The holidays are a time for celebration and family. Most people have a few extra days of vacation to relax, and some use this time to play catch-up or finish projects that have been looming for the past year.
You can utilize this time to complete (what should be) an annual home inventory. We don’t want to discourage you from doing inventory on your different-colored tube socks, but this home inventory is geared toward helping you maintain an accurate record of your valuables for insurance purposes. A home inventory is a list and visual record of all your personal belongings, which will help you find replacement items if you ever need to do so.
Use this as a quick guide, and then you can get back to your sock count!
- Start from the purchase. Keep all receipts from large purchases like electronics, expensive artwork and jewelry. If you don’t have the receipts, use old credit card statements for proof of purchase.
- Take photos. You should take photographs of all of your possessions for your records, and keep them with your inventory list.
- Make note of serial numbers. Record serial numbers of items where applicable—you can provide these for police if your belongings are ever stolen.
- Keep copies of records. Maintain your records in a safe place, preferably a fire-proof safe alongside other important information. In addition, keep electronic records by either emailing the information to your personal email or uploading it to a secure place.
Not sure what goes on the list? Think about this:
Buying a new teapot does not warrant a spot on the inventory. But if you just gave your kitchen a facelift that includes everything from new cabinets to appliances, definitely add those items and the labor to your home inventory.
Back to the socks!
Once you’re finished with the “official” inventory, go ahead and count those socks. Use this time to do the following:
- Stock up for the winter by preparing all your essentials in case the weather gets bad: shovels, sidewalk salt, candles, firewood, canned goods and frozen meats.
- Check all appliances—including your stove, water heater and thermostat—to make sure they are in good working condition before the weather gets too cold.
- Get organized. Sort through the photos on your computer, upload CDs to your iTunes account and get rid of the Tupperware with no matching lids. You will thank yourself once the New Year is here!
- Go through your clothes. Good rule of thumb: If you haven’t worn it in the last two years, get rid of it. Donate clothing to a shelter or go online to sell the items. You can use the extra space to make room for new Christmas gifts
If your home inventory reflects items that are not covered under your current policy, talk to your Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent for additional information about coverage you may need. Enjoy the holidays!