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Posted in How-to, Moving Preparation on November 15, 2022
Maya Brown

Born in Atlanta, Maya has called many places home in her lifetime. She's a content writer and moving expert who loves to help people relocate smoothly.

How to Make a Good Moving Inventory List

The process of relocating is often a stressful time and sometimes packing your whole life into boxes can seem almost impossible. But there is no need to worry! There are certain tips such as making a moving inventory checklist that can ensure you have a safe and well-organized relocation.

No one would like to start unpacking in their new house and realize that some of their stuff is misplaced or missing. Unfortunately, a lot of people find themselves in this kind of situation. That’s why it’s very important to create a listing of your household items before the big move, no matter if you’re hiring professional long-distance movers or doing everything yourself.

What is a Moving Inventory List of Household Items?

Absolutely everyone has at least once in their life wasted hours looking for a specific item that seems to have miraculously disappeared or found something they’ve completely forgotten about while rummaging through their things. It can get even more confusing when you’re planning to relocate all of your possessions from one place to another. The best way to start this process is to create a general to-do list, and one of the most important steps on it should be making a detailed record of your items of value. This is one of the relocation hacks and tips you will use time and time again.

A moving inventory is a document that lists all of the notable valuable belongings in your household, as well as their condition and estimated value. We will discuss these contents more precisely later in the text, but for now, the most important thing you should know is that the more detailed your checklist is, the better. A well-organized and informed record can assist you in avoiding common relocation mistakes and the benefits can go way beyond your expectations.

A person writing a packing list
It's important to be well-organized during your relocation

Benefits of Making a Home Inventory

Making a record of your household objects will not only help you keep track of your belongings during the relocation, but it can also be very beneficial for other aspects of the relocation process or a better organization of your home in general. For example, you can use it as a guide when you start the process of unpacking. At first glance, it may seem time-consuming, but it will save you a lot of time in the long run.

An Inventory List Is Essential for Your Relocation Experience

Most people don’t realize how much stuff they actually have in their possession. It is very easy to accumulate a lot of things when you stay in one place, and when it’s time for your relocation you’re not sure what to do with it all. What should you save and what should you get rid of when relocating? Once you create a detailed form of your things, you will have a much clearer picture of what you own and also what you want to keep for your new residence.

Estimate the Cost of Hiring Movers

Besides saving you time or unwanted stress, making a checklist can also assist you a lot concerning the expenses and other necessities if you choose to hire professionals. These expenses can be quite high, especially if you’re moving long-distance. Once your checklist is ready, you’ll be able to easily estimate the costs of your move based on the total weight of your shipment. You will also be able to evaluate your needs like the type and amount of packing materials or the time it will take to prepare your stuff for the relocation.

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Knowing what you're bringing is crucial for planning your budget

Find the Right Moving Insurance

Making a checklist will also help you determine the value of your belongings, which is crucial when deciding which insurance coverage to get. Also, including a clear statement of their condition will help you if something happens to them during the move and you will get the replacement cost on the lost or damaged property. Even when you’re hiring professionals like the white glove moving service, it’s nice to feel extra safe during your relocation.

And even better than that, the benefits of having a house record don’t stop once the relocation is over! You can use it to get home insurance or organize everything after relocating to your new home. If you have your inventory, boxes will be very easy to navigate. Also, in the case of emergencies such as robbery, fire, or other natural disasters, it can help you be rightfully reimbursed for your losses.

How to Create a Good Home Inventory Checklist

Now that you know why making a record is essential for your relocation, let’s talk about the methods you can use to make the most out of your experience. Here is everything you need to know in order to ensure a safe, well-organized, and trouble-free move.

The first and the most obvious thing is making sure to start it on time. As we’ve discussed above, making a comprehensive moving box inventory list can be a time-consuming process, so be sure to start creating your checklist as soon as you decide that it’s time to move. So, how do you take moving inventory?

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Go One Room at a Time and Start Big

One of the best ways to ensure maximum efficiency and organization is to work room by room. Simply, create a complete record of all the objects in one area, and then move on to the next. This process will also inform you of all of the relocation essentials you may need. Create a separate sheet for each location because it will assist you in being more organized regarding things you should do after you move.

