If you’ve ever moved before, you know how the post-move chaos goes. You get into your new home and then you begin to franticly tear through boxes looking for that one item you know you packed somewhere.
Then, the panic sets in as you wonder what might have happened to it. If you want to avoid that, consider creating an inventory for your belongings. This is a great way to not only track what is being moved, but also to help you later if you need to file anything for insurance purposes.
Here’s What You Need to Get Started with Your Home Inventory List:
1 – Determine What You Need to Inventory — You can’t inventory everything that you own. There’s no need to document everything you keep in the pantry and the fridge. (Unless of course, you happen to have a priceless wine collection.)
And you probably won’t need to inventory all of your clothes unless you have high fashion pieces. But you will want to inventory things like electronics, antiques, artwork, and the like. Basically, any big money items should be inventoried before you move so you can verify that they don’t get lost along the way.
Specific items/categories include:
• Electronics including computers, tablets, smartphones, printers, televisions, stereo and sound equipment, and game systems.
• Appliances like washers/dryers but also smaller appliances like microwaves, food processors, and blenders.
• Furniture will include beds and couches, but also smaller items that may still be of value like lamps or area rugs.
• Musical instruments and antiques
2- Devise a System — Next, you’ll need a system. We recommend keeping a spreadsheet with a description of each item, a value for each one, a picture, and the serial numbers of each item if they have one.
If your inventory is move related, number your moving boxes and list the exact box number so you can find them faster. If this system doesn’t work for you, there are numerous apps you can try like Sortly or Encircle. Each of these has features that make the process easier. What also makes these apps so great is that they have free features, and you don’t have to worry about expenses when making your inventory.
3 – Start Small — If you try to inventory everything all at once, you’ll never get started. Instead, find a small area to start like a closet or your work area. Once you get over the hurdle of starting, it will go much smoother.
4 – Keep Updating — Once you have a start on your inventory, make sure you update regularly. For instance, if you buy a new computer or tablet, add it to your inventory immediately. Keeping the new purchases updated will help you stay current. This will be especially important if you ever move again or if you need to make an insurance claim.
5 – Label Your Boxes Accurately — When you’re packing your inventoried items, make sure that you make a note of which box has which item. Here, we recommend having a labeling system.
For instance, as you box up your bedroom items, label the box “Master Bedroom Box # 1 of _____.” Then, when you finish, count your boxes for that room and write the number in the blank space.
When the boxes arrive at your home, you know what goes in each room and you can see at a glance how many boxes you have (and will know if one is missing). You can also figure out quickly which box has your items you want to unpack first using this system.
Home Inventories Serve Multiple Purposes & Are Helpful in a Move
If you are getting ready for a move or even if you just want to keep track of your things so you can have an accurate inventory for insurance purposes, then you need to devise a system and stick with it. An inventory is something every household needs to keep updating regularly so that you know exactly what you have on hand.
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