Are you familiar with a home inventory? Do you know why every home should have one? A home inventory is a way to capture detailed information about your possessions and life documents. The complexity of the inventory will depend on the needs of the homeowner. A very simple inventory could be done with paper and pencil and perhaps some video or pictures. The best kind of inventory, however, is digital and either saved on one’s computer or saved through a program that is cloud based and can virtually be accessed anywhere in the world.

So, why do you need a home inventory? A home inventory provides three key benefits to a homeowner. First, a home inventory is the answer to protecting your home and the contents of your home in the event of theft or a natural disaster. Every day we hear stories of individuals and families losing their home or the contents in the home due to fire, theft, flooding, and other natural disasters. In 2017 and 2018, the citizens of the United States have dealt with enormous loss due to hurricanes and wildfires. Despite living in Illinois, we are not immune to extreme weather conditions that could produce a total loss. If one has concerns about maintaining proper insurance and wants to avoid being underinsured, having a home inventory can provide a solution. For example, according to Homezada, there are over 1,000 house fires per day in the U.S. One way to protect against reimbursement risk is to have a home inventory. If one ever needs to file an insurance claim for damage to your property, this inventory will greatly reduce frustration and stress and speed up the process of getting one’s life back on track.

The second benefit of a home inventory is that the best home inventory will track home maintenance and remind the homeowner when specific repairs are necessary thus reducing the likelihood of breakage and damage to the home and its contents. Moreover, this should reduce the likelihood of experiencing more expensive repairs in the future. A home inventory can help you create a home that is healthy, safe, and running efficiently.

Finally, home inventories are helpful for individuals that are remodeling, moving, downsizing, or estate planning. Having all the information of a home inventory organized in one place will maximize the value of the home and differentiate the home from others on the market. It’s also a great way to track remodeling expenses and stay on budget!

Now that you can understand the value and the purpose of a home inventory, consider including the following items in your inventory:

  • Itemized list of contents of each room and exterior of home
  • Pictures and video
  • Warranties
  • Receipts
  • Manuals
  • Appraisals
  • Legacy documentation (see previous blog post on Legacy Organizing)
  • Insurance documentation
  • Updates/repair information

Your home is likely your biggest asset. While it may be an investment in your time to create an inventory, it’s quite easy to keep the inventory updated. Imagine the peace of mind knowing that all of this information is secure. September is Emergency Preparedness Month, so why not get started building and organizing your home inventory today?

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