inventory of an organized room in a home

What is a home inventory?

A home inventory is an up-to-date list of your possessions or belongings with an approximate financial value of those items.


Why it’s necessary

“Hope for the best, plan for the worst.” Lee Child

Most people have trouble remembering what they had for breakfast, so in a moment where you’ve lost everything, trying to remember each item in your home is darn near impossible. Below are a few examples of why it’s necessary to to have a home inventory.

  • Make the most of your homeowner’s or renters’ insurance because a home inventory will…
  • Help you purchase the right type of insurance and the right amount of insurance.
  • Help make filing a claim easier because you have receipts for all your items, including those long forgotten.
  • Tip: if making a claim- make a copy to give to your insurance, not the originals.
  • Maximize your claim because you know exactly what you’ve lost and how much they were worth.
  • Moving- If you’re moving and hiring movers, a home inventory can benefit the moving company because they’ll know how big a truck to quote and how many employees to use.

Remember to make copies of important documents like marriage certificates, etc., to know what you need to replace.


Your home inventory should include

  • A description of the item, including the make (brand name), model and serial number
  • *Receipt or purchase date and estimated financial value
  • How many

*Not everything needs to have a receipt- clothing can have a number (6 pairs of jeans etc.) BUT if it’s a designer item, you should keep the receipt


How do you create a home inventory?

  • Video- Use video to do a walk-through of your home and describe what you are looking at as you go.
  • Pictures- take photos of each room. Don’t forget to take photos of the contents of your drawers and cupboards.
  • Written list- It’s probably a good idea to have a written list to accompany the video or photos to make sure you have all the details you need. You would only need to note the bigger ticket items like TVs, Jewelry etc.
  • Home inventory apps- Use an app to store your inventory like Housebook Google Play or Sortly for iPhone.

Tip- store the list outside of your home or use a cloud service like dropbox or google drive to store your inventory.


Good Practice

It’s good practice to update your home inventory regularly or when you purchase something new.

A convenient time to do a home inventory is when you’re decluttering and organizing your home.

As you go from room to room, declutter and organize, write down, and take videos or pictures of your stuff.

Doing it this way benefits you in two ways:

  1. You’re not counting items that you’re discarding.
  2. You won’t miss taking inventory of anything because you’ll be touching everything in that room/house to declutter and organize it properly.

It’s also good practice to group items together to make your list more organized. For example, group together

  • Art
  • Clothes
  • Books
  • Furniture
  • electronics

Pay special attention to high-end or expensive pieces of clothing, jewelry, artwork, electronics, etc. They may need special insurance to be fully covered.


Although this may seem like a tedious task, remember that in a moment when you’ll be dealing with so much, this is just one way that can help you put your life back together.



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