The Importance of an Inventory List

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Pre-Move

So you’ve found the perfect home and now you just need to move.  But as you look around, you will probably realize that getting all your stuff from Home A to Home B will be no easy task.  Like many people, you probably have a lot of stuff.  The bigger the family and the bigger the home, the more items you’ll have to move with you.  It is important to keep track of all your belongings though.  One great way to accomplish this is by creating an inventory list of all the items in your home.  As daunting as this task may seem, if you take your time systematically creating it, you will stay organized and confident that all your belongings will arrive at your new home.

The thought of compiling an inventory list brings dread to some.  It means that you will need to go through your home and catalog everything you’re moving.  The best approach is to go through your home, room by room, logging the items in each.  And while this task is tedious, it will help you get organized.  Most people come across some items that they simply no longer need or do not want to pay to move.  As you prepare your inventory list, you will have the chance to find these items and begin to separate what you are keeping versus what  you are getting rid of.  This can also help you decide if you want to try and sell items through a moving sale, if you have items you’ll simply donate, or what belongings are past their prime and need to be thrown away.

Isn’t the moving company supposed to handle this?  It is true that if you are hiring professional movers they will create an inventory list and present it to you during loading and unloading.  This serves as a receipt in a sense and shows what they are responsible for in the event of loss or damage to items.  It is important to inspect and verify this list in case you have to make a claim.  However, creating your own inventory can help you to verify the list presented by your movers.  Additionally, if you are handling your move on your own, your inventory list will be the only list detailing the items moved.  Having your inventory list on hand will help you determine any items missing once you start unpacking too.

An inventory list can be as detailed as you desire.  It is best to break the list up by items belonging to each room.  Within each room you will want to label the item, be it furniture or dishes, as well as the condition of each item.  If you are making a move on your own, the condition will be less important because you will be responsible for any damage.  However, if movers are handling your items, you will want to make sure that items arrive in the same condition as packed.  Filing a claim with your mover immediately if there is loss or damage is imperative to resolving any disputed costs.

While a detailed inventory will be helpful, you do not have to go overboard.  Cataloging individual books or forks will be a bit excessive, as well as time consuming.  Similarly, small scratches or other marks on each item do not need to be noted.  The general condition will suffice.  If damage occurs during the move, you will know.  You will recognize markings on your coffee table that are a result of years of use.  The crack in the vase that was pristine at your old home is another story.  Pictures of items are good documentation of the condition of items before you move.  Finally, as you go through your belongings and the state of each, it can help you decide how much insurance you want when you move.  You may not have many valuable items, and are fine with minimal coverage.  Priceless art or heirlooms might necessitate additional coverage or outside insurance.

When it comes time to move, you will have a lot of things to keep track of.  In addition to all your moving plans, it will be important to stay on top of the items you are relocating.  Creating a moving inventory list is a great way for you to decide what to move, and ensure that you get everything to your new home.  You will want to have a couple of copies in case one is lost.  Come moving day, you should make sure to keep your inventory on hand, in case you need to check boxes or certain items.  A detailed inventory will help you stay organized in the chaos of moving.  And while it may require some time to create, you will thank yourself come moving day.

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