How an Inventory List and Insurance Can Help Your Move

inventory list


Credit: Downsizing Diva

It has been 30 years since you have immigrated to Canada and lived in the same home since landing. As your children are growing up and starting their own career and life, it is time to think about moving. Downsizing to a smaller home that is easier to manage.

Living in this home for 30 years, there is a lot of items you may have gradually collected. An easy way of keeping track of your belongings is to take an inventory. The thought of this can be intimidating but an up-to-date Household Inventory can be invaluable.

A Household Inventory list can help you decide the type of home and move insurance to purchase and track all your possessions during your move. This list can also help your insurance company accelerate a claim in the occurrence of damage or loss by fire, floor, or other disaster.

Tips on how to take inventory

  • Work room-by-room and list all the large items. Check cupboards, closets, shelves and other display and storage spaces and note and describe each item. Don’t forget the check the attic, basement and garage.
  • Include serial numbers of appliances and electronic equipment and any other information you can remember about the purchase price and date.
  • Clothing and costume jewelry can be categorized and counted (3 suits, 10 dress shirts, 5 pairs of earrings, etc.), valuable items should be listed separately.
  • Receipts, appraisals or purchase contacts should be attached to the inventory pages. If you are using a computer to maintain your inventory, scan these items and file the images with the rest of the documents.
  • Use your camera and tape recorder to record information saves time and provides accurate images. Transcribe audio information to a written document for a permanent record of your list.
  • Find a safe place for your inventory list. The document, videotape or electronic must be securely stored off the premises. Look into giving it to a trusted friend or relative or putting in your safety deposit box.
  • Keep your list up-to-date by adding new purchases and deleting items that have been replaced or discarded.
  • Let your family know the location of this document so it will be easily readily available if it is ever needed.

Being in a technology advanced world, there are a lot of phone apps that can help us when we decide to take on the inventory challenge.

Here is a list of home inventory apps

  • Allstate Digital Locker: This app covers the basics and allows you to create an inventory for one property. It also offers desktop access through You can export PDF or CSV files of your inventory. Speed up the process of adding items by tagging multiple items in a single photograph.
  • Encircle: This is modern and stylish. You start by adding a property (you can have several) and then choosing the relevant rooms from a list. To add items in a room, you can take a picture of them individually or take a photo of the whole room and tap on each item in the picture afterwards. A new item in the list is created for each tap and you can enter in the details later, including a photo of the receipt. You can access your inventory on the web as well making it easier to type in the details on your keyboard.
  • Home Contents: In the free version of this app, you are limited to a single property and 25 items; the $4.99 in-app upgrade removed those restrictions. The app comes with a list of locations and categories and you are not limited to those, you can add your own. You can tag an item with more than one category. You should be able to add multiple items from one photo, but there is no way to mark the individual items or describe more than one in the photo’s listing. It can generate a report what you have sorted by location, category, or value. The paid version lets you share and print the report.
  • Sortly: This app comes with a built-in moving checklist. The free account lets you save 200 items and with a $7.99 upgrade, you can record unlimited items and automatically save them to Evernote and create QR-coded labels to put on your packing boxes to tell what is in them later. Items are organized with folders and tags, and an object can have multiple tags.

Even though you may want to put off creating that inventory list, it will definitely help you in deciding what type of move insurance you will need to purchase.

Why should you look into purchasing insurance – Replacement Value Protection – when moving?

Replacement Value Protection means that the insurer agrees to be legally liable, in the situation of loss or damage to your property that is being moved, for a sum that represents your estimate of its value.

You want to make sure the declared value is adequate to replace your furniture and personal effects to guarantee you have sufficient protection, whether that be through your own insurance policy or through the moving company’s Replacement Value Protection policy.

Questions to ask your Insurance Agent/Broker

  • Does your policy provides coverage during your move or while items are temporarily in storage?
  • If it does, is there any change from the existing deductible or any other special coverage restrictions?
  • Does your policy provide with “All Risks” coverage?

Ask your moving company to:

  • Explain the cost of purchasing Replacement Value Protection from their company.
  • Provide a written clarification of how Replacement Value Protection works and clear instructions on how to make a claim, if required.
  • Identify the difference in responsibility between owner-packed and mover-packed boxes.
  • Clarify the degree of the moving company’s liability should you choose not to purchase Replacement Value Protection.

As you prepare for your move there are many things to consider and take action on. Having an inventory list will definitely help you keep track of your items and insurance will help you protect the items you value. Get a head start on your move and start recording your possessions.

Read here to learn more about what to do to prepare for your move!

More to explore:

Articles & Research
Furniture Bank

How AI Art Works?

How we created AI photos of poverty without harming those we seek to help Share this page to help us fight furniture poverty: Facebook Twitter

Read More »