In addition to organizing your space, there are a few things we recommend you have in place, such as a Will, Healthcare Proxy, and a fire & waterproof place to store important documents in case you need to access them quickly or bring them with you in the event of a disaster.
Another important recommendation is a Home Inventory. Some of you may already have this in place and taken care of for your insurance company, but just in case you don’t, here’s some useful tips to keep in mind:
- Find out from your home owner/renter’s insurance company what kind of information you need to have, and how often you need to update it.
- You can take pictures of the items and create descriptions electronically, and keep it all together in a folder on your computer. Take pictures of the serial numbers on electronics as well. Be sure to have it backed up and stored on the cloud or an external hard drive that is kept offsite in case your computer crashes or in case of disaster like fire or flooding, etc. If you have a safe deposit box, it’s also a good idea to keep another copy there.
- You can take a video of your items (don’t forget to say the name/date/location) and narrate the descriptions and/or create descriptions electronically. If your video camera has the ability to date stamp, make sure it is set. Again, be sure to have an offsite backup copy. If you are familiar with and have a YouTube account or another video account like Vimeo, you can also store them there. Just remember to mark them as Private.
- You may want to scan receipts for larger ticket items and keep those along with the pictures or video; check with your insurance company to see what would be required in case of a claim.
- Have a written checklist. There are some checklists that can help guide you, or your insurance company may have their own form to use.
- Home inventory software options can also be useful,depending on how much you want to spend and how important the inventory is to you. Many of these have places to add pictures and/or video, descriptions and scanned receipts, such as Homezada. Homezada also has a useful home maintenance calendar and reminder feature. You can also find some free such as the one from the Insurance Information Institute, Know your Stuff which allows you to export your home inventory so you can keep a copy off site or use if you need to file a claim.
Keep in mind that large ticket items such as jewelry and art may need to be assessed separately for value/insurance coverage and re-assessed every few years.
Hopefully you will never need to have a reason to file a claim for your possessions, but if you do, you will be glad you have the information handy in the event that something unforeseen does happen.
Header Image: Mike Birdy
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