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DIY Home Maintenance for February

On Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil, a rodent of unusual celebrity, predicted six more weeks of winter.  This means there could be extended opportunity to remain cooped up at home and continue with our household organization projects that we started in January.  If you refer to last month’s article DIY Home Maintenance for January, you can revisit those organizational tips and check your progress.

House Interior

 

This month’s article focuses on what you can do to document your belongings once you know what you have and where it is.  Compiling a home inventory or updating one you already have can help you in cases of theft, fire, or natural disaster.  While nobody likes to think about the potential for these unpleasant events to occur, a little preparation can go a long way to making the process of dealing with your insurance company easier should there be a loss.

 

Check out February’s Homeowner’s Insurance workshop at Community Homeworks to find out about the types of coverage and how home maintenance can affect your rates.   Learn about theft and fire prevention in our Home Safety and Security workshop scheduled for March.

This is a project you can do one room or area at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed by the process.  Schedule a weekend or several to get it all done. A little bit of work will provide substantial peace of mind. The following list of steps was taken from Todayshomeowner.com. They say that to prepare a home inventory you’ll need a computer spreadsheet or paper notebook, camera and/or camcorder, and a tape measure.  Ready, set, go!

  1. Outside: Take a video of all sides of the outside of your home, including patios, landscaping, hardscaping, and sheds. Follow this up with photos from each angle. Take close-up photos of specific items, such as rockwork, outdoor kitchens, water features, and lighting to show detail. Record measurements, model and serial numbers, purchase price, and any other information that could help you determine the replacement value of the object.
  2. Rooms: Next, move through your house room by room with a camcorder to video the interior. Slowly pan the room, starting at the upper left area from where you’re standing and moving toward the right, then down and back to the left across the lower half of the room. Repeat the process by taking wide-angle still photos of the room from each corner.
  3. Individual Items: Now focus your camera on individual items of value. TVs, stereos, furnishings and rugs, equipment and tools, anything that would be important to replace in the event of loss. As you take photos, record on your spreadsheet each item’s name and image file number, along with as much information as possible. Record brands, model and serial numbers, measurements, and descriptive features.
  4. Document Ownership: Finally, you’ll need to compile information to prove your ownership of each item. Record purchase dates and sources on your spreadsheet, and attach receipts and any appraisal statements to the inventory. Or, you can scan relevant document and attach them digitally to your inventory spreadsheet.
  5. Secure File: If you compiled the inventory on paper, organize all documents neatly in a three-ring binder. If your inventory is in digital format, organize the digital files and copy them to flash drive, CD, or DVD. Make three copies of your inventory: one to keep at home, one to keep in your safety deposit box, and one to store in a remote location, such as with your insurance agent or a family member.