Home Forums Technology Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

This topic contains 27 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  bandicoot 7 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #159710

    RC7502
    Member

    I want to use Evernote to start taking a home inventory. My wife and I both have a lot of boxes and its impossible to find anything because we don’t know what box it is in. The road block I am having is that I don’t know whether to create 1 note for each category of items or 1 note for each location.

    I was thinking if I wrote a number on each box then I could have a note for each box that lists what is inside. But what about things that aren’t in boxes? Take for example the video games in my living room. Should I create a note called video games? Or a note called living room? If I do it by category I can see all like items at once, but if I do it by location things would be easier to find.

    Does anyone have some suggestions that would help me out?
    Thanks in advance!

  • #203050

    Astreja
    Participant

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    Be careful that you don’t overthink the inventory, RC7502. The first questions to ask here are why is there so much stuff in boxes, and are you realistically going to be using it any time in the future?

    I’ve had personal experience dealing with a filing system that was more trouble than it was worth: My late dad had an enormous collection of floppy disks for various computer systems, plus printouts of lists of those collections, plus printouts of files on the floppy disks with obscure file names. It was impossible to figure out if any of it was of any use, and in the end I just started shredding everything.

    If you have to go into the boxes anyway in order to inventory things, start a few new boxes with clear categories such as “books,” “movies,” “software” and whatever else is appropriate. Sort into the new boxes, decluttering and taking inventory as you go, striving to handle each item only once.

  • #203052

    ninakk
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    Can I ask you why you keep stuff in boxes?

  • #203061

    Ella
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    I use a Word doc. My household inventory is organized room by room. As if I were filming a video, the sequence moves clockwise around the room. Cabinets, closets, and furniture are listed with their contents plus items on top or underneath. Since I tend to store like with like, the contents naturally form subcategories.

    It makes sense to me, and is easily searchable.

  • #203062

    luxcat
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    What is the purpose of the inventory? For insurance reasons or just to know what all you’ve got on hand? If it’s to be able to find things I would suggest a) trying to limit what you keep in boxes and b) just label the box itself with a rough idea of the contents. I keep about 8 boxes of things and each end that sticks off the shelf has a label like “Xmas Stuff” or “Luxcat’s HS Memories” or “Electric/Electronic accessories” If it is for insurance reasons you might be better off doing a video instead.

  • #203174

    pkilmain
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    I’m with you Candy, Excel rocks, but for home I’d weed out ruthlessly unless there’s a reason to have so many boxes full of mixed stuff. If Each box had the same stuff, inventory wouldn’t be needed.

    That being so, we do have an inventory of what’s in our safe deposit box, and a video inventory of our furniture, etc for insurance.

  • #203175

    EraserGirl
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    i have moved a lot of my reference Excel spreadsheets to Google docs, then i can access it from my iphone and my laptop and other computers.
    i have a LOT of dvds and i use Icollectmovies app to inventory them.

  • #203188

    Rosa
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    I don’t have an inventory except the photos of large things for the insurance agent.

    But I solved the box problem in our attic by

    1) weeding. Half the stuff up there wasn’t even ours and a lot of what was, we didn’t need.

    2) picking themed areas – we have a big attic, but no shelves. So there’s a place for camping gear, a place for fans & space heaters, a place for out of season clothes & blankets, a place for toys we rotate, a place for fabric & sewing supplies, and a place for holiday stuff. I can’t always tell you what box something is in (the ghost lights stayed up through Christmas and got put away in a Christmas box) but I can tell which one of 1-3 boxes it could be in.

    3) switching to clear plastic totes. I do have a few cardboard boxes (the camping gear all gets piled into a big one, I was afraid of mildew in plastic) but the holiday stuff and the out of season clothes & blankets are in clear totes so if we go on vacation in January I can pull out everyone’s flip flops & shorts without going through both bins.

