May is National Moving Month. The most positive thing people say about moving is that “it’s not fun.” The most common characterizations of this major life event range from “frustrating” to “downright miserable.” Still, U.S. Census data show that an average of 35.5-million Americans relocates each year.
Whether you’re planning a change of scenery or not, there’s a moving preparation process that everyone – homeowners and renters alike – should consider doing: Perform a household inventory. Even if you’re not moving, a detailed account of your possessions can help you determine how much insurance coverage you need and with claims in the event of theft or disaster. If you are moving, an inventory will help you get more accurate quotes from moving companies – and keep them honest with their estimates. The insurance benefits alone are worth the time for everyone who finds value in protecting their possessions with homeowners or renters policies.
The household inventory process is simple but time-consuming. Room by room, you’ll want to describe your items, using details like sizes, colors, manufacturers’ names, models and serial numbers. It’s a good idea to note the date, price paid and purchase location as well, along with receipts if you have them. Identifying and cataloging everything you have may feel like a monumental chore, but technology can ease the burden.
There are many apps available that can help direct you, speed the process, organize and store your information. There are general apps like Sortly and NestEgg that accommodate photos and provide templates for different rooms and areas like garages, sheds, and playrooms. Other apps like MyStuff are helpful to people with collections of items and Magic Home Inventory is set up for multiple properties.
Once complete, you’ll want to provide your household inventory records to your insurance carrier or potential moving companies when seeking quotes. Be sure to update your household inventory when you make purchases. You’ll find that maintaining your records is fast and easy – once you get through the first accounting. You may decide to simultaneously purge some things you don’t want, use or need any longer. And, getting in touch with everything you own might cause you to think twice before buying more stuff!