Taking stock of your stuff — made simpler!

Making a home inventory of your belongings can be a tedious task. Not anymore! Here are some tips to make it a step by step, simple and effective method.


Living through a disaster or other devastating incident in your home can be emotionally draining. Filing an insurance claim shouldn’t be an added burden; it should help to make a difficult situation easier to bear. Surprisingly, only 33 per cent of Canadians do an inventory of their belongings. And the majority of those who do tend to underestimate the replacement value of what they own. Most Canadians estimate the value of their belongings at $15,000, which is often less than the real value. You can draw up a list on paper or follow the tips below to do your homework in no time!

Put technology to work for you
One problem people run into when making a claim is proving that they indeed own the items they are claiming. To facilitate an agreement between the two parties, it helps to take photos and or videos of your belongings. You can also switch from making lists on paper to using online tools which can help you organize your inventory and get it done more quickly.

Learn to identify the real value of your belongings

Say you bought your latest TV on sale. You won’t necessarily find the same bargain when you make your insurance claim. Always record the retail price of each item and not what you paid for it.

Keep a copy of your list outside your home

Completed your inventory? Well done! But if you want to avoid wasted efforts, save an electronic copy of it to the Cloud (Google, iCloud) or in private mode on a platform such as YouTube, Vimeo or Flickr, so that you don’t have to worry about losing your data.

Take it step by step

Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you’ve lived in your home for some years, do a quick tour of your place with a camera and then go room by room, taking shots of everything you own, down to the herbs and spices in your kitchen cupboards. You’ll feel less daunted once you have an initial overview on video. Then make a written list of your belongings by category and identify your most valuable possessions. Set goals and a deadline for completing your inventory. And if worse comes to worst, a partial inventory is better than none at all.

Update your inventory
If you buy yourself a new piece of jewellery or a state-of-the-art sound system, be sure to take photo of it and note the value of the new item in your inventory. And try to update your list every year so that you don’t forget about anything.

Last but not least, pat yourself on the back! You should feel good about having the foresight and discipline to accomplish this rather unappealing but necessary task. It’s not always possible to avoid damage or loss of your stuff, but having an inventory definitely makes it easier to deal with any problem that may arise.


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