Are you Prepared for the Worst?

September is National Preparedness Month - a great reason to take home inventory.

September is National Preparedness Month – a great reason to take home inventory.

Did you know September is National Preparedness Month?

Military families are used to taking home inventory; they do so each time they PCS. Many who are smart about preparing for natural disasters and other emergencies know it’s wise to keep tabs on what is in the home.

Understanding what you have both inside and around your home will help you immeasurably when it comes time to report a claim should anything happen to your home. Check out our PCS Guide for tips about home inventory and follow these simple steps to get started on one of the most important things you’ll for for your home.

Creating a Home Inventory:

  1. Taking a video using your smart phone or any other recording device is simple and worth every minute of your time.¬† Use your video while describing the room and the room contents and move room by room through your home until you have a video of your entire home.¬† Record all electronic devices on and prove they’re in working order. Don’t forget to record the date of your inventory recording. You also may consider uploading a copy of the video to a hosted site or cloud-based site for safe storage outside your home (in case of loss). Having the details about your home at the tip of your finger can help you move through the process with your insurance carrier to secure your claim more efficiently.
  2. Another way to create a home inventory is to document all of your home’s fixed assets and its possessions both inside and out to understand the details of what you own.¬† This type of documentation can consist of photos, receipts, warranties, date of purchase, serial numbers and model numbers, special certificates and more.¬† You can once again use your recording device and also a scanner to create electronic documents, and an online home inventory software application to help you track the data.

Emergency preparation and preparing for a move are both great reasons for creating an inventory, however there are so many reasons why a home inventory can help you.

  • In case of a fire.¬† Knowing what you had will help you work more efficiently with your insurance company¬†and you do not have to rack you mind¬†trying to remember everything you had in your home.
    • In case of a disaster.¬† For the same reasons as the fire.¬† And you just suffered so much, do you really want to deal with details on home contents?
    • Traveling.¬† Knowing what you have and having it accessible via your mobile would be nice … you don’t have to worry about buying duplicate items. Further, when traveling you just might need that inventory of your suitcases just in case something gets lost.
    • Garage or yard sales. Understanding what you have will help you understand what you do not need anymore.
    • House guests. Tracking your belongs will protect you in case something happens to your belongings even with house guests.
    • Calculating net worth.¬† How to you know exactly what you are worth if you do not inventory your prized collectibles.
    • Determining if properly insured.¬† Most homeowners are not properly insured and approximately 60% of homeowners are actually under insured.
    • Insuring your collections or high dollar values. Getting these items with the proper coverage and documented is wise.
    • Combining households. You decide that you want to live with your partner or you are newly married.
    • Separating households. Sometimes people have to fly the nest or things do not work out.
    • Estate planning. Identifying what you have can help you plan for your future or those closest to you.
    • Budget planning.¬† Establishing a home inventory helps identify your needs and how to manage dollars effectively.
    • Multiple home management. Managing one home is tough, add others and you need to understand what is in which home.
    • Remodeling. An inventory is important for a remodel as you once that remodel is complete you may be calling your insurance agent for an updated insurance policy.
    • Roommates. Keeping track of each individuals possessions is¬†smart to do if¬†ever the roommate situation changes.
    • Storage units. Knowing what you have in your storage unit helps manage your money, your belongings and also helps with estate planning.
    • Vacation. Knowing what you have prior to vacation will help if you decide on a house exchange or someone burglars your home while you are away.
    • Debt consolidation. You need to understand your belongings in order to properly understand possible liquidation.
    • Caring for elderly parents home. Like caring for multiple homes, if you have the ability to care for your elderly parents home and understand their needs, this is possible through inventory and the right tools like HomeZada.
    • Pipe leakage. Knowing where you pipes are and how they are connected if you have this information can help should you have pipe leakage in your home.¬† You can control the maintenance and fix processes rather than tearing apart you home.
    • Robbery. Keeping account of your possessions will give you the ability to document your losses with your insurance agent.
    • Document copies or backups.¬† Keeping documents in a backup system, even an inventory system helps you understand details that might get destroyed in a house fire or disaster.
    • Learning how to take care of your home. Do you know the value of your home and how to maintain it.¬† By keeping an inventory, you can manage a maintenance plan for your items to maintain the overall value of your home.
    • Selling home. Selling your home often has people walking through your home to get a feel for whether they want to buy it.¬† Making sure you know everything about your home will help you communicate with the new potential owners.
    • Buying home. Knowing what you have and what you need for a new home is best done by tracking what you have prior to buying new items.
    • Run a business from you home.¬† If you run a business from your home, your probably have computers or machinery and equipment¬†that you need to¬†track that without can¬†affect your business and your livelihood.
    • Understanding value in and around house. Do you actually know what is in your home and the overall value?¬† Keeping a home inventory with receipts or estimates can help you understand the overall value of your possessions and fixed assets.
    • To get organized. Knowing what you have and the details surrounding your items can help you be organized if you are not already.
    • To purge. Do you have too many items in your home?¬† Do you just need to remove, donate or sell items.¬† Creating a home inventory will help you purge effectively.
    • To understand what you have. Did you ever go out to the store and you just had to have the beautiful bowl or great golf club, but you forgot that this exact item was gifted to you last year.¬† Know what you have and manage your funds more effectively.
    • Down -sizing.¬† Having a home inventory will help you remove items for you home that will just not fit in your new smaller home.
    • Growing family. Are you adding more to your family?¬† Then you might need more items for your little ones. With that you might even start thinking of your next slightly larger home.

Whatever your reason for creating a home inventory, it is simple and good practice to take a home inventory with updates annually to understand your home’s contents.  HomeZada can help with this process by also keeping your information away from your home safely and securely.

This blog post was adapted from a piece written by HomeZada.

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