Organizing a Home Inventory

 

Organizing a home inventory

 

 

Watching all the devastation on television, we are reminded of the necessity of organizing a home inventory.  Even though September is annual National Preparedness Month, organizing a home inventory may be the last thing we do as homeowners.  Those of us who recently suffered flooding may be required to have a home inventory for insurance and tax purposes now.  This can be a time consuming and difficult. Here’s how organizing your home inventory makes a difference for you.

 

Check your insurance coverage first

There are different options for home insurance coverage.  Check your policy for coverage of your home, especially to determine what is covered and how it is covered.  Your policy could be cash value where you begin with receiving cash/check for the existing value of your items.  Or your policy could be replacement value, where you receive a check to replace the items at the current cost. Check to be sure what type of policy you have.  Check coverage on big ticket items, such as jewelry, art and collectibles which may have increased in value and require additional coverage from your standard homeowners insurance policy.

 

Inventory of your home and contents

An inventory, or list, of all the items in your home is required to be compensated.  There are several ways to do this.  Create a video of your home and it’s contents, talking through the names and details of the items.  Copy the video and place one at your house and another someone else’s house. Keep a file folder for receipts of major purchases. (My clients have these separated by electronics, furniture, appliances, and jewelry. Be sure these have a date to help you with cash value. Your receipts can be digitally as well. You can use an online inventory called HomeZada.  HomeZada helps you manage the process of creating the inventory by room.

 

Here’s what to be sure to include:

  • Description of the item ( Star Furniture love seat sofa or Pottery Barn sofa)
  • Where you purchased item (Macy’s, Best Buy)
  • Original price (if you have the receipt you can scan and attach it)
  • Make and model, or serial number if available
  • Purchase date (helps with depreciation, by year)
  • Estimated value

 

Organizing your vital documents

This might be where you are most organized!  Many of us have a safe or a waterproof grab and go box. Here’s a list of what should be a part of your vital documents. You can also keep these documents digitally on Evernote or save them on a flash or external hard drive in your waterproof box or safe. Be sure to use strong password for your Evernote account.

 

In Case of Loss

Through the devastation of the flood, I have learned of several important parts of inventories.  Not only is it important to have an inventory and keep it up to date, it’s also important to have the video or pictures of what your home looked like before. That is needed for your insurance company. If possible, keep two copies of your photos and inventory with one stored offsite.

 

Start your home inventory now

  • Start with one room, then move around your home adding rooms.
  • Start with recent purchases, then work backwards
  • Start with the most expensive or big ticket items first.
  • Count clothing by category and by designer.  Make note of any items that are especially valuable.
  • Store sales receipts, purchase contracts, and appraisals in a file or digitally.
  • Add to your inventory as new items are purchased.

I am here to help with creating and organizing your home inventory! Get started in a small way, organizing your receipts or taking a video, to help you feel secure in case of emergency.

 

 

Sharpen Your Saw Productivity

sharpen the saw aka be more productive

 

Have you heard the Abraham Lincoln’s tale of the woodcutter and his axe?  It’s the story of how important keeping your skills, tools, and technology current. It’s a good reminder for us all that to do our best work and be productive, we need to keep ourselves sharp.  What’s best to keep sharp?

Organize your desk top and minimize clutter

The slide into a cluttered space happens every day as we work.  Paper piles up on our desk.  An uncluttered space helps you stay on track and manage your time effectively. When you are organized, you can find what you need quickly and save time.  You are undistracted and more focused on your work.  Solutions to create a more organized space include having only specific items out on your desk that you use daily, minimizing desk top clutter. You can set up a file drawer that contains “drop slots” for big picture weekly priority actions such as finances, clients, and vendors at work or bills, family and receipts for home. It’s most important to use a planner that capture your goals, projects, and tasks written in yearly, quarterly, weekly and daily. Set up a little time daily, just 15 minutes, to keep your desk clear and ready to use.

 

Learn new technology

Technology changes all the time. There are new tools to use and our time tested tools upgrade. It takes time to learn new technology and it can be a struggle for some of us. There’s value in researching new technology that can improve your efficiency and effectiveness. Look for tech gurus who help you learn what  you need and how to use it. It’s best to learn the tool before you need it in order to save time at a crucial project point.

