Most of us don’t have and will never need a home inventory. I know, that’s a great way to get you interested in doing one. But the truth is that if you do encounter a disastrous situation where you need to know what you have and how to replace it, a home inventory will prove invaluable.
There are a lot of apps and software programs that you can buy to help you with taking a home inventory, but the truth is that you can do this with your own camera, computer, and scanner.
Start by setting up a spreadsheet with tabs for each room plus one separate tab for electronics. This will help you organize everything.
Next, pick a room and start. List each item in the spreadsheet. List the item’s name, brand, model number, serial number, and purchase price.
After you have the information for an item listed, scan in any manuals, warranties, receipts, and other paperwork into your computer. Save these scans in a file labeled with the item name.
The third step is to take a photograph of the item. If possible, take one of the face of the item and another of the items tag or sticker with model and serial number. Save these photos in the same file as the scans of documents related to the file.
The last step is to back up everything! Be sure that these files are on your computer and on another storage device. Use a flash drive that is with your emergency binder or go bag so that you can grab it and go in the event of a fire or disaster. For added security, consider using an online file storage system, like Dropbox, to keep the files accessible from any location. If you don’t have a Dropbox account and would like to start one, please contact me and I will send you the information. This is a free online storage and sharing system. You can pay for additional storage if needed, but I have found that the free storage is plenty for my needs.