Your home is full of stuff – more stuff than you probably realize! From things that are inherently valuable, to things whose worth would be understood only by you, to things you may have forgotten you even had, so many things fill a house to make a home.

Taking inventory of all your possessions is a great way to keep track of everything you own and take better care of it. We’ll cover the benefits of making a home inventory as well as a few tips on how to make your own.


Why You Should Make a Home Inventory:


1. It’ll help you simplify your life.
Decluttering your living space can absolutely improve your life. Making a home inventory helps you get a better understanding for what you don’t really need. It forces you to analyze the things you’ve been holding on to for too long and gives you the chance to throw them out.

On the other hand, creating a home inventory also helps you see the things you genuinely do need. It’ll help you know what sort of things you ought to ask for this holiday season – or just give you a legitimate reason to shop!

2. It’ll help you be grateful for the things you have.
Taking inventory of all the material things you’ve been blessed with is a great exercise in gratitude. It’ll help you zero in on all the things you already have instead of just the things you wish you did. You’ll probably even rediscover some things you love that you’d forgotten about!

3. It’ll make moving a breeze
You’ll definitely be grateful you made a home inventory once it comes time to move. It’ll help you keep track of everything better during the moving process, especially if you count on movers. Plus, it makes for more organized packing and unpacking.

4. It’ll be a lifesaver in case of emergency
In the event of a fire, flood, or other disaster, would you be able to remember all of your possessions? Having an up-to-date inventory of your belongings will help make your insurance claim experience much more manageable. It’ll also help you verify losses for your income tax return.

Your home inventory can also help you know how much insurance coverage to purchase to make sure you’re adequately protected. Since your home is likely one of your largest investments (and houses your most valuable things), it’s important to make sure it’s protected if anything happens to it. Homeowners insurance covers damage to your home and belongings in it caused by most natural disasters, fire and theft.

Flood losses are not covered by homeowners insurance policies. Floods are the nation’s most common and expensive natural disaster and can happen anywhere – even in regions that aren’t prone to flooding. Consider protecting your possessions by purchasing flood insurance – it covers flood damage to your home and belongings. Email if you’d like to learn more about either policy.


How To Make a Home Inventory


Making a home inventory doesn’t have to be complicated – but it can be time-consuming. Give yourself a week or so to complete it and tackle one room at a time.

1. Make a spreadsheet
Create a basic home inventory spreadsheet. Divide it room by room, with columns for item description, quantity, model/serial number, date purchased, and approximate cost. It’s also helpful to include receipts for valuable items. Take your time filling it out room by room.

2. Take photographs
Take pictures of each item on your list and store them in a file with your spreadsheet. Include photographs of the exterior of your home, wide shots of each room, and close-up shots from multiple angles of valuable items. Take group shots of less valuable items.

3. Back it up
The very computer you use to store your home inventory could be what gets damaged or stolen. Back up electronic files online and store a printed copy somewhere outside your home.

4. Go through your list
Once you have everything catalogued, take some time to look through your list. Ask yourself how much of each item you really need and make a note of things you might want to consider throwing out. Then, tackle each room and choose things to get rid of.

Update your list once you’re done, and add to it with every future purchase you make. It’ll help you buy less and buy better.

It’s easy to get caught up in materialism during the holiday season. Taking inventory of your possessions will help you to be grateful for the things you already have and better understand what things might actually make your life even better. Plus, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind of being prepared in case of emergency.