belongings. In the heat of a major claim, it can be difficult to remember everything. Having an inventory ready is one less thing to think about.

So, when’s the best time to create a home inventory? RIGHT NOW.

Let’s get started!

Begin with the description of the item (make, model, serial number) and date of purchase.

Include where the item was purchased, cost at time of purchase, and purchase documentation like receipts. If appraised, include the new appraised value. Finally, enter the estimated replacement cost.

To make this project easy, make several smaller videos of each area, room, or type of item. That lets you watch them one at a time when you make your list. Upload, save, and back them up to a safe storage place.

Free home inventory apps are available to help you along and provide guidance, and many will export your finished list to your other devices. There are quite a few home inventory apps out there that offer a variety of features, including the ability to add photos, sort the items by room, or even store items on the cloud for simpler access.

A good place to start is with your insurance company to see whether it offers an inventory app or recommends a specific one.

Or, you can review the list of the Best Home Inventory Apps of 2021 from The Balance. Whichever app you choose, make sure it allows you to export lists and information, so you won’t lose everything if the company stops making the product or app.

The hardest part of building your inventory is estimating the value of your stuff. Start with figuring out the replacement value and not the actual cash value.

Go room by room through your house with a pen, paper, and calculator. Start listing the replacement cost of anything you see. Pay particular attention to your kitchen and closets as these areas add up quickly.

One final thought: now that you spent the time to develop your home inventory, keep it somewhere safe and accessible. Hint: that might not be your home.

Consider saving the list to the cloud or keeping a hard copy in your safe deposit box or office. If using the cloud, keep the settings as private, be sure to add the insurance policy number and claims hot line to the document, and give access to another adult member of your home in case one person is not available when you need the information.

It doesn’t matter if you are a first-time home buyer or have been nestled in at the same home for decades, having a thorough inventory of your belongs will save you time when you need to file a claim, help you understand what kind of insurance you need, if your limits are appropriate, and whether or not to add special endorsements or schedules to cover items like jewelry, antiques, and art collections.

Now that you have your inventory, call an Avery Agent to review your current conditions and ensure you and your assets are properly protected.


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