Tips on preparing a home inventory before you move

There are multiple benefits to preparing a home inventory before you move. Prepare a home inventoryIt serves as a checklist to ensure you’ve received all your belongings – in proper condition – upon arrival. You know exactly what you had at origin and what you should have at destination. It can also nudge you to check your homeowners’ insurance to ensure you still have appropriate coverage for your belongings.

Creating a proper home inventory requires a bit more effort than simply walking around your house with a pen and paper. You’ll want to document exactly what you own, its approximate value and where it goes. You may also want to record the condition of items that have existing damage or that need special care.

Get started

Before you begin, purge any items that won’t be moving with you. You can create a pen-and-paper inventory as you walk through each room or you might prefer an electronic inventory, using either an Excel template or home inventory software. Take pictures or videos of your valuables, fragile items and electronics. Scan or photograph important receipts, too. Store your files and receipts with the home inventory so everything’s in one place for easy retrieval.

Create your list

Perform your inventory in an orderly fashion, walking through each room and each level. Make sure your list is neat and clear.

  1. First, copy important documents and store them separately from your originals to keep them safe in case the originals are lost or damaged. Consider backing up your electronic files onto an external hard drive or the cloud.
  2. Photograph or videotape your valuables (if desired).
  3. List your items. At the very least, your inventory list should have the date and the following columns:
    • Item
    • Value
    • Room
  4. Document the value of your items (an estimate, the actual price or the appraisal value). If you need to make a claim to your home insurance company or to your movers, you’ll know the value of each item.
  5. Noting the room helps you place the items in your new home more easily.
  6. Cover one room at a time so your list is organized and clear. Open drawers and cabinets. One-room-at-a-time is also a good way to pack when you’re ready.
  7. Open jewelry boxes, toolboxes and other cases/plastic storage bins to record everything valuable inside.
  8. Include any large appliances on your inventory list and note the make, model and serial number.

Securing your Inventory list

Make several copies immediately upon completion. Store the copies in different places for easy reference as needed. Give a copy to a relative or friend in case your copy is lost during the move or damaged in case of flood or fire in your home. Another good option is to store your home inventory in your safe deposit box. When you move, take the packing list in your hand luggage so that you’ll have it available when you’re ready to unpack in your new home.

Your home inventory will be useful in the unlikely event that there are lost or damaged items. Crown Relocations is proud to have one of the highest-rated records for claim-free relocations in the industry. Our CrownCare Protection Programs provide complete and comprehensive coverage of your belongings so you can enjoy peace of mind.

Barbara Lindenberg
General Manager, Dallas

Barbara has lived in Dallas since 1978. She joined Crown Relocations in 1985 and is currently the General Manager for the Dallas branch office.