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Household Inventory Checklist

If any of your belongings are ever stolen, damaged by acts of god, or destroyed by a natural disaster — well, good luck collecting your claim! (Just kidding — not all insurance policies are written in blood, and not all agents have a core made of pure evil.) But it can still be a challenge to get full and timely compensation for your loss without a lot of headbutting. However, you’re definitely more likely to walk away satisfied if you can produce a household inventory, listing all of your possessions and their value.

A Household Inventory — What For?

Checkmark-Iconin case of theft, disaster, terrorist attack, act of god, sharknado, or other substantial property loss

Xmark-Iconyou’ll need to prove what you owned to file a successful claim with your insurance company

Checkmark-Iconyou also have to show each item’s value and condition to be accurately reimbursed

If You Own It, Document It

Xmark-Icongo from room to room, photographing or videotaping everything

Checkmark-Iconopen each cabinet, drawer, closet, and container for a close-up shot

Xmark-Iconalso take individual pictures of valuables

Checkmark-Iconinclude serial numbers on electronics and appliances — either take pictures or create a list

Xmark-Icondon’t forget larger items in your garage/basement or outbuildings (tools, sport stuff, vehicles)

Checkmark-Iconhave rare, super-spendy, and potentially-appreciable treasures independently appraised

Xmark-Iconstore receipts and appraisals for high-end purchases with your inventory

Checkmark-Iconif you don’t have a receipt, write a description (including brand name, purchase date, and price)

Comprehensive Means Including Everything

Xmark-Iconclothing, shoes, accessories, and jewelry

Checkmark-Iconhousehold furnishings, home decor, and fixtures

Xmark-Icongames, toys, exercise machines, and recreational equipment

Checkmark-Iconkitchenware, appliances, and cooking implements

Xmark-Iconglassware, cutlery, dishes, and other tableware

Checkmark-Iconbooks, CDs, DVDs, and other media

Xmark-Iconlawn care items, tools, and outdoor equipment

Checkmark-Iconstuff stored away in your basement, garage, or attic

Xmark-Iconpersonal belongings, memorabilia, and family heirlooms

Checkmark-Iconantiques, art, and collectibles

Xmark-Iconvehicles — cars, trucks, motorbikes, bicycles, boats, and ATVs

Checkmark-Iconholiday decorations and seasonal items

Xmark-Iconoutdoor improvements — decks, outbuildings, and landscaping

Checkmark-Iconanything else that you own

Don’t Take Your Own Word For It — Ask An Appraiser

Xmark-Iconartwork (paintings, photography, drawings, sculpture)

Checkmark-Iconantiques, oriental rugs, and expensive household furnishings

Xmark-Iconhigh-end jewelry and furs

Checkmark-Iconrare stamp/coin collections, along with any other collectibles

Xmark-Iconsilver tableware, serving pieces, and decorative items

Checkmark-Iconany other valuable or irreplaceable items

No One’s Going To Cover Your Ass For You

Xmark-Iconstore your original inventory in a fire safe or safe deposit box

Checkmark-Iconyou can also give a copy to your agent, accountant, will executor, or a trusted family member

Xmark-Iconkeep a copy of any applicable insurance policies with the original inventory

Checkmark-Iconwhen you acquire something new, add a photo and a copy of the receipt to your documentation

Xmark-Iconreview and update your inventory yearly — checking for changes and additions

Checkmark-Iconprepare an aggregate estimated value for all of your belongings

Xmark-Iconincrease your property liability insurance limits, if necessary

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Copyright 2009

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    Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and

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