a mover and a customer making an inventory list for moving across the country overlay

How to Do a Home Inventory for Moving Cross Country: A Step-by-Step Guide

Posted in How-to,Moving Tips & Tricks on March 20, 2023

It’s known that people usually have more possessions than they should. So, when it comes to figuring out how to do a home inventory, you’ll definitely need some tips and hacks to help you get started on this important task. While this may seem like a boring thing to do, it’s actually easier than you might think, and the benefits are well worth the effort.

To begin your home inventory, start by choosing a method to keep track of your items. You can use a pen and paper, a spreadsheet, or a home inventory app. Then, systematically go through each room in your home and document each item, including its make, model, serial number, and value. Take pictures or videos of each item and store them in a secure place, such as a cloud-based storage service. Don’t forget to include important documents, such as receipts, warranties, and insurance policies.

If You Learn How to Do a Home Inventory Step-By-Step, You’ll Know the Hacks to a Better Life

If you’re looking for ways to improve your life, learning how to do a home inventory step-by-step might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, one of the useful interstate relocation tips is to take the time to create a comprehensive inventory list of your possessions. Doing this can actually have a significant impact on your overall well-being during these challenging times.

By knowing exactly what you own and where it is located, you can reduce stress, save time and money, and even improve your safety and security. Adding the much-needed help from cross-country moving services will only make the entire process a breeze. When working with professional long-distance movers who can offer you efficient packing service, you can rest assured that your belongings will arrive safely at your new destination.

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Believe It or Not, Making an Inventory List Is Good for Insurance Purposes

Creating a home inventory list may not be the most exciting task, but it can be incredibly valuable in the event of a disaster or loss. One of the most important benefits of a home inventory is its usefulness for insurance purposes. In fact, many insurance companies require a detailed inventory of your possessions before they will issue a policy.

With a complete and up-to-date inventory, you can ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage and can quickly and easily file a claim if needed. By taking the time to make an inventory list, you can protect your assets and have greater peace of mind.

A woman in front of the laptop and smartphone
Having a list of your belongings will help you choose the insurance

Step 1: Choose a Method for Creating Your Inventory

Consider your personal preferences and needs when deciding which method to use. Regardless of which option you choose, make sure to store your inventory list in a secure place, such as a fireproof safe or cloud-based storage service.

Use a Spreadsheet on Your Computer

Using a spreadsheet is a popular method for creating a home inventory. It allows you to organize your possessions into categories and easily update the list as needed. Many templates are available online, but you can also create your own custom spreadsheet.

Install a Mobile App

Another option is to use a home inventory app, which can streamline the process and make it easier to keep track of your items. These apps often have features such as barcode scanning, photo uploading, and automatic backups. Some popular inventory apps include Sortly, Encircle, and Nest Egg.

Go With the Classic Pen and Paper

Pen and paper is the most basic method, but it can be time-consuming and may not be the most organized one. However, if you prefer to have a physical copy of your inventory, this may be a good option for you.

A girl writing down a list before long-distance moving
Decide what method is most suitable for you

Step 2: Organize Your Home by Room or Category

The next step in creating a home inventory is to get rid of everything you don’t use and organize your possessions by room or category. This will help you to systematically document all of your items and ensure that you don’t overlook anything.

If you choose to organize by room, start with one room at a time and document everything in that room before moving on to the next. For example, start with the living room and list all of the furniture, electronics, decorations, and other items in that room. Then pass on to the kitchen, bedrooms, and so on.

Remember to include all items, even small ones, that may seem insignificant. These can add up over time and be worth more than you think. When it’s time to pack up your belongings, use your inventory checklist as a guide and hire Cross-Country Movers to help you with the most efficient relocation services. Label each box with its contents and room destination, and keep a separate list of items that are packed in each box. This will make it easier to unpack and organize your belongings in your new home.

Kitchen items organized on the wall and shelves after cross-country moving
Start with the room that has the most items

Step 3: Document Your Items Thoroughly

The next step in creating a home inventory is to document your items thoroughly. This includes taking photos or videos of each item and storing them in a secure location. So, before you proceed with other tasks of the relocation, create a comprehensive inventory of all your possessions, including furniture, appliances, electronics, and other items.

How to Inventory Your Home – Include a Description, Value, and Model

When creating a home inventory, it’s important to include a detailed description, value, and model for each item. The description should include as much detail as possible, including the brand, color, size, and any distinguishing features. For high-value items, such as jewelry or electronics, you may also want to include the model number or serial number. When assigning a value to each item, be sure to consider the replacement cost of the item, not just its current market value.

Take High-Quality Photos or Videos of Each Item

Taking photos or videos surely is one of the things to consider when relocating. So, make sure to capture all angles of the item, including any distinguishing features or damage. You may also want to include a close-up of any serial numbers or other identifying information.

Store your photos or videos in a secure location, such as a cloud-based storage service or an external hard drive. This will ensure that they are protected in the event of a disaster or theft.

A young man on the phone
Use your smartphone to take pictures and videos

Step 4: Keep Receipts and Appraisals

Keep receipts and appraisals for high-value items when relocating to a new state. These documents can be helpful in verifying the value of the item and proving ownership to your insurance company.

For items that you have purchased, keep the original receipts in a secure location. If you no longer have the original receipts, try to find a copy or record of the purchase, such as a bank statement or credit card statement.

For high-value items such as jewelry, artwork, or antiques, consider getting an appraisal from a certified appraiser. This will provide an official valuation of the item that can be used in case of loss or damage.

