Taking Home Inventory

You never know when a disaster may strike—but you can be prepared with a home inventory. 

Having an up-to-date home inventory will help you:

  • Purchase enough insurance to replace the things you own.
  • Get your insurance claims settled faster.
  • Substantiate losses for your income tax return.


There are many ways to create a home inventory. It may seem hard at first to record information about everything you have in your house, but don’t let that put you off. First, decide on a way to make an inventory that works for you. You can do it room by room, category by category (furniture, electronics, etc.), from newest items to oldest or from most expensive purchases to less expensive ones.


There are different ways to make your list, however, capturing it all digitally is probably the most efficient. Not only that, you can take pictures and store them all quickly and easily. Using video you can also walk through your house filming and describing the contents at the same time.

Keep receipts when they are available and note the cost for the item, when you bought it and other information about the make and model.

Expensive items like jewelry and art work may need to be insured separately. Ask your insurance agent whether you need a floater for your homeowners policy.

Store a copy of your inventory in a safe place outside of you home—with a friend or in a safe deposit box. That way you’ll be sure to have something to give your insurance representative if your home is damaged. Also, whenever you make a significant purchase, remember to add the information to your inventory while the details are fresh in your mind.


Make note of expensive items, such as jewelry, furs, and collectibles. Valuable items may need separate insurance. But, don’t forget more commonplace items such as toys, CD’s and clothing.


Walk through your house or apartment videotaping the contents. Remember to open drawers and closets. One advantage of videotape is that you can narrate what you are filming.


You can refer to the following lists to help create your inventories. Write a brief description of the item including when and where it was bough and its make or model number.


  • Televisions
  • Stereo equipment
  • Cameras
  • Computers
  • Mobile phones
  • Washer/Dryer
  • Air conditioners
  • Heaters
  • Fans
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Exercise equipment


  • Carpet/rugs
  • Window treatments
  • Bookcases
  • Valuable books
  • Chairs
  • Lamps/light fixtures
  • Clocks
  • Mirrors
  • Vases
  • Collections (coin, stamp, etc.)
  • Pictures/wall hangings


  • Sofa
  • Chairs
  • Coffee table
  • End tables
  • Entertainment center/wall units
  • Piano/other musical instruments


  • Buffet
  • Table
  • Chairs
  • China
  • Silverware
  • Crystal
  • Table linens
  • Tea/coffee sets
  • Serving table/cart


  • Beds
  • Bed Linens
  • Dressers/Chests
  • Dressing Tables
  • Night tables


  • Shoes
  • Coats
  • Furs
  • Suits
  • Dresses
  • Sweaters
  • Sports Apparel
  • Shirts
  • Skirts
  • Jewelry


  • Table
  • Chairs
  • Refrigerator
  • Freezer
  • Stove
  • Microwave Oven
  • Oven
  • Dishwasher
  • Coffee makers/other small appliances
  • Pots/Pans
  • Dishes
  • Glasses
  • Kitchen Utensils


  • Hair dryer/other electrical appliances
  • Scale
  • Shower Curtains
  • Towels


  • Desk
  • Chairs
  • Sofa
  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Scanner
  • Fax Machine
  • Books
  • Tables
  • Business Supplies


  • Furniture
  • Luggage/Trunks
  • Sports Equipment
  • Toys/Outdoor Games
  • Bicycles
  • Small Boats
  • Trailers
  • Lawn Mower
  • Snow Blower
  • Shovels
  • Sprinkler/Hoses
  • Wheelbarrel/Other Garden Tools and Supplies
  • Ladders
  • Work Bench
  • Carpentry Tools/Supplies
  • Holiday Decorations


  • Garden Chairs
  • Garden Tables
  • Umbrellas
  • Outdoor Cooking Equipment
  • Planters
  • Jacuzzi

© Copyright 2020. All rights reserved. This content is strictly for informational purposes and although experts have prepared it, the reader should not substitute this information for professional insurance advice. If you have any questions, please consult your insurance professional before acting on any information presented. Read more.