Give Your Home Inventory List a Refresh

January 21, 2020

As you start to settle back into your daily routine, now’s a good time to take stock of everything you purchased and received during the dizzying whirl that is the holidays. Perhaps you made a New Years’ resolution to be more organized or you just want to make use of that homeowners’ insurance policy you bought. Whether you already have a home inventory list or not, creating or updating it is a good idea as a lot of the new items you got will still be fresh in your mind.

Should an unfortunate incident happen, such as a fire or burglary, an up-to-date home inventory will help account for everything you own and make it easier to get your insurance claims settled and recoup damages.

While it may be overwhelming to list out everything you own from clothing to art, once you start it’s not too difficult.

  • Start with recent purchases or holiday gifts as the details of those will be at the forefront of your mind.
  • Other easy places to start are smaller spaces, such as a kitchen appliance cabinet, shoe closet or handbag shelf.
  • Describe each item you record, where you bought it, make and model, what you paid and any other detail that may be helpful. In the case of appliances and electronic, recording serial numbers is essential.
  • Get appraisals for big-budget items such as art, jewelry or collectibles. These items may have appreciated in value and might not be covered by your typical homeowners’ insurance policy.
  • Group clothing and smaller items into general categories. For example, 5 pairs of jeans or 20 wine glasses. It may be helpful to also provide a bulk estimate for certain items such as kitchen utensils or house tools.
  • If you have a storage facility or another residence, be sure to also include those items in your inventory list as well.
  • Stay motivated. While going through all of your belongings can seem like a momentous task, just do a little bit at a time and keep going. It’s better to have an incomplete inventory list than none at all.
  • Take photos and videos. If you forget anything or it’s taking some time to work through and catalog your belongings, having photos and videos of what you have can help you figure it out after a loss.
  • Make it a habit. Every time you make a significant new purchase or receive a generous gift, make sure to add all of the information to your inventory.
  • Back it up! While a physical copy is handy, make sure you have an electronic one on an external hard drive or loaded onto the cloud.

While there are many ways to create a home inventory list, do what works for you whether it’s a handwritten list or a file full of pictures. To make it easier, download a PDF version of our home inventory spreadsheet here or download our Excel spreadsheet.