How To Make A Home Inventory

An Inventory That Can Expedite Insurance Claims


Imagine needing a list of every valuable possession in your home or apartment, along with the item’s worth, after an unexpected disaster occurs — such as a house fire, robbery, or flood. The task may seem impossible, which is why we always recommend having a home inventory prepared in advance. To help with this process, Gaudette Insurance has put together the following guide and insights for creating a comprehensive home inventory.


Why do I need an inventory of every item I have in my home?


A home inventory is a great way to help make home insurance or renters insurance coverage decisions. The list will also be necessary if an unexpected incident occurs, such as theft, damage or loss. This record of your valuable assets will not only help you when creating a settlement of a covered loss or claim, but may also assist verifying tax-deductible property loss.


How do I create a home inventory?


You know why you need an inventory, but now it’s time to make one. The first step is to decide what type of inventory you would like to create. A home inventory can be a simple list of all your possessions, or a visual record, but an extra precautious list would include both.


  • A Digital Inventory can consist of photographs or videos. There are a lot of free apps, such as Inventory Manager and Sortly, that allow you to record a photograph of the item, along with the description, the value, and the purchase date. Go around your home and narrate what you’re looking at when opening drawers, closets and cupboards.
  • A Visual Record consists of a video walk-through of your home or a series of photographs that show proof of ownership.
  • A Written Inventory is a detailed home inventory list that catalogs your belongings and should include the item description. You can create your own list using a spreadsheet.


Once you decide on the type of home inventory you want to create there are some simple steps you can take to start the process.

Don’t forget to include items that may be found in your basement, attic, garage, and shed. Also, pay special attention to your most valuable items, such as antiques, art, jewelry, collectibles, and technological equipment.


What are some tips to remember when recording my home inventory?


  • If you’re moving, record possessions as your pack. Take a couple extra minutes to record the belongings in each room.
  • Pick one room to record at a time. You can start with the kitchen or basement and after capturing your belongings in that room, move on to the next. That way you don’t get too overwhelmed with the process!
  • If you’re redecorating a room or home, record each item as you move it! Note each purchase that you may have made and save the receipts. Saving receipts will give you a jump start on your home inventory.
  • Get in the habit of recording new purchases. Then, as necessary, go back and record your older possessions. Along with the record, save all store receipts and appraisals to help verify the value of each item.
  • Make sure to provide a general description of where you bought the item, the make and model, and what you paid for. If possible, make sure to include the serial number of the item.


If you’re using technology to help create your home inventory, remember to:

  • Take pictures of each important item, as well as entire rooms, closets, or drawers. Make sure to also label your photos with what is pictured, where you bought it, the make or model, and the serial number.
  • Record a video of your home or room. When recording, make sure to also describe the contents.
  • Determine which app fits your needs best. There are many mobile apps that can help you create a room-by-room recording of your belongings.


How should I store my home inventory?


Don’t let your home inventory become part of a property loss in an unexpected disaster.  Whichever inventory method you choose, it is important to keep a copy in a fireproof safe, a safety deposit box, or digitally in the cloud. We at Gaudette Insurance would recommend emailing your inventory list to your local agent. Sending the list has the added value of allowing your inventory to be examined by your agent to see if you need extra home or renters coverage.


Gaudette Insurance is here to make creating a home inventory easy. If you have any questions about which items are covered by your home or renters policy, contact your local Gaudette Insurance agent today.