Creating a Checklist of Home Inventory for Moving

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Preparing a checklist of home inventory for moving can help make the process much more manageable. Not only does it help you keep track of all your household items, but it also makes unpacking a lot easier and more efficient.

An underrated benefit is how it also simplifies the process of claiming insurance.

Fortunately, preparing a checklist of home inventory for moving is quite simple. In this guide, we help you learn how to prepare one for yourself to track and manage your precious belongings.

Let’s get started!


What Is a Home Inventory for Moving?

A home inventory for moving, also called a moving inventory checklist, is a list of all the items you will move from your old home to your new one. The purpose of a home inventory for moving is to track all the items and their condition to ensure everything arrives safely.

A detailed inventory will also help your insurance claim if something is damaged or goes missing in transit.

Depending on your list and the purpose of making the checklist, your home inventory for moving can be as detailed or simple as you like.


Why Should You Create a Checklist of Home Inventory for Moving?

Apart from helping you keep track of your valuables and claim insurance when something gets damaged or goes missing, there are other benefits to keeping a home inventory for moving.

For starters, it gives you a clear idea of what and how many supplies you need to pack everything safely. You can easily locate items as you unpack, get rid of clutter, and reduce your moving costs.

A detailed inventory will help you accurately estimate the moving cost. Lastly, even after you’ve unpacked, you can continue using your checklist to manage home inventory for insurance purposes in the future.


How to Make a Checklist of Home Inventory for Moving?

There are many ways to make a checklist of your home inventory for moving. Pen-and-paper checklists work just fine for minimal inventories of 20 to 30 items. Spreadsheets are great for with more items and more detailed lists.

However, we suggest you use inventory management software to make everything much easier.

Inventory management software can manage hundreds, even thousands, of items. You can also include photographs, receipts, and other data related to your belongings. The software can also help you organize and categorize items in your pantry or closet.

Once you’ve decided on what method to use, you can start preparing the list by following these simple steps:

1. Structure Your List

The first step is to decide how you’ll be categorizing your inventory. You can create a main category that lists items by room and then add subcategories to separate items by their function, such as furniture, electronics, kitchenware, etc.

This step is much simpler if you’re using an inventory management app. You simply scan the barcodes on items, take pictures, and add categories along with other information.

If you’re using pen and paper or spreadsheets, you’ll need to create a table and add various columns manually for the categories and item details.

Details to Include in Your Checklist of Home Inventory for Moving

The more details you include in your home inventory for moving, the better your chances of an accepted insurance claim in case of loss or damage. Here are some of the most important details you should record on your checklist when taking inventory:

  • Name of the item and its brief description (make, model name, serial number, production year, etc.)
  • Item’s current condition, including pre-existing damage
  • Purchase date and cost of item at purchase
  • Receipt and warranty paperwork
  • The current estimated value of the item
  • Quantity (if moving multiples of the same item)
  • Packing information, such as the label on the box
  • Photographs of items at different angles
  • Additional notes (such as special precautions, packing material used, etc.)


2. Take Inventory

The last step is to start taking inventory of all of your belongings, moving through one room at a time.

Pick a room and start listing all the items you’re moving, along with their descriptions and other details listed above.

3. Pack Items and Move Them Into the Truck

When you begin packing for your move, keep your inventory list on hand to note every group of items loaded into the moving vehicle. Note all relevant details and the designated room for each box in your new house.

Once all of your boxes are in the moving truck, the second half of your journey begins.

4. Unload and Unpack the Items

Once all of your belongings have arrived at the final destination, consult your checklist of home inventory for moving to confirm that all items have made it intact.

When unpacking, note damaged or missing items and inform the moving company representative.


What Is “The Household Goods Descriptive Inventory” Form Used by Professional Movers?

If you’re working with a professional mover, you’ll probably find that they’re using “The Household Goods Descriptive Inventory” form to keep track of household items. Some professional movers use this form to document inventory items and their condition before taking the shipment in their custody.

The list is created by the moving company driver when they arrive at your residence to load the shipment. They proceed to take inventory by assigning color-coded stickers to items and entering their number and item details into the form.

Once the list is complete, the driver signs the form and asks the customer to do the same after confirming the details. Once the signatures are complete, the driver prepares to move the shipment. After the shipment reaches the destination, the form is brought out again to confirm the safe delivery of all the unloaded items. Once the customer confirms the same, they are required to sign the Household Goods Descriptive Inventory form again.

And that’s the entire process and role of the form when you hire a service provider.

Many people often hear about the Household Goods Descriptive Inventory form and opt out of preparing their own checklist of home inventory for moving. We suggest you don’t make this mistake.

Although the Household Goods Descriptive Inventory form does a great job for its purpose, it does have some loopholes. The moving company may not record details of each item accurately and often only considers weight and size metrics. However, if you want an accurate estimate and to be appropriately compensated for potential damage, you’ll want to add more details such as cost, item’s condition, label on the package, and more.


How to Use Nest Egg to Create a Home Inventory Checklist for Moving?

Using apps like Nest Egg is one of the best ways to speed up the creation of your moving inventory. With the app, you can immediately begin taking inventory. You can easily add categories and as many details as you want as you go along, entering household items into the list. The best part is that you can take pictures as you go.

The app provides multiple options for users to share the data through print, email, the cloud, or through HTML and Excel-style reports.

With Nest Egg, you can also take inventory of the packing boxes you’re putting items in. All you need to do is print and stick QR codes on the containers, boxes, or suitcases, and scan the codes using your phone’s camera. The app also allows you to note what items are inside each box to easily locate them later. You can even add notes for the designated room the box is supposed to go to.

What’s more?

Even after the move, Nest Egg can help you keep track of all of your household assets if you ever need to claim insurance.


Frequently Asked Questions


Is there a free moving inventory app?

Nest Egg is a free moving inventory app that allows you to take inventory of up to 25 items. The app has an intuitive interface and is easy to use. All you need to do is scan items, take pictures, categorize them, and you’re done. You can also opt for paid versions which store data locally on a device or store data on the cloud for automatic syncing between devices.

Are there any moving inventory Excel templates I can download for free?

You can download free moving inventory Excel templates from Microsoft. There is a wide range of free templates for taking inventory of products and possessions for moving, insurance, and other purposes. You can even customize their templates to suit your needs.

To download these templates, visit and click the Templates button at the top of the page. On the templates page, click “Excel” and use the toggles on the left to find the appropriate category for your use.


Final Thoughts

Moving is a challenging and stressful task. Losing valuable items in the process can make the move memorable for all the wrong reasons. With this guide, you’re better equipped to keep an account of your valuables and easily claim damages if something happens to them.

Good luck with the move!


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