How to create a thorough, stress-reducing inventory list for your upcoming move

Blog / How to create a thorough, stress-reducing inventory list for your upcoming move

Changing location is infamous for being one of the most difficult, anxiety-inducing experiences that we can put ourselves through in life. So the team here at Adlam Transport got together and brainstormed some tips and tricks to help make things go as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. We prioritised the steps that we, as professional removalists, would take ourselves when moving house or office. All of us agreed on the one crucial key to success: 

  • Creating a ‘moving inventory’ or some record of your belongings and valuables 

It is a great way to organise yourself efficiently and reduce the stress of a move so we put together a step-by-step system that you can follow.

The importance of a detailed inventory list for your move

But why do we need an itemised list of everything? Well, it’s hard enough remembering which bags have the frozen produce in when you get back from the supermarket. Let alone which one box from fifty has the kettle in it when you’ve arrived at the new location and are desperate for a cup of tea. 

Making an inventory sounds complicated but it really isn’t and the confusion and frustration it helps avoid are worth the investment of time and effort a hundred times over.

You really need a record of all your personal belongings anyway, for a number of reasons:

  • Organising your move more efficiently

The key point in terms of this article and a very valid one. Life will be more organised and efficient if you know exactly what you’ve got, and where to find it.

  • Evidence of completed delivery

If you are using professional movers then you must be able to quickly and easily check that everything has arrived. You need proof of the previous condition of your belongings in case of breakages. 

  • Homeowners Insurance

If you are unlucky enough to have to claim lost items, you will find it invaluable to have a comprehensive list of them to reference. 

  • Potential police reports

If you are targeted by thieves, you are in possession of a full list of your valuables. This will make life an awful lot easier during an upsetting time.

  • Downsizing and decluttering

This inventory process will inevitably bring you face to face with items and objects you forgot you even had. Things you no longer need or want. What better time to reduce your clutter than when taking stock of everything you’ve got? Getting rid of even a small amount feels remarkably cleansing. Give it a try!

  • Moving cost estimates

When the time comes to get removals quotations, it is incredibly useful if you can describe exactly what needs to be moved. Any removal experts worth their salt will still be able to give you a reasonably accurate quotation even without this, but it saves time if you are organised with a list of your belongings and roughly how many boxes will contain them.

Tips for creating a comprehensive inventory list for your move 

Where do I start?

This needn’t be an arduous task that takes forever, in fact, that’s the last thing we want. There are several ways that you can tackle the job and they depend largely on you and your preferences. 

First things first

Start as early as you can and break the task into smaller, workable chunks if possible. It will give you a sense of achievement to get the ball rolling early and you can always come back to the job later if something else comes up. 

  • Gather items in sensible groups so that they can be boxed together and easily located 

Certain items are unlikely to move, so get those done first, especially larger items and things that might seem obvious but could get overlooked. The natural place to start is by recording your furniture. 

  • Make a general list for each room

A general list identifies larger items and generic terms for an overview but you can make a separate, more detailed one later. Some people prefer hand-written lists and others prefer to use electronic devices.

  • Work systematically and when finished, photograph the list itself and put it on one side. 

If it goes missing, you want to have a backup.

When the time comes and you can finally start putting things into boxes, you’re going to make a new list. This time, every item that goes in a box will be recorded so, whereas you only wrote ‘Books’ on your general list, you will now be more specific. For example, ‘Books – 125’ with any notes you feel may be useful. 

Some people swear by mobile apps that lead you through the process and guide you every step of the way and others just want pencil and paper. Anything that makes your life easier and more organised during this time is just fine so do your research and, if that seems like the method for you, then that’s great.

Some available inventory apps:

  • My Stuff
  • Magic Home Inventory
  • Sortly
  • Nest Egg Inventory
  • Remember to photograph your items as they go into the boxes!

Take an overall shot of all the items that will go into each box and they will be much easier to locate under pressure.

  • Take detailed photographs of your most prized possessions

If you’ve got a first-edition Shakespeare on the shelf you need to get some detailed pictures of its condition before allowing the movers to take it away. You should probably have separate insurance for that too, to be honest.

Go from room to room

As you complete each box, mark it in a way that it cannot accidentally be rubbed off or removed. A permanent marker is a great tool for this and be sure to mark each box several times in different places. It makes sense to mark the boxes so that movers can also identify them, so you might put ‘Kitchen – 1’ or something similar. 

  • Don’t bother mentioning the items within each box on the outside. That’s why we have our lists!

However, do add any extra information to your list that might be useful regarding the more valuable objects. Such as:

  • Purchase cost and estimated current value

Dig out any receipts or professional evaluations if you have them and keep them in a separate location with your important documents. 

  • Specific condition

You already have extensive photographs of your valuables and should take note of any existing damage or imperfections. 

  • Packing information

Mention any specific precautions you took to protect the item. Record where its box goes in the moving vehicle. 

If it’s irreplaceable, carry it with you!

Contact us

Here at Adlam Transport Removals and Storage, we are proud to be one of Perth’s most respected and trusted specialist removalists.

Should you need the advice and services of a dedicated removal expert in Perth, please do not hesitate to contact us today. You will receive the most professional treatment available anywhere and our friendly staff are waiting to discuss your exact requirements whenever you’re ready.