Moving to your new home may be really exciting for you as you’ll be looking forward to starting a new life in a new place. This involves taking care of so many things altogether. First of all, moving all your belongings from your old home can be really tedious and overwhelming at the same time. Just thinking about what all you’ll take along with you itself is so difficult. You might not even be aware of all the things that you own in your old house.

That’s exactly when moving can seem very critical and stressful. In order to get out of this mess, you can do a home inventory. Although it may seem like a huge task and really time consuming, you can benefit from it by securing your insurance. If you’re hiring a moving company, you can make them cover for any lost items or damage when you know what all things should reach your new home. Here’s how you can create your home inventory.

When To Make A Home Inventory List?

A home inventory list will help you understand the actual worth of all of your possessions. So if you haven’t made one yet, now is the time to do it. If you are planning a move, then a home inventory is a must as it also helps you to pack your items. Other than that, a home inventory should be made if you are:

  • Buying a new home
  • Getting a new apartment
  • Seeking insurance for your items

An important thing you need to remember is that all your items won’t be covered by your insurance company. Your home inventory list may have all the items you possess. There are certain limits to your insurance and so you will have to take an insurance rider for your precious items like jewellery.

Why Should You Perform A Home Inventory?

Whether yours is a house, an apartment or a condo, a home inventory will give you precise information of all of your possessions and their estimated value. Your inventory will include all of the detailed description, serial number, date, cost and time of purchase. All of this data in your inventory is necessary because:

  • You can claim for insurance from your insurance company in case of any damaged or lost goods.
  • The data on your inventory list will help your insurance company to check what all items can be covered by the insurance.
  • If you have mentioned the details like the date, time and cost of your items, it will make it easier for you especially if you have a major claim.

What Do You Need For A Home Inventory?

Your home inventory will help you to understand whether all your items have been safely moved to your new home. Apart from that, it also comes to your rescue in unforeseen circumstances like fire or a natural disaster. So it’s important that you create a home inventory for your move. A home inventory is nothing but a detailed list of all of your belongings that you want to be moved to your new home. Although you don’t necessarily need to include what all items are packed in each moving box, you at least need to list down every single item along with its description before it leaves your home.

You will need the following things to create your home inventory:

  • Notebook/Notepad
  • Spreadsheet/Excel Sheet
  • Smartphone/Digital Camera
  • Receipts of your valuable possessions

Following are some of the best home inventory apps that you can use if you’re not comfortable using a pen and a paper:

  • Sortly (Android, iOS)
  • Nest Egg (iOS)
  • Encircle (Android, iOS)
  • Stock and Inventory Simple (Android)
  • Smart Inventory System (Android)

Also See: Moving Checklist – Printable Home Relocation To-Do List

Where To Start A Home Inventory?

All of the items that you want to move can be inventoried before you pack them or while you pack them for a move. You can list down all your items in your data by starting with smaller and then covering the bigger items. Here are some ways you can start your home inventory:

Start with big items

There is no right and perfect way of starting your home inventory. If you are more inclined towards moving all your large things first, you can begin listing them down. Make a list of all of your furniture, cabinets, tables, wardrobes and appliances. If you’re using a notepad, you can list all these huge items first or just enter the data in any app that you’re using.

Do one room at a time

There are chances that you may repeat the items on your list or spreadsheet. In order to avoid that, the easiest way to note down all items is by taking one room at a time. You can first cover your living room, followed by your kitchen and bedroom. That way you won’t get confused and you’ll cover all the items that you want to take along with you to your new home.

Begin with valuable or recently purchased items

It’s natural to be worried about some of your most valuable possessions like your important documents, jewellery, expensive china sets, champagne and wine glasses or expensive wall art. If you’re worried about their safety, you can start listing down these valuable items first on your notepad or spreadsheet.

See Also: Best Moving Boxes For Large Wall Art

How To Create A Home Inventory?

Just listing down all of the items that you want to move doesn’t complete your home inventory. There are several other details that you need to pay attention to if you want all of your items to reach your new home without getting lost or damaged. The following things are essential when you create a home inventory:

1. Include all the detailed information of your items

On your notepad, spreadsheet or app where you have listed down all your items, you need to include certain specific details of each individual item. You need to include things like the time and cost of purchase and current approximate cost, serial numbers and other distinctive features. With respect to valuable items and electrical appliances, you will generally find the back or bottom of these things. All of this will help you especially if you need to get a claim on any of your items from your insurance company.

2. Write the total number of items in each category

Right from your appliances to your clothes, kitchenware and other artifacts, there may be so many things on your list or data. In order to get a clear estimate of each category, count the number of items and write it in your checklist or spreadsheet. For example, you can count the number of jeans, shirts, shoes you have and note it under your wardrobe category. Then you can count all your electrical appliances and note it under that category. That way you will get a clear estimate of the total number of shoes, clothes and appliances you possess.

