Let’s start with defining a Home Inventory

A home inventory is a list of all the items that you own in your home or apartment. It lists all your valuable items like  electronics, furniture, and jewelry, It would also list clothing and linens. You want to have a breakdown of what you have so you can quickly document what you have in the event of an insurance claim.

Often and without realizing it, the longer you stay in one place the more you accumulate.  A home inventory may take a few hours or a few days, depending on how detailed you want to get. The time you spend will be well worth it if a theft, fire, or disaster hits and you need to file a claim.

The process

Pick any corner of the house and go room by room, and note each item. Things to note are the items size, color, make and model, and value. If you have documents such as receipts, save them or a copy, in the file you’re creating. Pictures are a huge help. If a claim is ever filed, pictures will help establish the condition of the item.

Use a template, it will make the process easier as you create your inventory. You can download our template to get you started or you might do a quick Google search, it will return many examples of home inventory templates. Most will allow you to add rooms unique to you if you have a weight room, game room, craft room, you get the idea.

You may find it easier to use one of the many app’s out there. A Google search returned these options.

  • Home Inventory. $39.99. iOS. …
  • BluePlum Home Inventory. $17.99. iOS. …
  • Nest Egg. $4.99. iOS. …
  • MyStuff. $3.99. iOS. …
  • Inventory Manager. Free to download, In-App Purchases. iOS. …
  • Sortly. Free to download, In-App Purchases. iOS. …
  • Encircle. FREE. iOS. …
  • Liberty Mutual Home Gallery. FREE. iOS.

General Tips

Getting the major and most valuable items down first will greatly help with your motivation. It will feel like a lot was accomplished in a short amount of time. Even if you were to quit right after this, you’d be so much further ahead when filing a claim.  The small items may feel more tedious since there are so many in each room. Remember as you go room by room to note what’s in the closets, drawers, and on shelves. Some people may find this an excellent time to purge as well when they go through the process.

Your birth certificate, marriage documents, will, deeds should be considered in your inventory. If lost, they could be difficult or impossible to replace

One copy is not enough. Make multiple copies and keep at least one out of the house in a safe deposit box or upload it to  web file storage like Google Drive or Dropbox

When completed, your home inventory should be viewed as a living document and you will need to update it every year or so.

Need help with your move? 

Tony Baumer has over 30 years in the moving industry. He started his moving company in 1989 doing local, interstate and international moves. He served on the board for the NJ Warehouse and Movers association. Currently, Tony works with movers to help them grow their companies and with homeowners, educating them on how to choose a mover