There are many reasons why someone would want to create a home inventory. You can read more about that in one of my past blog posts, ‘Why Create a Home Inventory?’.
There are many resources on the internet to guide you through the process of creating a home inventory. With the creation of the smart phone, so many people and companies have developed apps for just about anything you can think of. With that said, go to your app store and search on home inventory and you will find a lot of them, free and paid. The free apps have limitations that may not be all inclusive. The paid apps have many more features and if you have multiple properties to document, you may consider paying for one.
When I decided to work on documenting the contents of my home, I considered using an app, so I checked into a couple of them. It’s certainly easier to do it that way. The main reason I decided not to go the app route, is because I didn’t really want it stored on my phone. My preference is to create and organize folders on my pc.
This article explains how I used my phone and my computer to create a simple inventory of the contents of my home. Before I get into it, I want to disclose that it’s not finished, it’s a work in progress. Mine may not have the level of detail that the apps have, but it will be helpful in the event I ever need it. The steps are shown below.
- Take Photos
Use your phone to take photos of each room or space in your home and your yards. All items you have in or outside of your home is considered contents. Open closets, drawers, cabinets and sheds, so that the contents are visible. Taking a video works well too. That way you can narrate as you walk through your spaces to provide details of specific pieces.
- Create Folders
Create a folder on your pc and name it the current year and Home Inventory, ie., 20XX Home Inventory. Inside this main folder, create a folder for each room or space; Master Bedroom, Living Room, Garage, etc.
Inside each room folder, create a folder for photos, receipts, and additional info. Store the info for these categories in their respective folders. Take photos of everything and store it digitally, including receipts, warranties, user’s manuals, etc. The level of detail you put into this project is up to you. The more details you have, the easier it will be if you need to determine the value of the contents of your home.
- Download Photos
Now that you have photos taken, and your folders created and organized, download the photos to their respective folders. This step includes photos of the rooms, receipts, warranties and other pertinent info for the items in each area of your home.
Now that you have your home inventory completed, or at least started, you need to consider backing up this info on a regular basis. After all that work, you certainly don’t want to lose it if your computer crashes. There are various options to explore in terms of backing up your data. Many are using an online storage option in the cloud as a means of backup. There are also external hard drives & flash drives that are very easy to use. Many people use multiple options to back up their data, better to be safe than sorry!
As with everything in life, things change. When your situation changes, you will need to update your home inventory. Things break or wear out and you get new things, you may remodel a room, or someone may move out. At those times, go into your files and make the required changes. Take new photos and delete old info to keep your contents current. Also remember to change the year on the main folder so you know it’s current.