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.