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A Great Way to Spend a Rainy Day: Conducting A Household Inventory

Conducting a household inventory is a great (and productive) way to spend a rainy day. Find out how with this special post by US Inspect employee, Chrissy Doremus.

It is going to rain here in New Jersey all weekend. It's dreary and it's cold. But it got me thinking about a post from a while back called 10 Things to Do When It's Raining. One of the items on the list is conducting a household inventory, which I think is a particularly great idea for all homeowners, no matter what the weather.

UmbrellaIn the event of a fire or other disaster, an itemized list of your valuable belongings will be vital. According to the Insurance Information Institute, having an up-to-date home inventory will help you:

  • Purchase enough insurance to replace the things you own.
  • Get your insurance claims settled faster.
  • Substantiate losses for your income tax return.

So what are the steps? The Insurance Information Institute has the following tips. You can visit their site here for complete information.

  1. Decide on an inventory method that works best for you: room by room, sorting by category (like electronics, appliances, toys), or perhaps listing items from most expensive to least expensive.
  2. Decide on your medium. You can write your list in a notebook, on the computer, take pictures, or even create a video. The Insurance Information Institute offers a basic free computer inventory software or you can something like Quidaty.com--they store all your information on their protected server and will even store other important documents, passwords, or contact information for you all in the same place.
  3. Take inventory. Use the helpful lists from the Insurance Information Institute or Quidaty to help create your list and get started today. Walk through your home and using whatever method you choose, inventory everything.
  4. List all the details you can. Keep receipts when they are available and note the cost for the item, when you bought it and other information about the make and model.
  5. Keep your list updated. Remember to keep adding to your list as you purchase new items. And remember that larger items, jewelry etc. may need to be insured separately, so talk to your insurance company.

So if it's rainy by you this weekend too (or even if it's not) think about a home inventory. Once it's created, maintain it regularly. It takes a little bit of time up front, but the software packages help a lot; and in the long-run, if ever you need to access your inventory list, you'll be very happy that you took the time to create one.