Recently, our NYC Professional Organizer read an article in the New York Post about a man who lost everything he had due to the alleged error of a junk removal company and the oversight of his landlord. The company removed basically the entire contents of his apartment – from the clothes in his closet and the dishes in his sink to loads of commemorative baseball items and his social security information – leaving only a flat screen television and video game console.
After coming home to an empty apartment, with absolutely no knowledge of where his belongings could have gone, this young man eventually had to piece the contents of his apartment back together for insurance and litigation purposes… While this is an extraordinary circumstance, if something were to suddenly happen to your home and belongings, do you think you’d be able to pull the pieces back together, in an effort to successfully file an insurance claim?
With some appropriate organizing techniques, paper filing tips, and a bit of foresight, we believe you can. It’s all about creating a complete home inventory. It’ll take a bit of time upfront, and you’ll need to update it as you make new purchases, but spring’s the perfect time of year to begin gathering your home inventory information! After all, the transition from winter to spring is all about a fresh start and new beginnings. Start fresh, and create your own home inventory by utilizing this list of tips and techniques from our NYC Professional Organizer, compiled to help you start taking inventory of your possessions and important documents:
– Begin the home inventory process AFTER you’ve gone through all of your closets, and storage spaces to determine what you’re keeping, and what you’re donating/discarding; no need to inventory items you’re removing from the house.
– You can take inventory of your home while in the process of spring cleaning. Once you complete the cleaning and organizing of one space, take inventory of all items and valuables in it.
– Create an inventory technique that works for you. You may choose to go the old fashioned route of keeping a paper list (make copies and share them with a trusted friend or family member once completed!), keeping a spreadsheet of items on your computer, or even utilizing a home inventory app through your mobile device.
– Always take photos and/or video of your items to support your inventory list – open cabinets, drawers, trunks, boxes, etc. while you’re making a digital record of your items to ensure nothing is overlooked.
– Our NYC Professional Organizer recommends having especially valuable items such as antique furnishings or a unique collection appraised by a certified appraiser. Keep copies of these records with your inventory and make sure whomever you entrust with your inventory has copies.
– Keep receipts for large purchases, such as jewelry and electronics, with your home inventory to support potential future claims. Follow our proven paper filing tips to ensure that these receipts are easily located should you need them.
– Include a copy of your homeowners or renters insurance with your home inventory files.
– Update your home inventory on an annual basis at a minimum. Monthly would be ideal, that way, you’re less likely to overlook any valuable items you’ve recently acquired.
If that article doesn’t help to motivate you to get a jump start on your home inventory, we don’t know what will! But, in the event you’re feeling a bit lost, and need some guidance in creating your own home inventory and inventory-taking and maintenance systems, please reach out to our NYC Professional Organizer today!