    Like everyone says, the big thing is the weeding. It took me at least a year, including the two separate times when I emailed everyone who ever lived here and said “if anything precious to you is in our house you need to come help me haul crap out of the attic so you can rescue it before it lands in the dumpster.”

  • #203235

    RebeccaL
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    I created an inventory for off-season items, etc. that I store in the basement. I have a (way too) large amount of Christmas items (which I’m slowly weeding- donated one tote full last year!), and have labeled them C-1, C-2, etc. A binder contains a list of the contents. Same with extra linens- the list helps me know that the decorative pillow cases are in L-1 and the travel towel is in L-2. I just created my lists in Word, but I like the idea of using excel or evernote.

    I also recommend moving items from boxes to totes-avoids issues with critters/moisture, and helps you weed things out.

  • #203278

    RC7502
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I like the Excel idea but Google Spreadsheets are hard to edit on my iPhone or iPad. That’s why I was leaning towards Evernote. As for why we have so many boxes, I agree we need to weed out stuff. I am much better at getting rid of things than my wife is. A lot of my boxes are computer cables, home video cables and video game accessories. The problem is if I need a cable I will sometimes buy a new one because I don’t want to dig through my boxes looking for one, if I even have it.

    I also like the idea of clear plastic totes for seasonal things and things I will always keep. Much better than cardboard boxes. I think in Evernote I will try naming the note base on the tote or box and then use tags for categories. The search capabilities should help as well.

    Thanks again everyone this is a very helpful forum!

  • #203280

    ninakk
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    Hey, it’s great you came back! We see quite a few opening posts but then the person with the problem never returns, at least not publicly.

    If you are using boxes of “difficult” kind such as moving boxes, I would start by combining like with like, see whether some duplicates could go. Then I’d estimate contents to figure out whether some other type of storage would be easier; boxes allowing cardstock labels (which can be changed easily) are very good, for example, should you prefer non-plastic storage.

    As we say here on Unclutterer, don’t organize before you have purged properly! Good luck and please hang around if you like, it’s a good place to be.

  • #203282

    RC7502
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    On an unrelated topic how do you know when there are new posts on a topic on this forum? I tried adding the rss feed to google reader but it never gave me any results so I didn’t know anyone answered my question.

  • #203285

    ninakk
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    Oh us regulars are notorious for hanging out basically daily here πŸ˜€ No RSS necessary. Don’t know how it works either, I’m the manual kind of gal, haha.

  • #203287

    chacha1
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    um, yeah … I just log in regularly to see who’s chatting. πŸ™‚

    I want to do a home inventory this year, too. Not so much for insurance, although it will somewhat serve as a check to see that we have sufficient coverage, but more for our estate-planning which I really, seriously want to do this year.

    We don’t have kids and have not even discussed, in any meaningful way, what the best way to dispose of all our Stuff might be. Knowing what we have – and, I hope, using the process to get rid of some of it – I think will be a good way to get into that discussion.

    I mean really. Nobody is going to want most of our stuff, it’s Stuff not assets. Better to have an inventory ready for the estate sale organizer working on behalf of our executor … whoever that turns out to be.

    My approach will probably be by room and then subcategories. I’m not going to list each vial of beads or hank of embroidery thread separately, but I already have indices of movies and books (keeps me from buying the same thing twice … I don’t so much worry about that with beads!) and mean to make one for music as well, something I should have been doing all along.

    Frex, Den = Furniture: couch, corner vitrine, aquarium, 2 end tables, Mongolian sideboard, Chinese media stand, Chinese wedding table, Chinese altar chest; Art: photo print of sunrise Mono Lake, Hawaii Volcanoes painting, Guo Ji Liang photo print, Volcanoes photo print, crystal microphotograph; Lighting: pair of pin-up sconces, stained-glass lamp; Electronics: Samsung TV, Sound Bar, DVD jukebox, DVD-VCR, laptop, portable DVD player, Kindle … that’s just the big stuff, from memory. πŸ™‚

  • #203291

    RC7502
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    I guess the RSS feed does work. Maybe I have to be logged in here first. Anyway, for those of you recommending plastic totes where is a good place to get them that isn’t too expensive?

