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How Do I Take A Home Inventory And Why?

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If you ask any military family about the importance of a home inventory, you’ll hear more stories than you can imagine. And when you hear about fires, the theft of moving trucks full of household goods, and all furniture arriving broken, you’ll start to understand. 

Think of this, would you be able to remember everything you had in your house if it was suddenly gone? Probably not. This is precisely why a home inventory is so essential. It will seem like a giant task at first, but if you should ever need it, you’ll be glad you have it. 

It’s a simple if tedious process. Make a list of everything, including where you bought it and any other details. Be sure to write down serial numbers of major appliances. If you have any paperwork for it, keep that with the inventory or scan it into the cloud.

For clothing, books, or other items that would be far too tedious to list individually, list them in categories, such as the number of shoes you have, noting any that are especially valuable. 

    • Don't be put off: If you are just starting your household, then begin your inventory right away. It’s only going to get harder to start as you add more things. But even an incomplete list is better than none at all. Start with the most recent purchases and then add to it as you can.
    • Big ticket items: Valuable items like jewelry, artwork, and collectibles may have increased in value since you received them. Check on your coverage and talk with your AFI representative to see if they need to be additionally insured. 
    • Take pictures and video: Besides the list, you can take photos of rooms and valuable individual items. Put the information about the item as the file name and keep a corresponding list in a document. Walk throughout your house or apartment videotaping and describing the contents, preferably while electronics are working or running. Upload this to a safe place in the cloud.

Set a reminder in your calendar to update your home inventory each year. Perhaps when you do taxes or when you review your policies with your AFI representative annually.