Something every home needs to do and hopefully will never need. Usually placed at the bottom of the to-do list and put off because it seems like it would take a lot of time to complete. Have no fear, just do it!
What it is-a detailed list of personal possessions and their value (in home & stored elsewhere such as storage area)
Who needs it-everyone (renters & owners)
Why take the time-1. insurance (make it easier to substantiate your claim in case of a fire, natural disaster or robbery). 2. determines if you have the right type & amount of insurance. 3.makes creating wills easier 4. gives you a complete picture & is a component of your current net worth
How to-Three different methods. Decide based on which one you think will be easiest to update
Method I-In a notepad, binder with photographs. Divide notebook into sections-one for each room. Record everything in each room. Divide each sections into columns: item, description (color, unique markings, etc.), manufacturer or brand, serial #, model # & price paid. Attach receipts if you have them. Take pictures (including serial #s) and keep them in the notebook
Method II-With a video camera. Walk through each room, recording contents & dictate info about each item. Include same info as in the notepad method. Show-and-tell items by enlisting a family member. Gather receipts in an envelop & keep them with tape or DVD.
Method III-On a computer-buy a home-inventory computer program (knowyourstuff.org). Log items room by room, upload digital photos & scan receipts
Then what-1. Make a copy & place in safe deposit box (not kept in the house). Consider giving a backup to a friend who doesn’t live nearby (no neighbors!).
2. Update your home inventory with each major purchase.
Don’t forget the items on your walls-original artwork, drapes
The more documentation the better (search online for prices if you don’t have a receipt)
Bedroom-list clothing items by type & photograph together (unless they are vintage or designer). Don’t forget little things like socks & bras, can be costly to replace all at once. Estimate how much you paid & when you bought them. Appraisal forms for expensive jewelry should be included.
Living Room & Office-note when & where you purchase big-ticket electronic equipment. Be detailed. Include receipts. Group together CDs, DVDs & VHS.
Kitchen-write down make, model & serial #s of appliances both big and small. Group together everyday dishes, flatware & stemware
Attic & Basement-don’t forget items here
Garage-group together used sports equipment & smaller tools. List bicycles, drills & lawn mowers, separately.
http://www.realsimple.com/homeinventory to print out copies for rooms