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Inventory for your home

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Inventory is not just for businesses.

From the experience of helping my late father pack up his office building and helping and watching my mother pack up her house after 45 years, I know you can’t pack up home in just one week.

Just recently in my street, an elderly gentleman died, the house was sitting empty for just one week. Thieves moved in silently and emptied it of everything, including the doors, bathroom fixtures and corrugated roofing!

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Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

It reminded me to stop paying lip service to take an inventory of what we own. Closer to home we discovered only after it stopped working that one of our children’s cell phones wasn’t listed on the insurance premium.

Do you know what you have?

What would have happened if it had been a bigger ticket item? Taking an inventory of the contents of your home is vital.

While the need to keep the cost of your insurance premium down is important to your managing to live within a budget, it is also important not to undervalue the contents of your home.

We have an extremely large house and two ‘collectors’ of things! Taking an inventory is a nightmare that I keep putting off.

I do have an old list from 2 years ago, so it shouldn’t be as difficult as the first inventory I did.

Keeping up with your inventory

The ideal is to do your first inventory and then whenever you get something new, you add it to the inventory. Whenever something leaves your house for whatever reason, it should come off your inventory list.

This is easier said than done. The reality is we forget, in a disposable world, we change and add or remove from our homes with great frequency. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/what-do-you-have/

In a recent house fire close to my home, a group of people lost everything!  The house, unfortunately, was home to around 32 people, asylum seekers from other African countries. It brought home the reality of what would happen if we weren’t insured and are we underinsured just to save money on premiums?

Yes, we are in an extremely tight budget but how much worse would it be if because of that we were unable to replace even the most basic of essentials.

We can’t put a value on the sentimentality of items, like my 3 hand embroidered table cloths or the 1960’s walnut bookshelf/cupboard unit that I got when my parents moved home. However, replacing a tablecloth that will fit my 16 seater dining table would come at a huge cost, replacing that wall unit with something the same size would be impossible if it isn’t listed on the insurance policy.

How do you put a value on the contents of your home?

For instance, our lounge suite, which we bought 23 years ago is massive, oversized and solid oak with a 3 seater couch that a fully grown adult can (and does) lie down on, a large 2 seater and a single armchair, plus the 2 side tables and coffee table. When we bought it at the time it was extremely expensive but times were less financially tough in those days.

To have it insured at its current value would make our insurance premium too expensive, I looked through online catalogues to find something that I would like to have in my home and use that value to get a number for my household cover.

Look around your home, what furniture would you need to replace in a disaster? What about linens and towels? How about your clothing, storage and shelving, curtains and for me personally the most important room in the house, the kitchen?

I have almost every kitchen convenience available, what would be the cost to replace my beloved Thermomix?

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My well used and much loved Thermomix TM5

Ladies do you have handbag cover? Are computers/laptops insured? What about cell phones and even spectacles. How about toys and books?

A home inventory is a must. Start big and list every single item and then work out what can be lumped together under contents to reduce your premiums and what should be specified and insured on its merit?

Even if you can’t afford to fully insure your belongings, ensuring you have some household cover will relieve the burden in the event of loss or damage to your home and its items.

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