 

Jump start your routines

Routines are smooth running processes that help us be productive.  When put in place, all the nitty gritty gets completed.  Each week, host your own one hour productivity meeting. It’s you, your calendar, your lists, and a beverage.  During your one hour productivity meeting, you review your lists, review your goals, assign tasks, break down projects into manageable tasks, and calendar all your activities.  In one well timed hour you are in control of your plans.  What about distractions and other interruptions? Leave time in your plan for these with some flexibility. Overscheduling can lead to discouraging results.  Each day, write down your 3 Most Important Tasks (MITs). First off, know what is most important with ongoing effort, not just an approaching deadline. Stretch out your efforts over several days to achieve results you are proud to own.  As you practice with MITs and your productivity meeting, your weeks will run more smoothly.

 

Faithfully check, add to and review your planner

Everyone needs a planner.  You wrote it all down in your planner or on your digital calendar, and then what happened? It’s not magic to think you will remember it all.  Set your planner so you can see it daily and add audio reminders if needed. Your productivity road map is only as good as your use of it.  Take a minute when you think of a task or project to record it right away.

 

BONUS: Sharpening your saw depends on your self care

How we approach our efforts depends in part on how we take care of ourselves. The best first step to sharpening your saw is a night’s rest, nutrition and exercise. Your brain requires sleep, protein and exercise.  Insuring that you are getting sleep, eating properly and taking a walk are the best ways to be sure you are using all your tools, tips and tricks.  The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that healthy adults get a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night, with an overall range of between seven to eight hours. Protein is a main factor for your brain. Exercise increases productivity too.   If you can start with just one of these, start with getting 7 hours of sleep a night.  Your brain and body will be refreshed and ready to work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAPO Cares! NAPO

 

 

National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals

 

NAPO, the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals, supports a cause each year. This year our efforts are focused on hurricane relief.  Our members have compiled a consolidated list of hurricane resources for your donations.  Many of us in the greater Houston area have already been giving our time and energy to individuals and groups locally. The greatest need is financial donations to help rebuilt homes and businesses.  #NAPOCares for our communities! 

 

TEXAS:

Bayou City Fellowship
www.bayoucityfellowship.com

Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston
http://www.bgcgh.org

Carter BloodCare (covers hospitals in North, Central and East Texas)
http://www.carterbloodcare.org

Diocese of Galveston-Houston
http://www.svdphouston.org/services/disaster-relief

Feeding Texas
www.feedingtexas.org

Food Bank of Corpus Christi

Houston Community Tool Bank

Houston Food Bank
www.houstonfoodbank.com

Houston Humane Society
http://www.houstonhumane.org/

Houston NW Church
https://pushpay.com/p/hnwhouston?src=hpp (select Harvey Flood Relief)

Houston SPCA
http://www.houstonspca.org/

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund (Greater Houston Community Foundation)

Real Life Ministries
https://app.clovergive.com/f/f2?formid=71aec719-e0f7-476b-9c33-e902121ea159

San Antonio Human Society
https://sahumane.org/

Society of St. Vincent de Paul
http://www.svdphouston.org/services/disaster-relief

South Texas Blood & Tissue Center
https://southtexasblood.org/harvey

Texas Diaper Bank

The Dallas Mayors Relief Fund
https://www.dallasfoundation.org/donate.aspx?tp=1000&fn=mayor%27s%20disaster%20relief%20fund (select

United Way of Greater Houston Hurricane Fund
https://www.unitedwayhouston.org/flood/flood-donation

Windwood Presbyterian Church
https://windwood.wufoo.com/forms/windwoods-hurricane-relief-fund/

SOUTH FLORIDA

Florida Keys Emergency Relief Fund

Global Giving
https://www.globalgiving.org

Good Samaritan Foundation – local senior living community
https://www.good-sam.com/foundation/donate

Hurricane Irma Relief Fund – by GlobalGiving – Vetted

The Hurricane Irma Relief Fund for Immokalee and Southwest Florida Farmworker Communities
https://secure.actblue.com/donate/immokalee

Senior Connection Center – Your Aging & Disability Resource Center
https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/WestCentralFloridaAreaAgen/OnlineGiving.html

The Miami Foundation (has a list of organizations that are accepting donations)

 

PUERTO RICO

United for Puerto Rico

HOW TO AVOID BEING SCAMMED:

Before giving money to an organization, do your research. Charity Navigator, which identifies worthycharities, has a list of organizations responding after the storm.
The Internal Revenue Service has search tools that reveal whether an organization is eligible to receive tax deductible charitable contributions. If you suspect an organization or individual is engaging in fraud, you can report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud. For advice on avoiding fraudsters, read Charity Navigator’s post on how to protect yourself, and check out these tips from the Federal Trade Commission. Be very cautious when donating funds. There are impostors seeking contributions to false disaster relief charities in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Learn how to spot and report scams here! The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends checking with the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster for a list of trusted disaster-relief organizations in Texas.