That’s the value of a home inventory. Making a detailed list of what you own ensures that you won’t overlook anything if you have to recall what was in your house should it be lost by fire, theft or other circumstance. Start by assembling the tools for documenting what you own and by figuring out how you will store the inventory list. The way you document what you own dictates how you’ll store the information. If you document with a notebook and with a traditional camera, you’ll need to store the inventory in a physical location like a safety deposit box, with a lawyer or with a trusted family member or friend. Consider making three copies of the inventory: one to keep at home; and one each for two trusted sources. This increases the chances that at least one record will be easily accessible when you need it. Make paper copies of documents such as warranties and receipts. If you document your belongings digitally, you’ll want to make digital duplicates, with the option of storing the files in the cloud.
It’s easiest to take the inventory room by room. Set up the same system for each room so your documentation makes sense to you and to whomever must decipher it if you are not around. Take several photos of each room, from different angles. A good way to go about this is to stand in the doorway and slowly rotate clockwise, taking overlapping frames that eventually take in the whole room.
Make a printed copy of the inventory to include with your essential legal documents, even if you are storing digital copies in the cloud and with legal advisers or trusted ones. Finally, be sure your will includes access information, including passwords, to your inventory, no matter where it is stored.