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


    • Manufacturer


    • Where you purchased item


    • Serial Number/Make and Model


    • Purchase price


    • Value (antiques collectables, etc.)


    • Photo


  • 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?



New Member
I totally agree with this article. I kept a spreadsheet of all electronics and tech-related items. When my home was robbed, where they took mostly electronic stuff, I had most all of the information I needed to hand over to USAA to report the claim. I highly recommend it not only for insurance purposes but also to keep track of warranties and defective call backs from the manufacturer (if you happened to not register the product with the manufacturer - recommended for this purpose). In addition to the great recommendation to keep this information in 2 places, I would recommend keeping the electronic version/copy online somewhere in case your physical copies or devices where this information was stored on were damaged beyond recovery, or totally lost.
I scan in receipts at purchase, then document all info mentioned in the article into a home inventory program called Frostbow Home Inventory: It saves all the info and pictures, etc into a nice database. Lots of reports for categorization and it outputs pdf pages for each item.
New Member
Your literature and your website suggest you offer the assistance of an electronic personal proptery/household inventory guide/electronic matrix. Your website set me into a circle of sites, including one by IIN, without success. Is your advice out of date? Frustrated, as usual, with USAA.
Regular Visitor
@ Frustrated...There is a link to the software on the website in the lower right hand corner, it's the big orange house. Don't feel bad, I missed it the first couple of times too! I haven't used the software yet but will soon because we are moving this summer and I was looking for something to document our property.
Regular Visitor
@'s some additional info. I just went back and looked at the website again and you can go directly to the home inventory site at Hope this helps you, I went ahead and registered for it to browse a little and it looks like a neat site, very organized and detailed and the best part is that it's free.
Frequent Visitor

What about appliances you purchased with your home.  Obviously, there's no receipt for those 'large' purchases.  God forbid I need to file a claim, but how is that handled, generally speaking?

USAA Social Service
USAA Service
USAA Service

Great question @superfluous1 about appliances that came with your home.  USAA's homeowners insurance covers tangible property owned or used by any "insured" while it is anywhere in the world.  After a loss and at your request, we will cover the loss of personal property owned by:  Others while the property is on the part of the "residence premises" occupied by any "insured".  Even if there is no receipt, you can document the appliance information as well as take a photo of it and keep for any future losses.   If any any additional questions, please don't hesitate sending us a private message or reaching out to our insurance specialists to further address any concerns.  ~Marco