Step 12: There are a few reasons I saved this challenge until now. We are going to begin an inventory of our homes. Why did I wait for this one?
1. By now your family should be excited about becoming self-reliant and confident about handling any challenge they may face. This makes it easier to address the disturbing reality that sometimes when a disaster strikes we don’t get to go home to an intact house.
2. A great inventory will take more than a week but even a quick one can reap many benefits. Summer break is here. Now that the craziness of online school is behind you for a few weeks you have kids or grandkids to help. Years ago I interviewed a family who lost their home to a wildfire. As they were gathering item to evacuate the wife took photos of some of the rooms and of their food storage. With these photos they were able to settle quickly with the insurance company. Without an inventory that can take years. Who would believe you actually had 200 cans of veggies?
3. As you inventory it is a great time to declutter and summer is a great time to have a garage sale and make some extra money you can apply to the supplies needed to learn all those skills we talked about last week.
This week inventory all your bedrooms and bathrooms. Take photos of all the fixtures shelving, etc. attached to the ceiling or wall. Next take photos of the rooms as they normally appear with beds made and towels hung. Next open all drawers and closet door and photograph everything in them. You do not need to pull everything off the shelves just make sure you can see everything.
When submitting an insurance claim you will need to know when you purchased an items and how much you paid. While doing your inventory create a spread sheet or just get a binder and create four columns. Label column one with the name of the item, column two the date purchased and three the amount paid. Leave the fourth column for any comments. You will want to add comments for items that are antiques such as appraised value or history and things such as repair or reupholstering costs. This may sound overwhelming but you really just need this information for large or expensive items and jewelry.
Be sure you have tubs available for items you find that you want to sell and another box or bag for those items to donate.
Make this fun. Set a timer and have all family members work together, one organizing, one taking photos, one recording on the spread sheet and when the timer goes off you are done for the day and ready for root beer floats or a favorite treat.