A man searching for a document before cross-country movers come
Be sure to put receipts on your list

Step 5: Store Your Digital and Physical Inventory List in a Safe and Accessible Place

When it comes to storing your home inventory documents, it’s important to consider both physical and digital storage options. For physical documents such as receipts and appraisals, it’s a good idea to keep them in a fireproof safe or safety deposit box. This will protect them from damage or theft in the event of a disaster or break-in.

Another option is to use a cloud-based storage service, such as Google Drive or Dropbox. This will allow you to access your inventory documents from any device with an internet connection. Make sure to use a strong password and two-factor authentication to protect your information.

A girl working with a laptop in the kitchen
Use the virtual storage and save the physical one

Step 6: Update Your Inventory Regularly

Your possessions and their value can change over time, so it’s important to keep your inventory up-to-date. Hiring professional long-distance movers means you’ll have to communicate with them in order to make the entire process stress-free.

This also means that sharing your updated inventory with the relocation crew will ensure that all of your items are properly accounted for and that nothing is left behind.

Set a Schedule for Updating, Like Weekly or Monthly

Setting a schedule for updating your home inventory is an important step in keeping it current and accurate, especially if you’re in the middle of organizing a relocation. The frequency of updates will depend on your individual circumstances, but a good rule of thumb is to review and update your inventory at least monthly if you have many new or high-value items.

To make it easier to remember, schedule a specific date to review your inventory. This could coincide with other tasks, such as tax season or spring cleaning. Set a reminder on your calendar or phone to ensure you don’t forget.

A man going through household inventory
Go through your inventory at least once in six months

When Moving Across the Country, Ensure Your Household Inventory Checklist Is by Your Side

During the relocation, keep your inventory checklist and photos with you at all times. Don’t pack them away in a box that could get lost or damaged. You may also want to consider using a tracking system, such as GPS or a tracking app, to monitor the progress of your moving truck and ensure that it stays on schedule. That way, you can ensure that your possessions are well-organized, protected, and accounted for every step of the way.

For most people relocating can be a traumatic and chaotic process, and it’s easy to lose track of your possessions in the shuffle. By keeping a detailed inventory of your items, you can ensure that everything makes it to your new home safely and that you don’t forget anything along the way.

Provide Cross Country Movers With the Inventory List, and Your Move Will Be Effortless

Before the move, provide your movers with a copy of your inventory list and photos if necessary. This will allow them to get a better understanding of the scope of the move and prepare accordingly. They may also be able to provide you with a more accurate estimate of the cost of the move based on your inventory.

If you’re looking for a reliable relocation team, look no further than Cross-Country Movers. We’re experienced, professional, and dedicated to making your move as easy and stress-free as possible. Contact us today to learn more and to get started on planning your cross-country relocation.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Do a Home Inventory

What Items Should Be Included in a Home Inventory?

A home inventory should include a comprehensive list of all items in your home, including furniture, appliances, electronics, clothing, jewelry, and other valuable items.

How Often Should I Update My Home Inventory?

It’s important to update your home inventory regularly to ensure that it remains accurate and comprehensive. Review your inventory whenever you make a significant change to your home, such as a renovation or addition.

Should I Include Receipts and Warranties for Items on My Home Inventory?

It’s a good idea to include receipts and warranties for items on your home inventory, especially for high-value items. These documents can be helpful in verifying the value of the item and proving ownership to your insurance company.

How Do I Keep Track of the Value of My Possessions Over Time?

One way to do this is to update your home inventory regularly with the current value of each item. You can research the current market value of your items online or consult with a professional appraiser to determine their value.

Is It Better to Take Pictures or Videos as Part of a Home Inventory List?

Both taking pictures and videos can be effective ways to document your possessions as part of a home inventory list. Videos can provide a more comprehensive view of your possessions, allowing you to capture entire rooms or collections of items in a single take.

Do I Need Physical Copies of My Home Inventory in Case Something Happens to Digital Ones?

It’s a good idea to have physical copies of your home inventory in addition to digital ones, especially in case something happens to your digital copies. By doing this, you’ll have greater peace of mind knowing that your possessions are well-protected.

What Should I Do With My Home Inventory Records in Case of a Disaster?

One option is to store digital copies of your inventory list and photos in a cloud-based storage service, such as Google Drive or Dropbox, so that they can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. You can also consider storing physical copies of your inventory list and photos in a fireproof safe, safety deposit box, or other secure location.

What Resources Can Help Me Create and Manage a Home Inventory List?

Use a home inventory app or software program, which can help you organize your possessions and keep track of their value over time. These apps may also provide helpful features such as reminders for updating your inventory or alerts for potential risks.

Are There Any Legal Requirements for Keeping a Home Inventory?

There are no specific legal requirements for keeping a home inventory, but it is recommended for insurance purposes. In case of a disaster or loss, a home inventory can provide documentation of your possessions and their value, which can be helpful in filing an insurance claim.

How Can I Use My Home Inventory Records When Filing an Insurance Claim?

When filing a claim, you can use your inventory records to provide documentation of your possessions and their value, which can help to ensure that you receive appropriate compensation for any losses or damages.

Can I Use My Home Inventory Records for Tax Purposes?

Your home inventory records may be helpful for tax purposes if you have suffered a loss due to theft, damage, or casualty. In this case, you can use your inventory records to document the items that were lost or damaged and to determine their value for tax purposes.

Julie Grace

Originally from The Golden City, Julie has explored the ins and outs of moving and has written all the tips down.

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