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Household Hints & HELP!

Household Inventory

submitted by Lorene Bartos, Extension Educator
This article appears in the May 29, 2005 Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper.

Do you know what’s in your house? Pick a room, can you name everything in it and what the replacement value is? If you were the victim of a natural disaster, such as tornado, flood, fire or robbery, would you be ready for an insurance adjuster? A home inventory is the best way to be ready.

A home inventory is not a difficult project, it just takes time. You need to inventory everything in each room — even the little “stuff” which may be missed the most. Don’t forget to inventory blankets, pillows, sheets, clothes and shoes, supplies and equipment we take for granted.

Make more than one copy of your home inventory and store copies in a place other than your home, such as a safety deposit box or with friends or families.

Start with one room at a time in your house and write down every item. There are many home inventory checklists and software programs available for your convenience, however, you don’t need them to do the job. Date all information, this will be helpful when replacing items. Taking colored photographs of items can be very helpful. Mark all photos with room, item and date. Digital cameras can make this an easy job and all the information can be stored on a disk. You can, also, video tape each room and its contents.

Keep the following information on items in each room of your house:

  • purchased price and date
  • replacement value
  • serial number
  • model & number
  • warranty (copies are OK)
  • colored pictures

Check your homeowners insurance policy to see what is covered and the replacement value. Visit with your insurance agent as to what needs to be updated on your policy. You may need to have extra rider insurance, for such things as flooding, jewelry or other valuables, etc.

When doing your inventory, don’t forget the garage, attic and other out buildings. Think about all the sports and lawn equipment. Remember the holiday, special occasion and seasonal decorations.

Take the time — inventory your possession. Make it a family project.

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