By RENAISSANCE ALLIANCE
Pop quiz ̵
- What are the brands and years of your large kitchen appliances?
- How many pairs of trousers do you own? Jackets? Shoes? Boots?
- In what year did you buy your mattress and bed frame and what brand is it?
- Name all the power tools you own. List the contents of your toolbox?
- What brand of cutlery and cutlery do you own and when did you buy it?
- List all your AV equipment, make, brand and the year you bought it.  Write down everything in your living room. Include what's in the drawers and closets.
It's not that easy to remember that stuff, is it?
It would be even more difficult if you tried to recall all your belongings immediately after your house was destroyed in a fire or torn down in a hurricane. This is why it is important to have a home inventory. If you are under the terrible stress of recovering from a disaster or even a burglary, you do not need the extra burden of trying to remember all the possessions you have lost so that you can get compensation properly from your insurance company. A good home inventory will help you document your losses and make it easier to make an application and have it processed.
You can record your "stuff" in a notebook (old-fashioned style), but phones and computers have really simplified the process. A simple spreadsheet does the trick, or uses the phone to take room for room videos and document with photos. Or download an app for inventory. Just make sure you have several copies, that you store your stock in a safe and accessible place and that you keep it updated. Even if you make a handwritten version, you can scan it and store it online in cloud storage.
If you have never done a home inventory, it can be a daunting job, but there are tools that can help you. And in the future, it will be much easier if you have a habit of taking pictures of new purchases and saving receipts. Log serial numbers, when available.
Consumer Reports offers advice on how to inventory your home for an insurance adjuster – including this short video:
Here's more advice on home inventory from people who should know: insurance companies.
If you're interested in an app to help you create a home inventory, here are some top choice reviews: