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Home Inventory Suggestions

Download Home Inventory Worksheet (Excel)

Keeping a home inventory is an important exercise that aids you in three ways:

  • It helps you establish as precisely as possible the replacement cost of your possessions so that you can determine if your insurance protection is adequate.
  • It substantiates ownership, which can be useful in the event you have a loss covered by insurance.
  • A complete inventory can help you avoid overlooking items for which you should be compensated in the event of a covered loss.

A simple way to do an inventoryis to take a video or photos of your possessions. The easiest way to do this is to go room by room. Be sure to capture the make, model and serial number of your property. Once you have completed the video or photo record you should store the images away from your home. A safe deposit box or a relatives home are alternatives.


Here are some tips to help you make the inventory quick and easy:

  • Go room by room when doing your inventory. This is an easy way to ensure you don't leave out some items.
  • Start with the five most expensive items in the room. Work your way to the next five and then the next. Within a very short time you will have documented the lion's share of value in the room. The Know Now Knowhow worksheet has the items that are typically the most expensive in each room displayed at the top of the item listing for each room to help you get started.
  • Group like items, such as CDs and DVDs, together. Start by counting the number you have and estimating a cost per item. You can add titles and other information as a second step.
  • Don't forget items you have tucked away under beds, in closets or stored in attics. Attics, basements and similar storage areas frequently contain high concentrations of valuable possessions. Similarly for items tucked in the back of closets.
  • Don't overlook things you see everyday but may take for granted, like pictures or paintings on the wall.
  • Current replacement cost may be quite different from what you originally paid for an item. If a lot of time has elapsed since you bought something the price may have changed. You may have bought something on sale or at an outlet. If you had to replace possessions suddenly you would not have the luxury of seeking out bargain prices.

Download Home Inventory Worksheet (Excel)

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