3. Make copies of your important legal documents

Before you pack all of your important documents like your license, birth certificate, vehicle registration papers, marriage certificate, insurance policies, wills, etc, you need to make copies of them. You never know when you might need these documents and so it’s always better to have copies of each of these documents before you execute your move. You can keep the original documents with you while the copies of these documents can be packed along with the rest of your valuable items.

4. Capture and Record all your belongings

You can create a video of all of your belongings using a smartphone or a digital camera. If not a video, then you can take pictures of all of your items. You can add the details or notes of your items to your photos. It’s important to cover all of your items, right from drawers to your kitchen cabinets. You can ask a family member or friend to shoot while you’re covering all the items in your video recording. This will help you to get a rough estimate of your items from your insurance agency.

5. Make a copy of your list

Whether it’s your checklist on your notepad, spreadsheet or on any home inventory app, make sure that you make a copy of your list. Planning and executing a move can be really stressful. There are chances of you losing any of your items and if your inventory list is lost, all of your hard work will go in vain. So to avoid that from happening, make a copy of your checklist. If you’ve entered the data in a spreadsheet or on any other app, make sure you make digital copies of it just in case.

Also Read: Moving Out of State Checklist

Why Is It Important To Perform A Home Inventory?

Helps you organize everything

When you plan to move to a new place, you have to take care of all the belongings you want to move with you. That’s when a home inventory will help you organize your items and also help you when you pack or unpack your items for a move. Not just that, you also learn to keep a track of all of your essential documents like your documents by decluttering all your items.

Makes it easier to get insurance claims

It’s important that you include all the details for all of your items in each category while performing a home inventory. For example, the date, time and cost of your items have to be noted along with proofs such as bills or receipts of your items. Categorizing your items gives you a rough estimate of the total number of shoes, clothes, appliances, etc. you possess. This detailed information will help you to get the insurance claim from your company. If you use a home inventory app, you can get the total value of your items which you can use to get the insurance for your belongings.

Helps you take care of important documents

In order to make a note of the details of your belongings, you may hunt down all the receipts, bills and papers associated with all your items. You may also come across other important documents like your license, birth and marriage certificates, policies, etc. Once you perform a home inventory, you learn to safely pack and keep these important documents. Also, since all of these important documents also have to move with you, you create copies as you might need them anytime during your move. This helps you keep all of your important documents in a safe place in an organized manner.

Reduces your stress during a move

When you are carrying out your entire packing and moving process, you may find yourself in a situation where some or the other thing is missing. That’s when your home inventory will save your day. Your relocation and unpacking becomes easier once you go through your list or data to check if all of your items have arrived. If at all any of your belongings are damaged or lost, you can contact your moving company and trace them using your inventory.

Things To Remember While Performing A Home Inventory:

  • Make sure that your list or data is organized. If you’re more comfortable writing it down, you can use a notepad and categorize your items. If you are more technology friendly, you can use any home inventory apps to help you calculate the value of your possessions.
  • When you are categorizing your items into specific categories like furniture, appliances, wardrobe, kitchenware, etc, make sure you include the basic essential details. That includes hunting down your bills and receipts to get the manufacturing details, date, time and cost of purchase.
  • Don’t forget to list down your items stored in the storeroom, garage, basement or attic. You need to take a walk through your entire house and list down every item that you possess.
  • In order to ensure the safety of your valuables like your jewellery, documents, art pieces, etc, you can list them under a separate category.
  • When you’re done creating a home inventory, make sure that you let an agent from your insurance company go through it. That will give you an idea of the personal property coverage for the things that are important to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should be included in a home inventory list?

A home inventory list should include all the belongings that you possess. It should also include the detailed information as follows:

  1. Detailed description of each item.
  2. Serial number, model number, date, time and cost of the item.
  3. Receipts or bills of your items.
  4. If your inventory is in the form of a video or pictures, you need to attach notes and details of your items to every picture or video recording.

Why should you complete a home inventory?

A complete home inventory will help you get the right kind of insurance for your belongings. Not only that, you can use your inventory list to consult your insurance agent to know about which items will be covered by the insurance.


Planning and executing your entire moving process may seem like a daunting task. When it comes to deciding what all things you want to take along with you, you may get stressed and lost looking at all the different things around you. In order to make it less stressful, a home inventory will help you sort and organize all your belongings. You also get to know the real value of all the things you possess. Now that you know how and when to perform a home inventory, go ahead and get started with it.

Read Also: List of Apartment Moving Companies