The Home Management Tool You Never Knew You Needed

Filed in Maintenance by on October 1, 2014



Owning a home (or two) can be difficult. There’s knowing what stuff you have, where it’s located, when you acquired it, warranty expiration information, replacement part information and, of course, value and replacement cost in case of loss.


If you’ve ever lived through a natural disaster, been the victim of a house fire or break-in, or simply have an intense need to inventory your stuff, you might already be familiar with the term “home inventory system”. There are a number of home inventory applications that run on a PC, Mac, tablet or phone and they all allow you to perform some basic functions. The one that works for you will depend mostly on your needs and the time you have to invest in entering the information. Here is where an intense need to be organized will benefit you greatly.


Beth Dodson, co-founder of a system called HomeZada, says “An online inventory system allows the homeowner to maintain the value of the home, save money while managing the home, and be better prepared for any property claims.” The primary function of a home inventory system is to keep track of everything the homeowner places in the home, like furniture and fixtures, electronics, collectibles, et cetera and organize them online. Storing this information online provides a greater sense of security, but also peace of mind for the homeowner.


Let’s start with a list of everything you own. That won’t take long to create. Right?


There is no easy way to begin an inventory of all of your possessions.


Most inventory systems will include a number of descriptive fields for each item you add to your inventory. At a minimum that should include manufacturer information, photos and location, along with allowing the upload of attachments and some sort of repair tracking option. Look for the ability to back up your information as well as the ability to print it. Online storage is a plus in the event the device you are using to maintain the system is stolen or destroyed.


Over the years, insurance agents have encouraged us to take photos and/or record video of each of the rooms in our homes as a method of taking stock of our belongings and while effective, this method doesn’t usually give us all the details necessary for an “inventory.”


Creating (and maintaining) a complete home inventory is not for the faint of heart; without a doubt it is time consuming. Many experts suggest starting big, documenting first your appliances, electronics and/or valuables before tackling the smaller things like DVDs, books, kitchen equipment and the like.


Here’s our list of four things to look for in a home inventory system.


Basic Inventory Tracking

The system should include descriptive fields for each item and the ability to include manufacturer info, photos, location, and repair info.


Added Features

The designation of beneficiaries for valuable items, the ability to print your inventory, back it up and store the information online (preferably in the cloud where you can access from any device anywhere) and/or on a medium such as a DVD for safe keeping.


Easy to Access, Free Technical Support

Online help, tutorials and a way to talk with an actual person, if needed, are essential for all but the most tech-savvy amongst us.


Ease of Use

The product should be easy to use, even for less technical folks. The process of creating a thorough home inventory is difficult enough, using the software shouldn’t be.


In the case of HomeZada, the website walks homeowners through the steps that need to be taken in order to build a property profile, ensuring that the home has the appropriate amount of documentation to make an accurate inventory.


In addition to creating an inventory, users have the option of creating a to-do list. “HomeZada provides you reminders in a news feed for any upcoming or overdue To Do, as well as any warranties about to expire.”


When there is work that needs doing, a notice will pop up on the homeowner’s computer or phone. For example, if the homeowner set up a task to have the vents cleaned on their online to-do list, HomeZada will send them a reminder. The items on the To Do list can vary anywhere from smoke detector battery replacement to septic pump out and a variety of tasks in between.


When asked what a person could do with HomeZada, Dodson replied, “HomeZada allows homeowners the ability to manage a home inventory, home maintenance activities and home improvement projects. There is a lot of functionality that can be used by a homeowner that needs to track the basics or for homeowners who want to track a vast amount of detail. Photos and documents can be added to items, spaces, properties and projects. Homeowners that own multiple homes can also track inventories for more than one home.”


Now if only we could set up these systems to tell us where we left our car keys…or where we parked the car.



by Steph Kaiser



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