The longer you live in a place, the more stuff you inevitably accumulate. And when it comes time to pack for a move, you’ll need to know what you have, so it doesn’t get lost during your relocation. That’s where a home inventory is incredibly helpful.
If you’re hiring professional movers and packers, an inventory is especially useful since you’ll need to sign off on the movers’ bill of lading when your belongings arrive at your new home. Once you verify everything is intact and onsite, only then should you sign on the dotted line.
How do you verify whether every last item made it? You reference your inventory. But how do you create that inventory without getting overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff you own? The team at Ace Moving & Warehousing shares helpful tips below.
What Is a Household Inventory?
A household inventory is exactly what it sounds like: an inventory of everything you have inside your home. It’s an easily scannable document that clearly lists what you own, so you have a quick point of reference if you need to file a moving insurance claim, figure out whether something got lost, or organize after your move.
But your inventory isn’t just a useful moving tool; it can also be supremely helpful in the event of a burglary or natural disaster that compromises your possessions. If you ever need to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance, a well-organized list of all your belongings will make it easier to document your claim and get the reimbursement you deserve.
What to Include on Your Home Inventory
Before we break down the inventory creation process, it’s important to note that you don’t need to list every last item you own. Of course, you certainly can if you want, but doing so may not be the best use of your time.
Tracking commodities (like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, etc.) usually isn’t necessary since you probably won’t seek reimbursement for those types of items if they get lost. But anything you’d be sad about losing should absolutely make it on your list. You’ll definitely want to include:
● All important documents
● Collectibles and keepsakes
To create your inventory, you can use an inventory app like Nest Egg, MyStuff Pro, Sortly, or Blue Plum to keep track of your stuff, or you can catalog your belongings in whatever way makes the most sense to you.
If you have a smartphone, be sure to keep it handy so you can take photos of items, serial numbers, etc. Visuals are excellent for documenting the condition of each item you own, and they also make the tracking process much faster and easier to organize.
Make Copies of Important Paper Documents
If you have critical documents that only exist in paper form, make sure you make electronic copies of them before you move. When you relocate, keep the originals with you since professional movers and packers prefer not to handle these items for liability reasons.
You can keep the copies you made with the rest of your belongings in the moving truck or in your personal vehicle, whichever you prefer. If you have a trusted friend or relative, consider leaving your copies in that person’s hands for temporary safekeeping.
Check out these other items your moving company typically won’t move. You’ll want to arrange alternate transportation for this stuff in advance!
Create a Room-by-Room Inventory
When you finish copying documents, start cataloging your belongings room by room. Before you start recording things, make sure you sort through your stuff and determine what you plan to pack and what you plan to donate or toss out. Inventorying items you won’t be bringing with you is nothing but a waste of time.
If you’re planning to use an app, it’ll have tons of useful features for documenting items and recording their condition. If you’re opting for the pen-paper-photos route, here are some tips for getting the job efficiently:
1. Structure your list. Create three columns on your sheet. Column one is for item name (and brand, if necessary), column two is for item condition, and column three is for estimated item value. Every room you inventory needs this list.
2. List anything you’d be sad to lose. Tackle one room at a time and make sure you list anything you can’t stand to lose. Even if it’s just a paperback book, list it. This process is time consuming, no doubt, but the more detailed you get, the better. Write down each item’s condition and estimated value along with any other identifying details.
3. Take photos. You can take photos of each and every item you list, or you can group items together and take larger photos you can zoom in on. If you prefer, take videos — whatever suits your organization style best.
4. Assign items to rooms. If you plan to place specific items in certain rooms in your new home, making a note on your list can be helpful. That way, when it comes time to organize at your new place, you’ll know exactly where everything should be.
5. Make a copy of the inventory. Make a digital or paper copy of your list so you can access the info even if you lose the original during your move. Consider giving a copy to a good friend or relative for safekeeping.
6. Review and update. As you acquire new stuff, make sure you add it to your inventory list. Even after your move is complete, that inventory can still serve a valuable purpose in the event of a natural disaster or household break-in, so keep it up to date!
Need a Reputable Moving Company in the Twin Cities?
When you need knowledgeable, highly trained, and experienced professional movers to handle your relocation, get in touch with our team at Ace Moving & Warehousing. Our professional movers and packers specialize in an extensive variety of moving services to ensure your belongings arrive safely and securely at your new home.
Ready to get started? Request a fast quote online or call our Minneapolis office at 763-755-2045. You can also send us a message for more information, and we’ll be in touch!