When making a moving list, items you should include first are the ones that are the hardest to transport. So, start with the major objects like furniture, bulky household belongings, and large electronic devices. Relocating furniture can be very tricky and that’s why it’s important to start from this. While doing so, note down anything that requires special attention because the professional movers handling your stuff should be aware of them.

Once you’ve listed all of the big stuff, you can proceed with noting the smaller or less significant things you wish to save. It’s also a good idea to organize important documents at this stage and make copies of them. As mentioned already, the more detail the better, and it would be a good idea to also note down the condition these objects are in.

Add All the Necessary Information to Your Moving Home Inventory

Whether you’re writing everything down on paper or using an app that is made specifically for this job, there are a few essential pieces of information you absolutely need to document:

  • Name of an object – you can also use different colors for different types of objects (indoor/outdoor furniture, electronic devices, household appliances, and so on),
  • Description of an object – you should be as specific as possible and write down information such as material, quantity, brand, model number, or any other distinctive features,
  • Description of the object’s current condition – objectively note pre-existing damage and include all relevant documentation such as warranties and receipts,
  • The estimated value of an object – noting down the value and condition of a certain object can be super helpful for finding the right insurance coverage and minimizing your losses if damage or displacement occurs during the move,
  • The object’s designated new location – writing down the wanted location in the new house can greatly speed up the unpacking process and will considerably shorten your new apartment checklist.

Add Notes and Visual Records

Besides the information mentioned above, save any additional notes you may have because they can be helpful. You can also make a photo record by adding visual records like photos or videos of items that will serve as proof of their current condition. Once again, the most important thing is to make everything as detailed as possible. By doing so, you could maybe reference this sheet outside of the relocation process, for example in acquiring a homeowner’s insurance.

Boxes and furniture inside a bedroom
When you have all the necessary information, relocating will be a breeze

Digitize Your Home Possessions

As discussed above, it is highly recommendable to add visual records of every valuable item you have. Making a digital backup of your possessions is also not a bad idea, because then you don’t have to worry about losing your precious information or forgetting things you should do when you move.

Everything nowadays has an app that is developed specifically for making things easier in certain aspects of everyday life. Luckily, relocating is one of those things that can be almost effortless if you’re using an app. There are several apps you can choose from according to your personal preferences. Check out the video below explaining how you can stay organized while using one of these apps:

Apps Make It Easier

Digital inventories are not only easier to create and more convenient to use, but they come with a wide range of options that can assist you in making the best sheet possible. You can edit them effortlessly as many times as you need to, automatically add photos and videos and overall freely access the information at any time from anywhere.

It’s important to save every item of value first so you can start adding the less important things later. If you’re more of a visual person, you can also create a digital map of your household with virtual rooms, which you can fill with all the items you will take to your new residence.

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Apps Can Help Both You and Your Movers

Using a home smart app is not only easy and fun, but it can be very helpful in certain aspects of the move that you’re maybe dreading. For example, some apps can calculate the volume and weight of your items and therefore estimate the approximate number of boxes you will need when booking packing assistance. As I’ve mentioned before, when you know the weight of your shipment, you will be able to calculate an estimated price of the white glove moving services. This can assist you immensely in calculating your relocation budget and foreseeing any additional expenses.

Finally, you can export your house contents table and share it with others easily. Therefore, it is a great step to prepare for movers. Note that if you’re hiring white glove movers, they will also provide you with a record of what they moved and you will be able to refer to this information while you settle inside your new home. While this serves as a good reference, be sure that you also keep a separate comprehensive and detailed item checklist.

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Even with professional movers, you should be aware of what they're relocating

It’s Time to Make Your Checklist

Now that we’ve covered everything, you should be ready to create your sheet. Being aware of the whereabouts of your valuables is essential for knowing how to move efficiently. Hiring professionals such as the white glove moving company can additionally assure you that there will be no problems whatsoever. While there are long-distance moving services that create it for you, it’s always better for you to document your belongings yourself. When you finish making it, a significant part of the job will be done.

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