Have you created a home inventory?
It doesn’t have to be complicated. There was a time that I took my little flip camera around my house and talked out loud about what was there and the approximate value. Now anyone can do it with a smart phone. Even small items like jewelry and electronics can be recorded and or photographed. A digital copy can be stored in a couple of places on your hard drive and it is good to make a copy and store it on a USB thumb drive as well.
New purchases should be videoed or photographed along with the receipt and warranty. Scans of receipts are handy too in case they get lost or filed in file #13. Make a file on your computer and add to it and then update the thumb drive copy every time you make a major or even minor purchase. It doesn’t take much more time than trying to file away receipts and warranties.
A written inventory goes a long way with an insurance company when filing a claim. Keeping a hard copy or a digital copy in a safe deposit box is a good idea. They will most likely ask for it so it’s a good idea to keep that offsite at a friend’s house or maybe even send it to a friend in another part of the country. You can even attach the file and send an email to yourself for filing online. And then there are all kinds of storage services these days like Dropbox or any other cloud-based system.
If you are in a coastline town like I am then keeping digital copies accessible by computer is important because when a hurricane or storm goes through there may only be a short window of opportunity to grab what you need and wouldn’t it be nice not to have to lug your file cabinet to the designated place for safety. Keep thumb drives in one spot where you have your evacuation items and grab those to easily carry to safety. A back-up hard drive is less portable but still a valuable way to restore files in case your computer is damaged or stolen. Online back-up services are also available.
It’s relatively simple:
- Photograph or video house contents and even the outside of your house
- Make a written list
- Keep updated files of new purchases as time goes by
- Keep files on a digital thumb drive for easy access and carrying
- Use online storage services or email a file to yourself and file it on your email service
A little less stress and worry in your life makes for a good night’s sleep.