When disaster strikes, some things in life are irreplaceable. But for the things that can be replaced, it’s always a good idea to keep a catalog of the valuables you own. Whether you’re hit with a burglary, a home fire, or any other disaster, your catalog can help you answer questions about your possessions, such as:
“What valuables did you have?”
“How much were they worth?”
“What’s covered by insurance?”
Here’s how you can create a catalog of your own to help answer those questions, so you can protect your valuables in the event they need to be replaced.
All you need is a 3-ring binder, dividers, some page protectors, and a camera. The Avery Durable Binder is a sturdy solution to store all your important records, and its EZ-Turn Rings prevents wear and tear on pages. Use our Index Maker® Dividers to categorize your valuables. For example, you may want to organize your records by location, such as “Living Room” and “Bedroom,” or you might want to sort sections by type, such as “Electronics” and “Collectibles.” Free Avery Templates make it simple to create a title page, spine insert, and tabs.
Collect Your Information
Walk through your house, room by room, with your camera in hand. Remember to look in each closet and cabinet, and each desk and dresser drawer. Photograph the things that are valuable and precious to you. Computers, electronic equipment, televisions, jewelry, artwork, you name it—take pictures of it all. Even the camera itself! (Use a mirror). Don’t forget to record things that you might keep off the premises, such as in a safety deposit box. If you have any collections, such as stamps, rare books, or baseball cards, be sure to document these, too.
Keep It Safe
Once you have a picture of each item, you’ll want keep a record of their approximate price. Include receipts, appraisals, descriptions, and any other documentation you can find, and place it, along with the photograph, into a sheet protector. Organize the sheets and dividers into your binder, and store the binder away from the house, such as in a safety deposit box or at your office. It’s also a good idea to update it on a regular basis, such as once a year.
You never know when you’ll need this catalog for insurance purposes. But just a little investment of your time to put it together now can go a long way to protecting your valuables in the future.