I don’t know about you but the first words that come to mind when I hear the words ‘home inventory’ is disaster and insurance. Yikes! But just as important as being prepared for the unexpected, having an inventory of your belongings also gets and keeps you organized!
Since 2005, the National Association of Professional Organizers has designated January Get Organized Month, referred to as GO Month. The goal is to raise awareness of the benefits of organization. In the spirit of GO Month we’ve prepared the following list of how a home inventory helps us GO, Get Organized, so you too can reap the benefits of organization with a home inventory!
GO #1 – Locate Seldom Used Items
We all have them, things we use once or twice a year and when we need them we can’t find them! With an up-to-date Inventory we can search for the item to find out exactly where it is so you we don’t waste time looking in the wrong places. This year for me it was the humidifier that we use for a few months in the winter. Is it in the attic? Garage? Adams closet? With our inventory, I knew exactly where it was.
GO #2 – Reduce Paper Clutter
Before our home inventory we kept purchase receipts and warranties in a manila folder in the file cabinet, product manuals in a box in the laundry room, and post it notes in the nearest drawer. But no more! Now we store receipts, warranties, photos, product manuals, and notes with the item in our digital inventory. The paper clutter is gone!
GO #3 – Track Warranty Expiration
Ever wander if the appliance that just stopped working is still under warranty and if it is, who to contact? With this information stored in our inventory, it’s accessible in seconds. We can even get a report of all items with an expired warranty or soon to be expired warranty. This came in handy earlier this year when our freezer stopped working.
GO #4 – Troubleshoot Product Issues
Things break around the house and in many instances we can fix them ourselves with the help of a product manual. Instead of digging through a box to find the right manual, we download these manuals from the product website and store them digitally with the item in our inventory or even better we store the online link to the manual so all we need to do is click on the link for troubleshooting help.
We have one of those ovens that food can fall in-between the glass window, making a big mess. Recently I was able to access the manual and figure out how to take the door apart to clean it within minutes.
GO #5 – Track Automobile Maintenance
Can’t remember what maintenance you’ve done to your car and what needs to be done? We store notes and receipts for all the maintenance done to our car in our inventory. Not only does it help us stay on track but the history is available should we sell or donate the car so the next owners know what has been done or needs to be done.
GO #6 and #7 – Down Sizing and Estate Planning
A few years back, my elderly mother needed to downsize and move closer to one of my siblings. We used Home Inventory to document all her belongings before the move. As we created her inventory we tagged items she wanted to donate, trash, or sell before the move. We also tagged items she wants to leave to my siblings or me when she is no longer with us. Everything is organized and there is no doubt to her intentions. This is peace of mind for her and for our entire family.
GO # 8 – Stay on top of Home Maintenance
Change the smoke detector batteries, change the HVAC filters, clean the dryer vent, open/close the crawlspace vents. These are all tasks that need to be done on a regular basis for your family’s well being. We schedule these maintenance tasks and more in our inventory. These sync with Reminders and Calendar so nothing slips through the crack.
GO #9 – Track Collections
There are all kinds of things people collect; things like fine china, baseball cards, comic books, wine, firearms, Christmas ornaments, kaleidoscopes, guitars… Did I say guitars? By day Kevin is our software architect, designer and developer. By night, he loves to play guitar. He is continually changing out guitars whether it is buying, modifying, or selling them. He tracks all of this in our inventory, including the value of the collection as a whole and the modifications he has made to each guitar so he can return them to their original condition.
GO #10 – When we’re Organized we’re Prepared
At the end of the day, when we are organized we are prepared for the unexpected, whatever that may be. Having a digital inventory of our belongings with Home Inventory is all about getting us organized, and why we whole heartily support NAPO and their goal to make us all aware of the benefits of getting organized!
Cheers to GO Month 2017!
Binary Formations is the creator of Home Inventory, an award-winning desktop app for the Mac that helps you digitally catalog your belongings for insurance purposes and to get organized. It is an Apple Mac App Store Best of 2013 pick and Apple Mac App Store Editors’ Choice.