Spring cleaning? Take time to inventory

Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to not only clear the decks but to take inventory of the valuables you’re keeping. Allstate says a home inventory is one of the most important things consumers can do to get organized and protect their possessions.

In the blink of an eye, your home and all of your belongings could disappear. Do you know what you have? Could you list and describe your possessions in case of theft or natural disaster so they could be replaced?

Many insurance companies have online programs — Allstate has Digital Locker — that can help you check off each of these recommended steps in the home inventory process:

• Categorize your list. Organize your catalog of personal property by room, category or in item lists to make your list more manageable.

• Include photos and videos of your items. Take periodic videos of each room in your house, and focus on individual items in each room. Take additional photos or video of smaller items like jewelry, silver and related valuables.

• Attribute notes, cost and quantity to each item. It’s helpful if you can include make, model, serial numbers, receipts, cost, and date of purchase.

• Secure your information. Whether you store your information on paper or electronically, make sure your information is locked away with a key or password.

You wouldn’t want a complete list of valuable items in your home to fall into the wrong hands.

• Store your home inventory in a smart place — far enough away from your home that it won’t be lost in the same event that may destroy your house, yet close enough that it’s easily accessible in a time of need. Consider a safe deposit box, your workplace or with a friend or relative or on online cloud-based storage.

• Include your insurance and agency information for quick reference. Particularly after experiencing a loss, you may have a hard time finding the information you need about your insurance policy and to contact your agency as quickly as you’d like.

• Update after a significant purchase or gift. While you should be updating your home inventory periodically, make a special effort to do so after any major purchase, holidays or birthdays.

— StatePoint Media


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