Everything I Own – Part 2: Getting Started

Photo: okonlineinsurance.com

Photo: okonlineinsurance.com

Last time I wrote about doing a household inventory. All the advice out there recommends that you not wait and do a perfect list. Just do something rather than nothing, and chip away at it. Except if you’re me 🙂 I have a plan! My life is not busy right now, and it’s still wintry outside. I have worked out the first 3 steps of my inventory.

MyStuff2 Pro iPad app

MyStuff2 Pro iPad app. Photo: maddysoft.com

First, I wanted to use an app because it will be more fun for me to enter and sort everything. I read some reviews and decided on MyStuff2 Pro. I will confess that this is the most expensive home inventory app at $8.99, and I have never paid more than $2.99 for an app before! But it has an endless amount of features I know I will use. (For those who use them, it is essentially a pretty interface for a fully customizable relational database).

Next, I decided what categories I would divide my stuff into. I could go room by room, but I thought I’d get tripped up. For example, let’s say I store my camping gear in an unused bedroom closet. Would it make sense for the camping gear to be in the “bedroom” category? So I decided I would do the primary sort by the “type” of stuff, and then list its location as one of its qualities.

I was thinking about how different each person’s categories would be. For instance, I have no baby gear and no sports equipment and no bar. But I do have a toy robot collection, tons of kitchen wares, and a metre-long list of electronics!

A little slice of my highly catalogued iTunes

A little slice of my highly catalogued iTunes

Finally, I thought about what level of detail I wanted to include. I would want the make, model and serial number of major appliances and electronics. I will need a cut-off, such as: I will provide some detail on every item worth over $50, and group the rest. I could just say I have 8 towels and 2 bath mats. I will not be cataloguing all my books, CDs and DVDs – just providing a number. (For the record, my CDs are already fully entered in iTunes. But maybe I need to enter my books in LibraryThing or GoodReads someday!)

So now my app is all set up to input the data. See you in a month or so! (j/k)

I will be entering some stuff from previous lists I kept, some from my receipts folder, and looking at the rest of my stuff and noting it. I will be able to add photos and copies of receipts as I go along.

So now I am all set for my data entry blitz.

Ready to sort!Photo: highhopes.com

Ready to sort!
Photo: highhopes.com

Here is the category list I created, with all its eccentricities:

  • Appliances – large and small
  • Bedding and Linens – also rugs and window coverings
  • Books – also maps and magazines
  • Camping and Outdoors
  • Cleaning and Laundry
  • Clothes
  • Collections
  • Craft and Art Supplies – includes art, needlework, paper craft, scrapbooking and sewing
  • Documents
  • DVDs
  • Electronics – includes AV, computer-related, musician gear and photography
  • Fitness
  • Food Prep – also food serving and storage
  • Furniture – also includes home accessories like lamps, clocks and mirrors
  • Games and Puzzles
  • Hardware – includes tools, home maintenance equipment and gardening gear
  • Holidays
  • Jewellery
  • Luggage
  • Music – includes CDs and retro vinyl collection!
  • Pet Supplies
  • Stationery – also includes gift wrap supplies

I found 2 online tips I wouldn’t have thought of: (1.) include a scanned copy of your home insurance policy, and (2.) take photos of permanent features of your home such as flooring materials, lighting fixtures and kitchen counters, for insurance purposes.

Now I’m up and running!

Postscript: The home inventory was eventually completed and you can see the results here.

12 comments

  1. Oh I’m getting excited!! Now I need an ipad! Joking.

    I’d have said ‘soft furnishings’ to cover everything, even some pieces of fabric I have. Actually soon I have a post auditing my linen closest (which has helped me clear some stuff out), so it’s a start for my whole house inventory.

    I’m not sure I’d bothered with stationary, only cause it’d be of negligible value (and I suppose I can’t imagine a contents policy caring that much). I think i’ll do this, but with some excel spreadsheets, and see how it progresses. It’d be a great way to pass bored time, thinking ‘what’s in that room’ and then cross checking when I get home.

    • I have done a bit from memory, too! With some categories, like stationery, I won’t be putting in much detail, but will highlight a few items like my fountain pens and calligraphy set! My linen closet used to be packed but I culled stuff from it within the past year, and the ragged pieces were donated as pet bedding!

  2. I still can’t believe with a whole house you will be inventorying every item! I have started and stopped so many times in my little space out of boredom.

  3. Fiona

    Lol – I think I’m an organising “tragic” – I find the very thought of doing this so appealing! It just seems so organised and peaceful and thorough. I will watch and learn, then hopefully take it on as a “winter” project over the next few months.

  4. I can’t wait to see how this goes 🙂 I need to go through a lot of my stuff and get rid of stuff I don’t need/use, and am actually looking forward to it. My ex-boyfriend would never ever throw anything away, so I find it freeing to be able to declutter my whole apartment 🙂

  5. Juhli

    I could do this using Excel spreadsheets but does anyone know of good, free software for Windows that would make it easier? I’m organizing tragic too LOL.

  6. I would like to try to be one of those people who get by with only owning 100 items. If I ever reach this point (and I am light years away at the moment) I might get to do an inventory! In the meantime I might just open all the drawers and cupboard doors and take photos instead. Good luck, can’t wait to see the results. Perhaps you could do a tick list for the rest of us to use.

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