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Protect Your Belongings: Simple Steps to Creating a Home Inventory

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Simple steps to protecting what is in your home.

Protect Your Belongings: Simple Steps to Creating a Home Inventory

Most people know that they should have a comprehensive list of their possessions, but, at the same time, nobody ever wants to go through the process of making one, since it seems pretty mundane and slow. Well, yes, it can be mundane, slow, and boring. But it doesn't have to be that way. In this article, I will provide you with four pieces of advice on how to create a home inventory rather quickly and efficiently.

Choosing a Clear Plan

The pivotal point of the entire process is to choose a clear plan at the very beginning. Basically, you should know how you are actually going to progress. There are many questions that you should ask yourself in order to make that plan. Here are the two main ones:

What will be the main categories? (How are you going to go through your possessions? Are you going to go room by room and list every single thing you see? Or are you going to take a list of furniture, then a list of electronics, etc.?)

What will be the main sorting criteria? (According to which criteria are you going to sort those things? Price is the most obvious one, although there are good unorthodox alternatives that you can choose from, including personal value, overall importance, and willingness to part with.)

Sticking with the Plan

Choose the plan – and then stick with it until the inventory is complete. Yes, that is right – even if you find some deficiencies in the plan, it is usually nevertheless better to stick with it until the end than to change it mid-way.

The reason for that might not be obvious, but it is nevertheless very logical. With a list in place – even if it is not completely according to your ideals – it will be much easier to customize everything to your liking. When you have everything written down, you can easily make changes without having to go back to the strenuous process of getting things done itself. It is easy to adjust the categories or sort things differently, especially when you compare it with how hard it is to throw everything away and start from scratch.

Finalizing the Inventory

Once you choose the plan and stick with it until your home inventory is completed, it will be time for you to finalize it and start using it for your benefits. If the main goal of your venture was just to make a list that will come in handy at some later point, you can just sit back and relax – you have accomplished that goal already.

However, chances are that you have a clear purpose for your home inventory (or at least will have such a purpose in the near future). If that is correct, the thing that you should do is to finalize your inventory in such a way that it will be ready for that purpose.

For example, if you want to sell a part of your possessions, you can now easily sort your list in such a way that you will be able to see what possessions hold some real value and what possessions you are willing to part with. Or, if you want to move a part of your inventory somewhere else (perhaps into a new house you've recently purchased), you can now simply pick what things you will want to move, make a separate “moving list”, and use it when transferring those things.

Getting a Specialized Software

With computers and smartphones all around us, you might be naturally asking whether there are any applications that could help you with creating a home inventory out there. Well, there sure are some possibilities, with Home Inventory (yes, that is how the application is really called) being the real stand-out if you have a Mac. There is only one piece of advice that one can give regarding such software – it usually doesn't do that much more than your usual spreadsheet for it to be worth it.

If you have a huge inventory and/or if you like being hi-tech all the time, go for them. However, if you don't identify yourself with either of those things, stay away – a simple spreadsheet will do the job equally well and will be much easier and cheaper to make.

Make the List!

The bottom line is that creating a home inventory is a process through which one can go without completely losing his or her mind – after all, it is not rocket science, is it? In fact, the first step might easily be the hardest one, especially if you choose to go with some of the aforementioned suggestions. So choose a clear plan, make the first step and create your very own home inventory. In the long run, it will be more than worth it!

Jim Dalton

A home security and safety expert who likes to share his knowledge through various online media, Jim often writes for a home security system provider in Toronto about home surveillance and burglar alarms.

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