Creating a Simple and Safe Home Inventory Systems

Creating a Simple and Safe Home Inventory Systems

Jason Rodway
Nov 15, 2011

They always say, "Better safe than sorry". That's why we regularly back up our data, safeguard our passwords, and secure everything both physically and digitally, all done "just in case". Whether you're an owner or renter, we hope you've got home insurance. But before doing so means taking inventory of what to insure. Here's how we got our house in order and figure out what to insure...

The first step to this big project is finding a solution that best fits how you prefer taking inventory: computer application, smart phone app, or maybe even transcribing from actual hand written notes.

Web App
There are several web applications that will hold onto your information on their servers like a safe deposit box. No matter what happens to your things in the physical world, the inventory database you created will remain safe online. The problem with this system however is annual fees.

DocuHome is our favorite. Taking inventory is a simplified affair: users simply tag items within uploaded photos. Tags also include price and purchase date. At $59 a year, this option isn't necessarily a budget solution (iKeepm, a new service that's currently in beta and is free), but we love how DocuHome makes the process, from itemizing to exporting lists into spreadsheet form for hardcopy printouts.

iOS / Android App
Smartphones by nature have become powerful note taking and list creating device. Taking a picture, scanning a barcode or receipt, and inputting information on each entry (value, date purchased) can be an easy way to take inventory when you need to move room to room, or where everything can't be seen in a single photo as with the previous solution. Using a smartphone app also means you'll have an inventory list in your hands anywhere you go (as long as you don't lose your phone).

For the iOS platform we recommend Home Inventory ($5) which has an open ended approach to the experience. Items can have several high resolution pictures attributed, custom fields created, notes added, barcodes scanned, data can be cross synced and even a free backup to the developers server.

For Android, Inventory Droid ($5) does everything Home Inventory does with the addition of account backup/restore and exporting in CSV format.

Clothing Inventory App
Having a separate inventory for clothes is helpful for choosing an outfit as well as creating a record for insurance purposes. Arrange Wardrobe for iOS and Personal Closetfor Android both feature the option to create a visual database of a user's closet's contents. Outfits can be arranged ahead of time and straightened out to fully realize every article of clothing or accessory at our disposal to bring new life to how we look when leaving the house.

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