Create or Update your Home Inventory and storage suggestions!
“Plan for the worst, Hope for the best”Unknown
Woke up at 4AM the other morning to yet another earthquake, the second in as many weeks. This is not unusual at all but it did prompt me to double check our renter’s insurance status and when the last time I updated our own home inventory files. It’s been a couple of years now.
Thankfully not much has changed and due to our repeated moves we don’t invest much in most of our possessions, just a few specific items that are important to us so the value overall hasn’t changed. My husband’s triathlon bicycle along with its upgrades is about 4 times as valuable as our little Japanese car!
With hurricane/drought/tornado/flood/wildfire season bearing down on us, it’s time to get your home inventory in order. I have thankfully, knock wood, have not needed to use our home inventory in the years I have kept one, but am glad I have one and keep it saved in the cloud. I have repeatedly heard disaster victims mention they escaped with only the clothes on their backs. Have no expectation you will be able to gather your computer or external hard drive where your home inventory or other important data might be stored.
The more important it is to you the higher the number of places that information should be stored; with trusted friends or family members, bank safety deposit box, and the cloud. Remember that nearby friends and family members may be in the same disaster as yourself.
Be sure of the value of your items, I had originally greatly underestimated the replacement value of our possessions by a LOT and would have been caught short if we had lost everything in a disaster. For our situation, each time we move is a chance we will never see our items again after the movers pack them up. Seeing huge shipping containers fall overboard into the ocean stops my heart as that could be someone’s worldly possessions disappearing in an instant.
Now that our spring cleaning is done, our home looks as best as it will until 5 minutes before any guests arrive for a visit. Let’s jump in and get our home inventory done or at least updated:
- How will you collect your Home Inventory information? The more detailed the better, but your time is valuable, also. Consider photographing items grouping them as like items. Photographing the serial numbers can reduce errors in the information if you only write it down. Video is also another way to record your items quickly. Write descriptions of most valuable items. Be sure to include upgrades made since the original purchase.
- Organize by the zone in your home – Separating the areas of your home into sub-folders will help make it easier to record new information as you go along. As I make new purchases, I scan the receipts or forward the email receipt directly to the zone folder where the item belongs. ie. The receipt for the new toolbox I purchased will be scanned and added to the Utility Room folder. If I am a bit behind on the photographing I at least have a copy of the receipt.
- Create/Update File – Choose where you want to store your Home Inventory information. Some examples include, but are not limited to the following: Google Docs, Evernote, Notion, USB/Portable Hard Drive, etc.
- Check what your insurance company requires – What data does your insurance company need for you to make claims? Serial Numbers? Receipts? Date of Purchase, Quantity, Colors and more.
- Store it with your insurance company, also.
- Go find a relaxing spot on a beach towel or a hammock and enjoy these bright, summer days, load up on Vitamin D.
I’m not gonna lie. I can spend about the first two days relaxing and napping in the warm sun thawing out from the cold winter before I start getting bored. I do need to be doing something. Usually I read a book using a reader app on my smartphone, but now is also the opportunity to dig out the clutter on our smartphones.
In about 2 weeks you can expect another message with a checklist of prompts to help you clean up your smartphone while you are enjoying the summer weather. So make your way through the Home Inventory checklist for more peace of mind the summer.
Digital Declutter CEO
Digital Declutter: The BIG Checklist to Obtain Digital Minimalism
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