How to Create an Inventory for Your Move

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Making a Moving Inventory

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Moving brings new changes like a new location, new friends, and sometimes even a new job into our life. Whether you are moving across
the street (or to another province), organization and planning will help you transition smoother.

Moving inventory


A moving inventory is a detailed list of all the items you will be taking with you and their estimated value, categorized according to various
rooms in the house.

The inventory includes everything from kitchen pieces to garage tools to clothing. A moving inventory is the first line of protection in the event of theft, catastrophe or an accident. It is also useful in claiming insurance.


Sorting your rooms

The process of sorting through your rooms should start weeks before your move. It helps you de-clutter, organize and get rid of unneeded things. The entire process of sorting should be done slowly so that it is less likely that you will miss anything.

It is a good practise to create a schedule and stick to it. This way you can organize your time well and make sure everything is packed by the moving day.
  • Start from the room that is the least utilized
    • For example: dining room, home office, living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom
    • There is no hard and fast rule here, you can schedule your sorting as per your needs
  • Make a list of items to be packed and in what order while sorting
  • Take pictures to record the condition of your belongings
    • This will help you during the claims process if need be

Creation of a household inventory


Keep a written inventory of all items in the room along with specific details like:
  • The type of items
  • The number of items
  • The make, model, serial number, original price and year of purchase of all the items
This is essential to claim insurance money in case of the items getting lost or damaged during the move. Toolboxes, lawn movers, grills, and sporting equipment are prone to theft, so include these items in your inventory.

TIP: You can also make a digital inventory using a video camera or a digital camera. In the former method, create an audio diary along with the inventory that details the information of various items. For still photos you can write the information on the back of the photos.

Sensitive items

Copies of documents such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, wills, insurance policies and deeds should be taken. Make sure to keep the originals with you. The copies can move with the rest of your belongings.

Finalizing an inventory

After you finished describing various items in your house:
  • Make copies of the written inventory, video tapes and digital photos
  • Keep the original and store it in a secure location, like a locked drawer
  • Keep a couple of copies around the house
  • File a copy with the insurance company
  • Have another person double-check your inventory to see that all your belongings are listed

Insurance during moving

The inventory list can be used to get an estimate of what your move is going to cost. It is also useful in telling you whether you will need any additional moving insurance on top of what is offered through the movers.

Actual Cash Value (ACV) and Replacement Costs are the two terms used by insurance companies to describe the amount of money it will pay you in case of a liability.
  • Actual Cash Value (ACV) refers to the cost of your belongings if sold at market rate regardless of the item's original price
  • Replacement Cost gives cash based on the current value of your lost items
Insurance policies vary from company to company, but one has to study the fine print on what your policy is going to cover.

Author :

on January 15, 2013

TopMoving.ca - Moving Expert
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