I want to propose a new addition to the list of Things That are Better When You're 22. Somewhere among entries like "nursing hangovers" and "metabolism," lets add this one money-minded home habit that's easiest to tackle when you have the fewest things...
Start a Home Inventory For Your Insurance
Whenever you decide to take on a home insurance policy (either as a renter or a first-time homebuyer), there's going to be a part of your policy called personal property coverage which is designed to protect all of the stuff in your place, for lack of a better word. Anything that's not bolted down falls under this part of the coverage – things like your electronics, furniture, decor, artwork, clothing and cookware.
In order to know how much personal property coverage you need ($10,000? $50,000?), you'll need to estimate how much all of your things are worth. And while that, my friends, is most easily done by guessing, it is most accurately done by taking a home inventory.
It's Never Too Soon to Take Stock
A home inventory is when you actually make a physical (or digital) list of the things in your home that you'd need to replace should there ever be a fire or theft.
It makes sense, then, that taking a home inventory is easiest when you have the fewest things. So no, it's not to early to start a list in college or early in your 20's, even if you don't plan on taking on a home insurance policy for a while. (Side note: renter's insurance is a really good idea, even if your landlord doesn't require it. But that's a different conversation for a different time.)
There are apps out there that make it easy to make a home inventory list, and even include photos or video (both are really helpful to have when you need to make a claim). Then as you buy new gear or get rid of old things, you just update the list. You'll be glad you did it today, instead of always putting it off until tomorrow. Tomorrow always has more stuff.
Re-edited from a post originally published 5.12.16-NT