Taking an inventory of all the items in your home can seem like a daunting task. Especially if you’ve been living in the same home, for years, and have accumulated a good deal of stuff. Have you ever done some spring cleaning and found an item that you completely forgot you had? This is where a home inventory list will come in handy.
The benefits of a great home inventory list are numerous. A list will make the packing/unpacking easier process easier. Itemizing will help you organize and declutter your home. Additionally, a list simplifies the process of professional moving companies creating a quote for your move. The inventory list helps to identify valuable items in your home, whether financial or sentimental. Organizing in this manner aids decision-making about how to safely move the household.
Make Your Home Inventory List in Three Easy Steps
Grab a pen and pad, open up a document, or download a program on your laptop, tablet, or phone and get ready to walk around your home. It’s time to start your inventory list and decide between what items you’ll be keeping, giving to charity, and throwing away.
1. Organize your list by room
Taking an inventory of your home one room at a time is the quickest and most efficient way of putting together your list. Start in one room and take down the large items first. Couches, beds, dressers, and large appliances should be the first items before getting to the contents of cabinets and drawers, books, small appliances, etc. Don’t forget to get to the back of your closets to uncover any items you might be missing.
This is also when you should begin to make decisions on what will be moving, donated, or thrown away. We recommend making an initial list of everything in your house/apartment. Review the list closely, to differentiate between what you will bring and what you may need to discard.
If you need things disposed of, many moving companies will include disposal services that take local laws and building rules into account. We have a guide to decluttering your home if you’re having trouble with this part of the process.
2. Be as detailed as possible
Having an eye for detail can be a big factor in creating a great home inventory list. Make a separate category for electronics in each room to take note of what cables are essential. There’s nothing worse than having a box full of power cords with no idea what device will need them.
Putting a star, $, or another meaningful sign next to valuable items is a good way to differentiate them from the rest of your inventory. Think beyond jewelry and artwork, think about the sentimental value. If emotional devastation would follow if an item were to be lost, note it as valuable. The same should be done with any particularly fragile items. Glass and marble tables, decorative plates, china, and pieces of artwork or picture frames on your walls could very likely be considered valuable as well as fragile when moving (especially in long-distance moves).
It’s also a good idea to take note of any large furniture items that you think will need to be disassembled when being moved. While bed frames and reclining couches may be simple to disassemble and move, things like pool tables require more expertise (and should probably be moved by professionals).
If you’re hiring professional movers ask if furniture disassembly and reassembly is a service they provide. Also, check out our post of top items only a moving company should move to see if you have any of them on the list.
3. Become a photographer
Pictures and videos are your best friend when preparing for your move. Take pictures of the entire room as well as individual items like artwork on the walls, desks, and chairs. These items tend to vary in style and size. Closet interiors, full bookcases, and appliances and electronics from each room are important to document.
You don’t need to take an inventory of all the small, individual items like books and clothes you’re taking (unless they are particularly valuable) but pictures can really come in handy here.
Having a detailed photo or video inventory will make the packing process that much easier. Also, having pictures of things like full bookcases and closet interiors can help moving companies estimate the number and type of boxes you’ll need for your move when getting a quote.
You might have an idea of how many boxes it would take to pack your things from a previous move, but professional movers are experts at taking a look at your things and coming up with an accurate estimate of the number and type of boxes that will be required for your move.
So you have a solid list of all the things you’re looking to move, you have a separate section for large items you might need help throwing away and you made some (maybe tough) decisions on what’s going into the trash. Most importantly though, you’ve gained a ton of perspective on just how big this move is going to be.
If you were feeling intimidated by the very thought of moving while making your inventory list consider doing some more research and reading our blog post – Pros & Cons of Moving Yourself vs. Hiring a Moving Company in NYC to help with the decision.
If, after reading this post, you’re set on hiring professional movers – may be because of certain hard-to-move items or just to have the luxury of being able to breathe and let professionals handle your move – be sure to contact FlatRate Moving to get a quote today! If you’re looking to do some more research check out our other blog posts. Thanks for reading!