No matter how big or small your home is, you probably have a variety of stuff, from food storage to your grandmother’s earrings. A home inventory list is a project that could take a few days, but will always pay off in the end.
Creating your home inventory
A home inventory list could be formatted in any variety of ways. You could make a hand-written list, a computerized spreadsheet or a photographic inventory. No matter how you decide to put together an inventory, you should separate it out in to at least three different categories: consumables (such as food or contact solution), valuables (such as electronics or jewelry) and everything else. You could organize the inventory room-by-room or category-by-category, whatever makes the most sense to you.
Inventory information to include
No matter how you organize your home inventory, each category needs slightly different information.
- Consumables: Because these are things that get used up, you will need to keep a rotating inventory of these items. You should include where you usually purchase the items and the date you last purchased them. This will help you keep track of how your inventory rotates and if you are keeping items around that you simply do not use.
- Valuables: These are often items that you will want to keep safe, and for good reason. Check with your home insurance provider; if you keep an inventory to the insurance company’s standards, it will be much easier to get them replaced or compensated for in the event of a disaster. If your home insurance does not have an inventory requirement, you should keep a photograph and ownership information for all valuables. Generally, anything more than $500 in value could be considered “valuable.”
- Everything Else: These are the items that do not necessarily command a high price, but are still useful to you. This inventory can function more as a “already have it” list, which can help keep you from purchasing something you have tucked away in storage or in your basement.
Using inventory to save cash
Having your inventory handy can save you money time and time again. An inventory can help you make smarter buying choices when you are going grocery shopping. A home inventory can also help reduce your home insurance cost because the insurance company can be provided with a list of exactly what it is insuring. Finally, a home inventory can help you pare down what you have or avoid duplications, which will provide you more space, which costs you less in the end.
[A home inventory can also tell you what you may need to purchase with a personal loan.]