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Taking a Home Inventory Before the Move

There are a number of important reasons for taking a home inventory of your possessions. You want to have an accurate record for insurance purposes in case of theft, a fire or other disaster strikes your home, resulting in losses. Completing a home inventory checklist is also one of the most thorough and efficient ways to catalog your belongings before a household move.

Whether you’re having the pros move you or are choosing the DIY option, a home inventory checklist is one of your best moving tools. Your home inventory will work nicely with a packing checklist, packing supplies list and other moving checklists or schedules you’ll use. By keeping on top of all your tasks with these useful tools, moving will feel more manageable and organized.

Room-by-Room
You can use your home inventory as a general reference, but it might make sense to break your inventory down by room. That way you’ll have mini-inventory checklists of the kitchen, bedrooms, etc., which also gives you a way to cross-check your inventory. Document all the items in each room, but you can use general categories like “bedding.” You may want to make a note of any high-value items and snap a photo if you don’t already have a record. Even better—make a video of each room!

Embrace Your Office-Supply Addiction
One of the best ways to implement an organizational system is by using color-coding. For office supply-store fans, this is your excuse! You can design your own system, such as assigning a color to each room. As you start packing, maintain the coding system by marking each packed box with the room’s color code.

If you’re a very visual learner, you might want to draw room layouts or mini floor plans as another way to inventory the room’s possessions. Buy an inexpensive tablet of graph paper if you want to get fancy and more detailed. Make copies of your home inventory checklists and layouts after you’ve completed them.

Delegate
You can still be captain of the moving ship, but enlist family members to take charge of doing inventories of their own rooms. Split up common areas like the family room—one person can catalog the media items like DVDs. Make sure each person has a copy of the main home inventory as a guide. Folders also help organize the process. Give each family member a color-coded folder to keep track of their work.

After the Move
When you’ve completed your move and begin unpacking, you’ll pat yourself on the back for taking the time to make your home inventory. Having that reference handy will make unpacking and settling into your new home much easier, less stressful and faster.