Creating a Moving Inventory List


Does the thought of creating a moving inventory list make you cringe? If you are like most you simply want to pack and get the move done and over with as fast as possible, without a lot of extra work. After all, you are probably longing for the day when you are finally officially settled. Well, creating an inventory of your belongings may seem like a lot of extra work and a huge waste of time, but there are a few reasons why it will be time and energy well-invested.

Reasons to Create an Inventory List 

  • Packing Supplies – You may simply need to go to your local liquor store, bar, or restaurant and pick up some free boxes. Then, you can use towels, t-shirts, and other supplies you already have to move. However, if you have pricy art work, oversized frames, etc., you may need crates or a few additional supplies tailored to your move. Your inventory list will help you determine your needs. 
  • Moving Quote – Your movers will need to know of any large or heavy items. If you have an inventory sheet, you will be able to provide them with all the information they need. Even if someone comes to your house for a quote, you could both overlook that 500-pound water fountain in the backyard that is supposed to be included. 
  • Insurance – If you purchase additional moving insurance, this inventory sheet will allow you to determine the value of your belongings and the amount of coverage you need. 
  • Taking Inventory – When your movers are done, you can go through your list and make sure every piece of furniture and box is accounted for. If a box is missing or damaged, you will be able to cross-reference it with your list and immediately know what the contents were so a claim can be  started. 

Creating Your Inventory List 

  • Create a Spreadsheet – If you are comfortable with Excel, you can simply create a spreadsheet. You may want a column for the item, description, value, condition, and corresponding room or box. Or, you might want to create the list according to box, and then list the contents inside, with an additional column for value and special notes. There is no right or wrong method. Create a spreadsheet that works for you. Alternately, a piece of paper, pen, and a ruler works just as well. 
  • One Room at a Time – Ideally, you will create your inventory according to room. If you need to work on multiple rooms at a time, or if you need to come back and finish a room closer to moving day, just use a separate piece of paper for each room. If your list has your entire home jumbled together, identifying lost or damaged contents will be challenging and time-consuming. 
  • Detail – You do not necessarily need to write down how many white tank tops you have in your dresser. However, pricier items, such as art, jewelry, electronics, collections, etc., should be described in detail. If you have receipts for these items, they should all be available. You can make a copy of them to keep with your moving paperwork. 
  • Take Photos – A picture really is worth a thousand words. A mover can’t say that scratch was in your dining room table, if you have a time-stamped photo showing it wasn’t. Snapping a digital photo of everything will come in handy, if you are forced to file a claim for any reason in the future.