When you move, keeping a running list of your belongings is a good idea. If you don’t have the proof, they will not reimburse you for personal property that has been damaged or stolen. Don’t make the process tedious or time-consuming. These tips will help you make a moving inventory in just six steps.
1. You Should take each room in your house into account.
Use one sheet of paper for each room. Begin at the top (attic or basement) and record everything before moving on to the next space. Don’t jump around!
- Begin with the most important items, such as furniture or appliances
- Next, move on to smaller items like end tables or lamps
- Take note of items hidden in drawers and shelves
You don’t need to list every item in a collection (e.g., each book by its name), but you should be specific about the most valuable items, such as antiques or artwork. Keep these items with you if you are uncomfortable with the movers touching them.
2. All details regarding your belongings should be documented
Include several columns in your written inventory, such as:
- Current condition
- Market value
- Make, model, serial number
- You still have the receipt and warranty paperwork
- Where is it being moved from?
- Where would you like it to go in
3. You can use photographs to support your written inventory
As soon as you have inventory, take pictures of each item. Each item should be photographed separately using good lighting and a clear background. Photographic evidence is the best way for items to be proven in their condition before they are moved.
It is difficult to discredit visual evidence.
TIP: Take a photo of the receipt to prove that you did not open the box.
4. Double-check everything again to make sure nothing was missed
Once you have completed the entire house, go through each room again. It is possible that you didn’t include the necessary information about some items or neglected to list an item altogether. It would be best to verify that any new furniture or appliances are included in your itemized listing.
After double-checking, ask another person to look at your household inventory. It’s a good idea to have another set of eyes review the document to ensure it’s clear and all belongings have been added.
TIP: Save time by asking the person to double-check the work to have the inventory read aloud. As soon as they mention an item in the inventory, pack it.
5. Before the movers arrive, move everything to the top floor
Once you have created your moving inventory, you can move everything to the first floor. To minimize handling and reduce stair fees, group the items by room.
Before the movers arrive, disassemble tables and beds.
6. A digital backup of your inventory is a good idea.
It is best to keep your physical inventory backed up by recording it in a digital inventory. Digital moving inventories can be created and accessed more easily. You can use an app for your smartphone to create a Google Doc that you can share.
Other things to consider:
- Store your inventory in the cloud for quick access
- Send a copy of your inventory to your insurance company.
- Keep another copy of the inventory in a locked or secure location.
Why is it essential to have a moving inventory?
You may need to provide a list detailing the damaged and stolen items to prove your total loss. This depends on what homeowner’s insurance policy you have. You will also need to provide an estimate of the value of your goods and a list of household items.
- Insurance plans may pay for replacement costs for lost property. You may be eligible for payment based only on the current market value of the items, without taking into account the original cost.
- But, most insurance companies prefer the actual Cash Value (ACV), which is the item’s market value less depreciation.
Insurance policies for homeowners vary from one company to the next. Check what your policy covers and how it defines coverage terms.