How to do a Home Inventory

I just recently inventoried my house and its contents. With a digital camera, it is easy to do. There are three basic levels of doing an inventory and I’ve done all three at various times, depending upon how long it has been since I did the last inventory.

First level: Take a photo of each room and the basic contents and layout. It is quick and easy and can be very useful if there is damage to the house due to wind or a minor fire or flooding.

Second level: In addition to the first level, take photos of the contents of closets, cabinets and cupboards. Open all drawers and photograph the contents—underwear, junk, everything.

Third level: In addition to the first and second levels, take photos of the model number and serial number of appliances, electronics, computers and power tools. If the insurance company questions why two people would have three computers, I can tell them it is three plus the one in reserve and I have the serial number of each. Once, when we had some bicycles stolen, we were able to give the numbers to the police. They really liked that—unfortunately, we never got the bikes back.

Finally, keep a copy of those photographs on a separate hard drive, on a cloud server, at a friend or relatives home. I have a drawer with DVDs from my kids. I am their safe storage location.

Better, get an exterior hard drive and back up the contents of your computers, with all your family photographs and documents and keep it in a secure location.

I’ve been doing this for thirty years and have never had a serious loss, and therefore, never needed it, but it is simple to do and helps protect future.

About erharoldsen

Information about Family Life, Family History, Humor, Emergency Response, Disaster Preparation, Latter-day Saint Religion (Mormon) and other stuff that tickles me. Contact me through erharoldsen at But use the @ symbol. (This helps me avoid spam.)
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