Let’s say that you lost all your possessions in a house fire (knock on wood). When you talk to your insurance adjuster, you will need to provide a list of all the items you had, and without a home inventory insurance list it will be almost impossible to recoup the full value of your possessions.

For example, if you tell your insurance company that you had a 50-inch HDTV, they will replace it with the least expensive model they can find. There can be a huge price and value difference between top-of-the-line models and the basic units.

One way to protect against getting less than you deserve is by learning how to make an inventory spreadsheet.

Read on to learn what to include in this spreadsheet and how to go about making one now.

What to Include on Your Home Inventory for Insurance

It’s up to you how thorough you want your home inventory for insurance to be. Things like clothing often have a maximum amount that your insurance company will reimburse you for.

However, if you have any big ticket items in any category, go ahead and add that. For example, a designer coat or purse that cost over 4 figures should definitely make it onto the list.

Electronics are always good choices. Same goes for power tools, fine art and furniture.

While you may not need to include a list of all your kitchen utensils and food storage containers, you may want to include small appliances like bread makers, food processors and waffle makers.

Don’t forget to protect your important documents from natural disasters.

How to Get Started

It can be overwhelming to try to document everything in your house. One way to get going is to start with your recent, big-ticket purchases.

You can probably easily recall how much your most recent items cost and where you bought them. Input the serial number in your spreadsheet and if you have the receipt still, great.

Another method is to work by rooms. Start with a small room and see what should be added to the inventory. Then move to the next room.

How to Make an Inventory Spreadsheet

So how do you go about making an inventory spreadsheet?

Use Excel to create columns and list things like item name, description, serial number, price and so on.

If you have photos of the item and photos of the receipts, you can include these right in your spreadsheet or keep them in a separate cloud folder.

Use a Mobile App

If Excel seems too tedious, you can use various home inventory apps to help you instead.

For example, Sortly and Memento Database both have web interfaces as well as mobile apps. You can use either to organize your inventory.

You can add pictures of the item and receipts as well as the price you paid and purchase date. You can also organize your items into various folders and add tags to make searching for things easier down the road.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember for how to make an inventory spreadsheet is to start now.

You can’t know when disaster will strike. So be prepared just in case.

Contact Simply Contents for help with content inventory, packing and safekeeping.