How to Create a Home Inventory

If you lost your belongings in a fire or burglary, would you know where to begin putting your life back together? A home inventory is a foolproof way to ensure you’re protected when disaster strikes.

Why You Should Create a Home Inventory?

If your belongings were lost in a fire or even stolen, a home inventory can help you figure out immediately what to replace. More importantly, it can help you obtain the funds you need to replace those items via your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. Typically, after a disaster, insurance companies ask for a list of everything that was lost. This can be hard to produce during an emotional and difficult recovery time. A home inventory makes this process a lot easier, saving you time and ensuring a smoother recovery process.

How to Create a Home Inventory?

A home inventory is simply a list of everything in your home, how much each item costs and when you bought it. What’s the best way to create a home inventory?

  • Compile a photo or video inventory.
    Take photos or video footage of every room from different angles, opening cabinets and closet doors to ensure thorough coverage. (Don’t forget these 5 essential home inventory items.)
  • Make a list.
    In addition to your photo/video footage, write down all of your valuables, room by room. What’s the easiest way to create a home inventory list? There are apps designed to help you do this, or you can use a spreadsheet or a pad of paper. Just be sure to make extra copies, storing one off-site.

Home Inventory Resources

If you’re new to creating/keeping a home inventory, there are many FREE resources to help guide you.

  • Online home inventory resources:
    • FDFS Homeowner’s Insurance Toolkit
      An expansive 32-page toolkit, including a checklist and essential information for navigating insurance coverage parameters and legalese.
    • Real Simple Home Inventory Worksheet
      A ‘Real Simple’ 8-page guide featuring room-by-room fill-in-the-blank charts for common inventory items.
    • Take a Home Inventory Printable
      This 5-page PDF, designed for inventory/moving, is the same one found on other major insurer websites.
  • Software
    • Know Your Stuff (III Inventory)
    • Web-based and accessible from any computer, including free, secure, off-site cloud storage.
    • Home Inventory Spreadsheet
      Similar to Excel, this spreadsheet organizes possessions by room, with easy-to-use, pre-formatted columns, and a field for the file name of item photos.
    • Neon Sandbox
      Tracks item information, offering the unique capacity to add unlimited photos and documents (receipts, appraisals) for each item.
  • Mobile Apps
    • iOS
      • III Inventory
      • III Inventory by the Insurance Information Institute is the same as the “Know Your Stuff” online app. Store your home inventory on the secure, password-protected online server.
      • Belongings Home Inventory App with Barcode Scanner
        Scan items quickly, syncing with the “Belongings” online app for automatic backup, or exporting to Excel, PDF, or HTML.
    • Android
      • Encircle Home Inventory
        Take inventory pictures by room, syncing with the online app for off-site backup. Enter model/serial to check the value of assets compared to your current insurance coverage. 
      • Magic Home Inventory
        Sort your home inventory into 15 categories, taking advantage of unique features such as sunburst chart and advanced search options.

Keep It Current

Home inventory is not a ‘once and one’ endeavor. Don’t forget to update your home inventory list at least once a year. You never know when disaster may strike.

Struggling to pick up the pieces? Rainbow International® can help. Contact us today.