If you have a bunch of stuff, you need to take a home inventory so that you are prepared in the event of theft or loss. A home inventory is an easy way to identify anything that is missing and to provide police and insurance adjusters with the information they need to do their job.
Too often most homeowners don’t think to take an inventory of their belongings until it is too late. 5 years ago you would have had to spend an entire weekend writing down serial numbers and counting your socks, but thanks to your smartphone you can complete a home inventory in a few hours.
What is a Home Inventory?
A home inventory is a catalog of everything you own. This includes values, year purchased and quantities. You also catalog the serial numbers of any applicable electronics and other expensive items.
This will help you track down or account for possessions if something happens to them, like a crazy AIrBnb renter, theft or damage. You may also discover that you don’t have enough coverage.
Home Inventory Apps
There are many apps available for iPhone and Android to help you complete a home inventory, but here are two of the most promising.
Home Inventory – iPhone – $4.99
This app includes free online access to your home inventory, common fields such as make, model, serial number and more. You can also capture your items with the iPhone’s camera.
MyHome Pro: Home Inventory – Android – $3.99
The wizard will help you add items to your home inventory, and you can organize items by room. The app has a common item list to help reduce typing and supports a bar code scanner. You can include up to 10 pictures per item and create PDF reports for your records.
DIY Home Inventory
If you don’t want to use an app like those above, you can also use a free tool like Evernote. Use this State Farm Home Inventory Checklist to get started.
Take your smartphone with you from room to room and take pictures of each item and of the serial and model information so that you have easy access. You don’t have the same structure as a dedicated app, but you can create a note for each room and give them a common tag to keep them organized.