This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. All opinions are 100% mine.
Nationwide provided me with information regarding its In The Nation blog post.
One of my goals for this year is to get more organized and prepared for emergencies. One easy way to do that is to have a home inventory. I am embarrassed to say that we currently don’t have one. If there was a fire or theft, I doubt I could remember all of the items we have in our home and I know I don’t have a good list of serial numbers for electronics.
The whole process of making a home inventory seems overwhelming but in the article An Inventory of Your Life, they give easy steps to get you started and complete a home inventory.
I love their tip that you should consider making three copies of the inventory: one to keep at home; and one each for two trusted sources. This increases the chances that at least one record will be easily accessible when you need it. You should also make paper copies of documents such as warranties and receipts.
I am a huge fan of using Google docs to access items on the cloud and I found a home inventory template that makes it easy to get started. You do need a Google account though to use these templates. It is free though to set up and has some free cloud storage. You will want to make sure you have a hard copy you keep off site, as well, though.
You can also look into smartphone apps or websites like knowyourstuff.org, which are designed to take a home inventory, complete with photos and detailed descriptions. There is a “Know Your Stuff” smartphone app as well.
Once you have a way to record your information, you can just start going room by room to gather all the information you need. One great hint is to take several photos of each room, from different angles. A good way to go about this is to stand in the doorway and slowly rotate clockwise, taking overlapping frames that eventually take in the whole room.
The next step is to scan or copy receipts, appraisals and other documentation about each item. For electronics and appliances, you will want to make sure to include warranties, receipts, repair bills and serial numbers. You can keep this information in the cloud, on a thumb drive and have an off-site hard copy.
A good home inventory will include a detailed list of your belongings, including descriptions, photos or video, receipts, serial numbers, date of purchase, and the value. You will definitely want to inventory all big-ticket items this includes electronics and furniture. Don’t forget though to take inventory of smaller things that could need replacing in the event of a disaster and should include items like clothes and dishes.
You could complete a home inventory in just a few hours and provides you with a safety net in case your valuables are lost, stolen or damaged. Getting a home inventory complete is on my list of must-dos for this month. What about you? Do you have a home inventory? If you have completed one when was the last time it was updated? Once you get your inventory made you should add to it whenever you purchase new big-ticket items. My bet is most of us get busy and need to make this a priority. I hope that these tips are helpful for you when you make your home inventory list.