Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You STILL Need a Home Inventory

Collectify Home Inventory

Why go to the bother of creating a home inventory? To quote Real Simple, "Insurance, insurance, insurance." If you ever need to file a claim, it will be easier to both remember what you owned and document its value. An inventory can also help you understand if you have the right amount of insurance. All those little things can add up!

As a side benefit, creating a home inventory may also inspire some decluttering!

How do you create an inventory? There are three basic approaches.

1. Create a computerized home inventory.

I wrote about some software home inventory options two years ago, and those same products are still around and worth your consideration. Some other choices are:

- AnywhereVault, an online home inventory tool.
- Quicken Home Inventory Manager - but there's no version for Mac users.
- Collectify Home Inventory, which is also a Windows-only product. The picture above is from Collectify. [Thanks to organizer Jamie Novak for the pointer to this one.]

2. Create a home inventory list (not on a computer).

You can get worksheets from Real Simple or the State of California; both of these are organized by room. Wells Fargo has an inventory list organized by type of item rather than by room. You might want to look at it just to see another approach.

3. Hire a home inventory service to create your inventory for you.

If you know you're unlikely to ever get around to doing this yourself, consider hiring help. The services vary tremendously in what they offer, so be sure you're getting the final products that you want. For example, I saw that one company offered a VHS tape, while others offer CDs and/or DVDs.

If you want an idea of the services that are out there, you can look at Redwood Home Inventory and Garrett's Home Inventory Service.


Sarah H. said...

This is great advice! I've had this on my to-do list for some time now and just haven't gotten around to it. Thanks for the ideas and inspiration!

Jeri Dansky said...

You're very welcome, Sarah!

Joe said...

Just came across your post and had to comment. Thank you! Despite all of the consumer alerts, news stories, etc., people still do not seem to understand the importance of being prepared! Your coverage helps to elevate the importance of conducting a home inventory and of the home inventory profession itself!

Bastion Home & Business Services (for home inventory professionals)