Karen Lindsay is a professional organizer and shows how to take a quick home inventory.
As a note, Items stored in your car should be included on your home inventory. They are covered on homeowners or renters insurance, not vehicle insurance.
■ Portable in an emergency—can easily be carried with you.
■ Can easily be backed up—can have duplicate copies in other places.
■ Digital records can have a time and date stamp.
When? Walk through and create a record of your home and possessions. If you don’t have time or technology skills, hire a young person who knows technology, or hire an organizer—see the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO.net).
How? Using a Digital camera, Cell phone, or Movie camera (some cell phone have this capability so you could capture sound–narrate and describe the items verbally)
1. Take a GENERAL PICTURE of each area, (room, vehicle, patio or garage). Include BBQ, Bicycles, appliances, furniture, or clothes. Inexpensive items add up.
2. Then take a CLOSE UP PICTURES of valuable items. INCLUDE A PICTURE OF MAKE, MODEL AND SERIAL NUMBER.
o Electronics & Computers including (model & serial number & car VIN #)
o Artwork (including close up of artist’s signature)
o Jewelry (most policies only cover up to $500 without notifying insurance)
o Expensive Clothes
o Tools/expensive equipment
3. Next take photos of any PROOF OF PURCHASE documents.
4. Make a list (spreadsheet) of items including model, serial number, and brand name.
Where to backup your new digital inventory:
■ e-mail your inventory pictures and listing to yourself—list in the subject line of your e-mail “home inventory”, send the e-mail to yourself and/or trusted others, then archive the e-mail. This e-mail could then be accessed from anywhere.
■ You can use free on line, password protected backup, which can be set to happen automatically. For example, see Mozy.com for a free backup option up to 2 GB, or for higher amounts of data, the charge is minimal.
■ Can also backup to a thumb drive, external hard drive, CD, or DVD. Once again, if you would like help with the technology, ask a young person, or hire an Organizer. Remember you are paying for insurance, which won’t have much value, unless you can detail what you actually had that needs replaced.
■ Who is your insurance agent? Emergency contact information? Program numbers into your cell phone.
For more information, you can contact Karen:
Karen Lindsay, Professional Organizer
Enough, LLC, Info@EnoughEnough.com
NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers)