It’s moving day! You packed all your contents into boxes and labeled the boxes according to what room they go in when arriving at the new house. But you didn’t list the individual items as you packed – you didn’t create a thorough inventory. What if some of the boxes are missing when you arrive, or some of the items are damaged?

You probably won’t even know it for days, weeks or even months, according to how quickly you unpack. Then how difficult would it be to list what you no longer have? Completely impossible!

If you don’t already have an inventory of your belongings, a great time to create this documentation is prior to moving. You’ll have all the appliances and electronics unplugged, so listing the model and serial numbers will be quite easy. Normally, people purge the things that they no longer want or need, so this is another reason to record your home’s contents now – you’ll have cleaned out all your closets and thrown or given away all your unwanted items.

If you’re hiring a moving company, create your inventory prior to the move. Take photos and log the items as you pack them. The photos will prove ownership, in case something is missing, but will also show the condition of your belongings before they were loaded onto the truck. Scratches on tables, broken legs on chairs, a tear in the upholstery or crystal that has been chipped, cracked or broken are all situations that might occur. Be prepared.

If you’re moving yourself, document your items after you’ve unpacked. You will have all the items in the proper rooms (the preferred format when filing an insurance claim) and also no contents will be included that didn’t fit in the new house or apartment.

Moving is a very stressful time, whether you’re going across town or across the country, and accidents and disasters do happen – we see news items every day!

A friend told me her neighbor moved and when they arrived at their new house a few states away, she called to ask if their portable basketball goal was still in the driveway. My friend informed her former neighbor that she watched the movers load it onto the truck. Now what? No list, no photos, no basketball goal.

Another instance that supports the need for an inventory prior to moving is a couple who moved from California to Indiana. The moving van was in an accident and all the contents on that truck burned – complete destruction! No photos or a detailed list to help them complete their claim form.

Sometimes you have to place items in storage. This can occur if your new house isn’t ready yet and the buyers of your old house are due to take possession. All the contents of your house must go into storage.

Many college students, moving home for the summer, bring all their furniture back with them. Mom and Dad have downsized and there is no room for these additional items. So each summer, storage units are rented, and since they are out of sight, are they also out of mind? How could you remember everything that was placed in a storage unit?

A local police officer stated that there are burglaries on a frequent basis at self-storage units. There are also occurrences of fires and floods.

No matter where you’re moving, or how many items, relocation is a perfect time to create your much-needed inventory of the contents of your home.

Author's Bio: 

Cindy Hartman is President of Hartman Inventory LLC, a woman-owned business that provides business and home inventory services. She and her husband Mike also own Hartman Inventory Systems LLC, a company that provides a complete turnkey inventory business package for those who want to establish their own inventory company.