I’m not the most organized person in the world. I try really hard, but it just isn’t something that comes naturally to me.
However, since starting this blog, I’ve turned over a new leaf and am trying to overcome some of my natural laziness. One of the projects that I’ve been putting off is a home binder.
A home binder is a living document that has all of your home reference materials in one spot. I’m in love with this idea and am slowly putting mine together.
Watch for future posts on this process. Hopefully this will help you guys as much as it is helping me.
I decided to start with my home inventory checklist.
I thought it would be one of the easier areas to tackle. Honestly, it is a lot of work, but now that I’m on the home stretch, I’m so excited to see it coming into existence.
Having a home inventory list is critical in the case of fire, theft, water damage or other natural disasters. When a disaster strikes the last thing you want to be doing is trying to remember all of the valuables in your home.
Your home inventory list should include any valuable items that you would want replaced if they were stolen or damaged.
I actually didn’t think we had that much stuff until I started writing everything down. Which on a side note, we have way, way, way too much stuff.
I really need to keep up my attempts at following The Live Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Anyway, through trial and error I think I’ve found a pretty good home inventory method.
To do an accurate inventory of your home I recommend the following steps:
- Sign up for my email list to get a free copy of my Home Inventory Workbook. Print out the Household Inventory Worksheet based on the design of your home.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself
- Take one room a day (or even a week). Walk through the room and write down all of the items in the room. I personally didn’t worry about small items I’ve had for years with little value. My goal was to write down the major items in each room.
- I highly recommend taking pictures of each room as you do your home inventory. I put my pictures on a jump drive for easy review later.
- On a side note, some items you may want to list based on type.
- For example, I’ve got electronics spread throughout the house. I put all of my electronic items together rather than grouping them based on room.
- You may also have other random items.
- For example, don’t forget to record guns, valuable artwork, jewelry, and camera equipment.
- We have a room set aside for our outdoor activities. I did a completely separate sheet for all of our climbing, camping, scuba, boating, and canyoneering gear.
- There is a blank form at the end of the package that can be used for extra areas in your home.
- Don’t stress about missing information during your initial walk through, the important things is to get all of the valuable items written down.
- Once you have everything written down, it is time to do some research.
- I keep all of our manuals, warranty information and important receipts in a bankers box which has made this process relatively easy. You may want to consider doing the same.
- The important thing is to start filling in the missing information.
- I didn’t go crazy on this part. Most of our furniture is 8-10 years old. I put an estimated value and took pictures, but I’m not going to dig for receipts on older items.
- If you don’t have the missing information write in your best guess and move on.
- If you spend too much time trying to fill in blanks, you’ll loose momentum and never finish.
- The last sheet is for future purchases.
- I’m planning to print a copy and will leave it in my home office. I can add new purchases to the sheet and then periodically add the sheet to my existing list and start a new record.
- Once you have completed your inventory, I recommend scanning in all of the sheets and emailing them to yourself. You may want to do the same with the pictures you took.
- Put your hard copies in a safe place that is protected from natural disasters like a safe or a safety deposit box.
My goal is to never have to do this horrible chore again. The more organized I am on a going forward basis the easier this process will be.
I’ve been working on this project for 2 weeks and I’m not even half way done. It is going to take a lot of time to inventory our whole house. Of course I’m also using this as an excuse to do a bit of spring cleaning/decluttering at the same time.
On a side note, I know that not everyone wants to do this manually. I did a bit of research and there a multiple apps that will help you organize your home inventory:
- Home Contents – Easy Home Inventory – This is the one that I’m currently experimenting with. So far it is really easy to use. I love the fact that when I’m done I can generate a PDF report.
- MyStuff2 Pro – Home Inventory and Database – I haven’t tried this one yet, but it is has a 4 star rating with 138 ratings, so I’m going to assume it is a pretty decent option.
Good luck with your inventory! Please comment below if you have any additional helpful tips on completing this project. More importantly share if you have a friend who needs a bit of help getting organized.