  • #203297

    ninakk
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    I also want to make an inventory for insurance purposes with the video and all, but only after I’ve purged a bit more. It’s a great idea though, but I felt the need to encourage RC to some like-to-like organizing first if there is complete chaos.

  • #203360

    Rosa
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    I don’t even really know where half these plastic totes came from πŸ™‚ I have a few from Target, they seem to go on sale after each holiday, clear with holiday-color lids. So I have 2 Christmas ones, a Halloween one, and one that I think was probably intended to be for Easter (yellow & purple) that I use for “everything else decorative”

    The rubbermaid ones are pretty standard and have been sturdy (I don’t know how many gallons they are, they are sort of medium-sized, very close to a standard laundry basket size). I think they sell them at all the big-box stores, but I think they came to me already full of hand-me-down baby clothes.

  • #203369

    pkilmain
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    I was in Target today – they have several aisles of plastic totes of various sizes and shapes,and we won’t talk about the other types of storage items they have. I came out with only two birthday cards….

  • #203390

    kstanfor
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    I use RSS feeds on this site to follow not just new topics but those that are resurrected. I have never had any problems with them not working. The other advantage is that I can save a particular post for future reference.

  • #203455

    s
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    My RSS works, too…

  • #203635

    Inventory
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    If you are compiling your own home inventory (as opposed to hiring a third-party Home Inventory Professional), keep a few things in mind like: your home inventory is for A LOT more than just insurance claims. My clients use them for divorce, death, moving, storage, to get business loans, stolen property identification, and on and on and on. Keeping this in mind, be as comprehensive as possible when you do your home inventory and don’t forget pictures…lots and lots of pictures including detailed photos of every identifying mark. You should always hope that you never need to use your inventory reports, but if you do need to use them, make sure they are as comprehensive as possible including serial and model numbers, identifying marks, colors, quantity, value, date purchased, etc. Share the reports with your insurance agent as soon as you are done – don’t wait until something happens to show your agent and remember to email yourself a copy of the reports. The reports are much more valuable if you can prove they were compiled BEFORE you need file a stolen property reports, submit an insurance claim, process estate or probate documentation.

    Your current home inventory is a very important document and at the very least should be updated annually and stored in a secure location outside of the home. Your home inventory reports are the same as a shopping catalog of everything in your home, its location, and value…makes sure you protect it. Please let me know if I can help with anything or answer any questions.

  • #204467

    Inventory
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    Thanks, I think? I never intended to come across as advertising or spam. My #1 goal is to educate, inform, and spread consumer awareness.

  • #208475

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    You two guys are funny, but anyway home inventory is really important Every home has a range of stuff in it. Making an inventory of all that stuff will save you both time and cash later on. It will help you to save both money and time as well.Another things to considered is to categorized them according to consumables, valuables and everything else,these are the items that do not necessarily command a high price, but are still useful to you.An inventory can help you make smarter and practical in buying choices when you are going grocery shopping. Source for this article: Making a home inventory to save money.

  • #208477

    elizabethB
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    Every home has a range of stuff in it. Making an inventory of all that stuff will save you both time and money later on. Making a home inventory to save money is a good idea. An inventory can help you make smarter buying choices when you are going grocery shopping. A home inventory can also help reduce your home insurance cost because the insurance company can be provided with a list of exactly what it is insuring.

  • #208496

    bandicoot
    Member

    Taking a Home Inventory, group by category or location?

    i don’t think we have enough stuff to even bother with an inventory around here.
    there is no deep storage, attic or basement.
    everything is out in the open and being used.
    we don’t have insurance…..it is just stuff and anything of a sentimental nature cannot be replaced with money anyway.

    samanthajones and elizabthb, why are you repeating yourself?

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