A home inventory is a detailed list of your personal property or assets located in your home.  It should include property that you have stored elsewhere, perhaps in a garage or storage shed.

Your list should include: furniture, jewelry, antiques, artwork, appliances, kitchen contents, clothes, carpets, drapes, computer equipment, television sets, CD players (and other audio or audiovisual equipment), musical instruments, clocks, mirrors, linens, lawn mowers, snow equipment, tools, sports equipment, collectibles and any other items of value.

Download the Home Inventory form to help you get started.

Why should I create a home inventory?

  • Insurance - Receive insurance settlements faster because you will be able to identify what was lost. Most people can't recall every item accumulated over the years after a loss.
  • Taxes and Valuation - A detailed inventory can help verify losses for income tax deductions.
  • Estate planning - A line listing or picture inventory can be used to supplement legal documentation or information.
  • Moving - Keep track of lost or damaged items.
  • Theft – provides law enforcement with description and serial numbers of stolen items.

How do I fill out the home inventory form?

Most valuable items have a make, model and serial number. The make is the brand name; the model is the type (often a combination of numbers and letters); and the serial number identifies your specific item.

For example, you might have a Gateway laptop computer. The make is “Gateway.” The model might be a name, a number, or a combination such as “M-152S.” The serial number will be unique for that computer; it ill have numerals and possibly letters. Model and serial number lengths will vary.

Where do I find the make, model and serial number?

In most cases, the model and serial number are located on the bottom or back of the item. Laptops often have them on the bottom; televisions may have them in the back. It will usually preface the model number with something like “Model No.” and serial numbers with something like “Serial No.”

It’s very important to record the make, model and serial number of all valuables. Don’t forget bicycles. The serial number’s location will vary with different bikes, so you’ll have to search. It should be somewhere on the main frame.

Don’t forget that some of the valuables you use every day may have several items with individual makes, models, and serial numbers. For example: If you own a desktop computer, your monitor, keyboard, mouse, external speakers, and computer tower could each have their own make, model, and serial number. 

What about valuables like jewelry?

If you have items which are valuable to you but don’t have a make/model/serial number, it’s a good idea to record all the distinguishing features and general information about the item that you can.

Take photographs of the item. If you’re using a digital camera, save the pictures as small files attached to the inventory. Otherwise, consider getting them printed or developed and storing someplace safe.

If you have the pictures developed at another location, do not put your home address on the information you fill out at the store. That will reduce an opportunity for a thief to know where to find your items. Use your business address or another neutral address instead.

What do I do with my home inventory list once it’s finished?

It’s important to keep a copy of your home inventory list in a safe, secure place. You may need the information for the insurance company or local police department. It’s best not to keep the list in your home—for example, if there is a fire, you may lose it. Here are recommendations for storing your list in a safe place. Do what makes sense for you and your family. Whatever you decide to do, make and keep a backup copy.

Safe deposit box:  If you have a safe deposit box, you can keep the jump drive and/or a printed copy of the list there. This way, of what may occur at your home, you will always have access to the information.

Online/emailing:  If you are technically savvy, one of the best solutions may be to zip, rar, or otherwise archive the list. Many programs that compress files will give you the option of password or pass-phrase protecting the item. Choose a password or pass-phrase that you will remember but that is not obvious (obvious passwords often include birth dates of you or loved ones, names of loved ones or pets, etc).

If you have an email address that you feel is secure, email that protected file to yourself. Most burglars are opportunists—it’s unlikely that anyone would recover that file except you or someone close to you. Also, because this is online, you can access your list anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. Keep in mind that if you are using a free email system, your account can be deleted after a period of inactivity. Make sure you don’t keep your only copy of the file available on an address that you may lose or that you think somehow compromised.

Other locations:  If you do not have a bank deposit box and are uncomfortable with keeping the file online, consider keeping a copy of the list at a trusted friend’s or loved one’s house, or another location that works for you. Keep in mind that is something happens at that location, you may lose your list if you don’t have a backup.

Please contact the Rogers Police department with any other questions or concerns regarding the home inventory.

Visit or Contact: