Last week I discussed some of the top documents you should have digitized in the event of a disaster or emergency. To offer more tips and guidance for making sure your home is prepared, Laura and Janet Greenwald, co-creators of groundbreaking disaster preparedness system â€śReady In 10,â€ť will take you through how to create a comprehensive Home Inventory.
Until Next Timeâ€¦Keep it Neat!
By Laura and Janet Greenwald
A Home Inventory is something no home should be without.
Why? Â Because, if something happens to your big screen TV or your favorite oriental rug, your insurance company isnâ€™t just going to hand over a replacement check. Â First theyâ€™ll make you provide proof of ownership, insurance and proof that it was in reasonably good condition, before it met its untimely end.
The good news is that creating a home inventory couldnâ€™t be easier â€“ especially if you have a NeatDesk or NeatReceipts.
So grab a notebook, a digital camera and open up Neatâ€™s Digital Filing System software on your computer. Â Ready? Â Letâ€™s get started!
First, youâ€™re going to need a home inventory form. Â You can either create your own using a piece of notebook paper or a blank Word document, or you can download and print a Home Inventory Form absolutely free from our web site,Â http://getyourstufftogether.com/neatdownload.htm.
If youâ€™re creating your own form, write the name of the room youâ€™re inventorying first. We suggest the living room, since itâ€™s usually home to the most expensive electronics and furniture. Â Below that, create five headings: Â Name of Item, Manufacturer, Model/Serial Number, Date of Purchase and Warranty Number.
Beginning with the living room, walk through and record the items in each room. Â You want to list every item that is:
- Separately insured or under warranty
- That would be expensive to repair or hard to replace
- Or that has sentimental value to you
Jot down the name of each item, and then fill in the rest of the information about it, under each heading.
When youâ€™re finished with the room, take a photo of each item, then take a few photos of the room itself to show the condition of the walls, floor and the configuration of the furniture. Â This way, if the room or any of the items in it are damaged accidently or in a fire or disaster, youâ€™ll have proof of the original condition to send to the claims adjuster.
Continue doing this for each room in your home, the exterior of the house and all the vehicles that you own.
Now take your list to the place where you keep your important documents and receipts and gather all of the warranties, original purchase receipts, protection plans, insurance policies and certificates of insurance, along with the business cards of your insurance agents for all of the items on your Home Inventory.
Hereâ€™s where it gets fun. Â Turn on your NeatDesk or NeatReceipts and open up the Digital Filing System software on your computer to access your Neat library of file folders.
Right click on the main folder and create a new folder called Home Inventory. Â If you have a lot of documentation to scan you can always create folders for each of your rooms inside the main Home Inventory folder, but for most people one will do nicely.
Scan the home inventory form pages, along with all of the receipts, warranties and documentation and save them to the Home Inventory folder.
I bet you didnâ€™t know that you can insert photos into your Neat Digital Filing System did you? Â Itâ€™s easy. Just upload the pictures from your digital camera to your computer desktop. Â Go back to the Home Inventory folder and click on Insert, Photo, then Browse to the folder containing the photos you took and insert them right into your Home Inventory folder. Â If you have any photo prints of your items, simply scan them with NeatDesk and place them in the folder.
Once youâ€™re done, Neat will automatically sync your entire Digital Filing System, including Home Inventory folder to NeatCloud. Â That way youâ€™ll have your Home Inventory right at your fingertips, no matter where you are, the instant you need it, even if youâ€™re miles away from home. Now thatâ€™s what we call having your stuff together!
Mother and daughter screenwriting team Laura and Janet Greenwald are creators of the groundbreaking disaster preparedness system â€śReady In 10â€ť. Their latest book, â€śGet Your Stuff Togetherâ€ť is helping families nationwide keep the things that are important to them, safe and secure, quickly and easily. You can find them on Twitter @readyin10net or at www.getyourstufftogether.com.Â