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 mentioned before how this time makes me antsy, but there are some things you can do to prepare for a potential move that will not be a waste of time, even if you stay in your current location!
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 much stuff 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 that 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 that 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.
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:
- Date purchased
- Item Name
- Where you purchased item
- Serial Number/Make and Model
- Purchase price
- Value (antiques collectables, etc.)
- Additional Details (i.e. family heirloom, grandmother's chine, 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!
How do you handle inventorying your home? Do you have any tips and tricks to share with fellow military spouses?