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Creating a Home Inventory

What's this? An inventory is a list or documentation of what you have in your home and its value. I hear you asking, "Why should I have this? It seems like a lot of work." Well, it does take time, but should you ever have a disaster happen to your home, you'll be so happy you made one. Here's why:

  • Insurance - if you have a fire, flood, tornado, typhoon, hurricane, earthquake, thief or anything else that robs you of your possessions, you've got to, in most cases, have something to substantiate your claim.
  • Evaluation - having an inventory helps you determine if you have enough insurance or not, or too much insurance.
  • Computers and Equipment - as we add more of these items to our homes, or start home businesses, it's important to make sure we have the right kind of insurance.
  • Documentation - there are 3 ways to document what you have: a written list with photos, a video camera, or on a computer somewhere other than your home.
  • Renters - you should always have an inventory of your possessions.
  • Notebook - divide it into sections, one for each room. Note everything. Divide page into columns including such information as: item, description, color, unique markings, manufacturer's name, where purchased, serial number, model number, date purchased, price paid. If you have receipts, attach them. Take pictures of everything and print off to put in the notebook or store on a CD with it.
  • Video - Film each room describing what you're filming as you go. Include the same type of information you'd put in a notebook. Grab a partner and have them pick up items and speak out the necessary information. This is documentation. It doesn't have to be entertaining. Store receipts with the tape or DVD in a location other than your home. Do not put in a metal safety box as you could lose the data.
  • On Computer - Quicken has a software program called Home Inventory Manager (see www.intuit.com). You can log items room by room, upload digital photos and scan your receipts into it once your software has been installed. Or get free stuff from www.knowyourstuff.org.

Don't wait until it's too late to inventory your possessions and protect yourself. And don't rely on your memory. You just can't do that. Expensive jewelry and collectibles must be appraised first before an insurance company will give you credit for them. I found out the hard way after a thief broke in and stole all my gold and diamond jewelry. I got nothing back from the insurance as none of it has been appraised.

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Finding Your Colors I
Finding Your Colors II
Creating Color Schemes
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Barbara Jennings is author of 10 decorating books: Decor Secrets Revealed, Rearrange It, Home Staging for Profit, Home Staging for Yourself, Arrange Your Stuff, Advanced Redesign, Pro Art Consulting, Wall Groupings: The Art of Arranging Art and Photos, The Art of Hanging Art, Great Parties! Great Homes!

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