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Household Inventory

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emergencyPrint available at Esty shop Whisker Prints.

Quick.

Name every DVD or CD in your collection.

What brand of underwear do you have?

How many of each color?

How old are they?

Can’t answer all of that?

Then welcome to the club – most people can’t.  Yet, if your house is robbed or you are in a natural disaster, you WILL need to know this!

The disaster is the first of many insults and traumas  if you ever get to go through something like this.  After the disaster the turmoil will largely be a result of what you have done to prepare before hand.  As in – do you have insurance?  Do you have enough?  Do you have a list of EVERYTHING that you own?  Do you know what your individual insurance agency requires if something happens?

LIST EVERYTHING YOU OWN.  Why?  Because in the case of massive disaster, you get money not just for the TV but for ALL of your stuff.  It’s called contents insurance (renters insurance is the same if you don’t own your house) and is generally a total value, not individual (though this varies by provider – check your policy for details).  After a disaster, you will have to list ALL of your stuff and then will be given a DEPRECIATED value of your posessions.  So while your undies and ketchup in the fridge may not matter much, they add up fast and add to the total value of your contents.   Including a general list of what you keep in your pantry for food.  (And the freezer – think of the value of all of the meat and frozen fruit!)  If you don’t have enough on your itemized list to get ALL of your contents money – you just won’t get it.  Some insurers will only give you 25% of your total content value if you don’t itemize (I believe State Farm is like this among others) – so you want a total list.   You will NEED all of the money you can legally get from the insurance that you’ve paid for for years because it will take more money than you ever expected to replace all of those little things.  And getting back to normal is worth making this list NOW.

Also, many insurers will not accept pictures and serial numbers as proof of ownership anymore.  You will need a copy of the receipt!  And be careful – receipts fade over time so either scan it or take a picture of the receipt and add that to your database in your inventory.

We never think that it will happen to us.  And I don’t know the statistics (but would love to find out) but if you figure everyone involved in Hurricanes Sandy, Katrina, Rita, Ike… the wildfires like Bastrop of 2011, Colorado 2012… Just because the odds are 1 in 100 (or whatever it really is)

SOMEONE HAS TO BE THE ONE!!!!!

It could be you.  It was me.  It was nearly 1700 homes in my town.

Be prepared.

And the folks in Colorado learned this lesson last year, as is reported in the Denver Times.  Good information on why and how to make an inventory.

Overwhelmed with the idea of making a list of all of your stuff?  You’re not alone.  I still don’t have a complete list.  Me.  The one who lost it all.

http://blogs.kxan.com/2013/07/24/insurance-information-institute-info/

But, on the local news today the president from the Insurance Information Institute was on the news.  They have apps for apple and android to help you to make the list.  I haven’t tried it yet but you’d better believe it that I’m going to look into it. (And the reviews are only mediocre… so I won’t be using this app.)

http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0100-consumers/0060-information-guides/0040-residential/upload/HomeInventoryCombined2008.pdf

Want to go old school and make a paper list?  The California Department of Insurance has a nice PDF file that you can print off, fill in info and tape in pictures.

However, at least in our fire, fire safes didn’t actually protect anything from the fire – so I would ignore their advice on using those.   Best bet?  Use a safe deposit box at a bank.  Even if you don’t have the key to get in to it, the $150 fee to drill the lock out is cheaper than what you’ll loose if you don’t have your list.

Update

After looking at MANY programs and organizing systems, I have finally found the method that I’m going to use. 

http://insurance.lovetoknow.com/Home_Inventory_Forms

This has PDF forms that are editable and list major items per room – plus a blank form that you can use for your special stuff that isn’t included on their pre-made forms.  I am planning on going through and filling this in and also taking pictures of all of the stuff, including clothes (adds up fast!) – then, saving the pictures in folders organized by room.  It’s not quite as organized as I would like it with the picture next to the item description, but it’s the best I have found so far.  And it is FREE.  And it is on my computer and not out there in the cloud.  Once I am done with this huge project, I am backing this up to a jump disk and having my husband keep it in his office at work.  And as things go into the house or out of the house, I will edit the list, too.

Issues involve baby clothes – they grow out of them so fast!  And fabric.  Ack – how do I inventory that?  And yards of fabric add up fast as do their prices!

This will not be a quick project but it is one that must be done.

Whatever you do – start on the list.

Because I know that lightening does strike in the same place twice.  That it can happen to me again.  And this time, I will be better prepared.

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One response »

  1. Thanks for sharing, indeed, those process food are damanging our health.Im a CCF lover, wish to make CCF myself long long time ag.oe.he.e. Have to dig out sometime to experiment on it.

    Reply

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