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Organizing And Taking Inventory Of Your Belongings


Taking Inventory Of Your BelongingsTaking Inventory Of Your BelongingsNobody likes paperwork. Unfortunately, it’s a way of life—and that’s no different when it comes to moving. You need a complete record of your home’s inventory before you move. A complete record of your belongings is necessary for legal purposes before you relocate. It prevents moving scams, helps your mover to accurately estimate costs, and gives you a record for future use as you unpack.


No one can keep a complete record of their home’s inventory in their head alone. If you’re purposeful and methodical about taking inventory of your belongings, however, you can make an accurate inventory of your belongings before you move.


1. Get the Important Documents


All the important paperwork should go with you, not your moving company. Your family’s birth certificates, marriage records, tax documents, bank statements and other financial paperwork, lease agreements, and other legal documents need to be set aside. Record them on a spreadsheet; scan them into a computer and store a backup in the cloud if you can.  


2. Plan to Take Valuables with You


If it’s valuable and you can carry it, do so. Inventory any jewelry, firearms, china, small artwork, and other priceless items you own. Make sure these items go with you as you move; don’t trust them to the movers.


3. Make a Video Record


If you own a camcorder, smart phone, iTouch, or other digital video recorder, walk through your home and document everything you can. Use as much detail as possible. If you can record serial numbers on all your items, do so. It’s much easier than creating a detailed written record (though you should do that too, as you’ll see next), and helps the long distance moving services as well as they prepare your estimate.


4. Make a Written Record


Microsoft Excel is tremendously valuable when it comes to cataloging your belongings. You need to create as detailed a record as you can when preparing your inventory. Describe the item and its condition as well as recording its serial number, if it has one. For insurance purposes, this inventory may become your lifeline.


5. Details, Details, Details!


Do not underestimate the value of a detailed inventory. Your mover will provide an inventory of their own, but you should have one on file in case there’s ever a dispute about the move. If you’re in a situation down the road where your insurance company needs a record of your belongings—after a fire or flood, for instance—your detailed inventory will prove even more useful.