You know new orders on the horizon, but you are unsure when that will happen (if it even happens). Should you start prepping for a move or sit tight in case you remain at the same duty station? I think it is always good to be prepared for a move rather than being caught in a pre-move scramble. Taking inventory of your home will help you prepare for a potential move and will be a prudent use of your time even if the move doesn’t happen.

Taking an inventory of all of your household goods can be a benefit not only when moving, but in case your home is affected by a natural disaster, fire, water damage etc. Would you be able to account for all of your home goods if you lost everything in a fire? When I knew I could not, I began taking inventory of our household goods. I was amazed at how many things one can accumulate at each duty station (new furniture, clothes, decorations and new appliances)!

Here are a few ways to ensure you have a full inventory of your household goods:

Video and photo documentation: I feel this is the easiest way to quickly take stock of your goods. Begin by opening all cabinets and closets and slowly go through each room filming or photographing each closet, shelf and cupboard's contents, as well as recording details of furniture and electronics. Ensure you focus on serial and model numbers for large appliances, and electronics. Lastly, save copies of the photo and video in two places, just in case your computer or camera is damaged.

Receipt tracking: We try to keep all of our major receipts for things like our TV, appliances, electronics, bikes...any item at the time of purchase was a "big ticket" purchase. Store these receipts along with your other important documents (ours are in a filing cabinet we ALWAYS move ourselves). These can be used as "proof of value" when filing a claim for a missing or damaged item.

Registering Goods: You can register many electronics and appliance purchases with the manufacturer. This is an additional place your purchase information can be stored (as well as keep you up to date with recalls and warranty issues. I have recently done this with all of the major baby purchases I have made. 

Spreadsheet inventory: This is the most time consuming and comprehensive method of taking an inventory of your household items. You can have a hand written account, or use a spreadsheet on your computer to create an electronic comprehensive inventory. This site suggests you begin by cataloging your household items with details like:

o Date purchased
o Item Name
o Manufacturer
o Where you purchased item
o Serial Number/Make and Model
o Purchase price
o Value (antiques collectables, etc.)
o Photo
o Additional Details (i.e. family heirloom, grandmother's china, etc.)

This list can also be used to update your renters and homeowner insurance policy. I applaud anyone who is organized enough to have this comprehensive of a home inventory. I wish I was this organized! I settled for the video option with commentary describing some details the video might not have captured. It is not the most interesting home movie, but I will be glad to have it in case something happens to our belongings!

Helpful Resources:
Free inventory site found here

How do you handle inventorying your home? Do you have any tips and tricks to share?

Prolific Contributor

I would like to suggest that USAA program a module that allows us to enter our inventory data as well as allow us to upload scanned receipts or image files.

Briana Hartzell USAA
Thanks for the suggestion EE3! I will pass your idea along. Thank you for posting!
Occasional Visitor

Recommed you pull know your stuff link.  Went through exercise and completed home inventory. Logged in to add more stuff to inventory and everything was gone.  Tried to contact them through email link on their site and it does not work. Changed passwork using forgot my password option and sent an email to that address trying to find out what happened to my stuff.  Have not received a reply.

Cynthia USAA
USAA Service
USAA Service


Thank you for reaching out in Community. I'm sorry to hear of the trouble you experienced logging in your inventory. Please send us an email to [removed] so that we may look into this further. 





How do i get to scan and upload

Mrs DT
Occasional Visitor

Hi!  Any update on a home inventory module with USAA?