How to Start Your Own Home Inventory

A home inventory is a complete listing of all your possessions. It is not difficult to create one, but it will take time. You should decide how detailed you want your particular inventory to be. If you are the "extra mile" kind of person, you should assemble a camcorder, digital camera, tripod and a laptop. Scroll down to step1 to find out how to do a home inventory.


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    Start with the camcorder, shoot the exterior of your house from every angle. Pay attention to decks, porches, pools and outbuildings like sheds and detached garages. Try to shot during the day utilizing natural sunlight. Avoid bright sunlight if possible. Try instead for an overcast day for best results.
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    Go indoors. Go from room to room, shooting each room from multiple angles. Pay attention to details such as woodwork, moldings and sills, floor and window treatments. Focus on furniture and open shelving. If the room has closets, bureaus, armoires or cabinets, open the doors and drawers and film the contents. While filming, provide narration.
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    Swap out your video camera for your digital camera and you are ready for a whole new level of detail. Start again with the outside of the house. Take multiple views of the outside of the house and grounds.
    • Pay special attention to the porches, decks, carports, sheds and garage. Photograph outdoor furniture, bicycles, and recreational vehicles. Note make, model, color, distinguishing marks and serial numbers. Tag each set of pictures with this information.
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    Take an inventory of your gardening tools. It is amazing how many you will find. Shovels, hoes, picks, axes, trowels, rakes. Just because they are covered with dirt does not mean they aren't valuable. Don't forget your lawn mowers, leaf blowers, grass trimmers and chain saws.
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    If you have tool boxes instead of shooting items in a set one at a time, lay out a sheet or drop cloth. Arrange all similar items so they can be seen at a glance. Socket sets, wrenches, screw drivers. List sizes, types, brands.
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    Move inside the house, tackle one room at a time. take nothing for granted. Assume nothing. Great Grandmas homemade quilt may be surprisingly valuable. The value of the family china, silver, and glassware may be greater than you think.
    • Make sure you record any makers marks or stamps. Your pictures will not establish the true value of your possessions. They are just the first step in establishing ownership. All items should be properly appraised by someone certified to do so.
    • As you go through your home, you may find that you have entire collections of items. Most people have entire libraries of Books, CD's, DVD's, Records, Audio and Video Tapes. photographing your collections may take time.
    • Be sure to have adequate light. Take a look at the lighting in your home. If you do not have good lighting, good lighting can be created. clear a dining room or kitchen table. drape it with a neutral colored cloth. drag the table to the window.
    • Keep the sheers in place but draw back the heavy drapes and begin shooting.
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    When you sure you have photographed everything that you want your insurance company to know about, download your photos to your computer. From there, you can download them to a CD.
    • If you want to really go the extra mile, import your photos into Word documents and record attributes and characteristics as well as serial numbers of your possessions. If you keep your receipts, they can be scanned into your PC and attached to the Word document as well.
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    Download your information to a CD and duplicate it several times.
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    Give copies to your lawyer and insurer. Be sure to keep one in your fireproof safe and another for your safety deposit box..

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Categories: Clutter Busting