Even with good organization, items can easily get damaged or lost during the process of moving and while in storage. Therefore, creating a photo inventory of your belongings is crucial since insurance will cover only the items that are properly filed in the insurance claim. If the budget allows it, one of the best tips is to hire a photography student to do that for you. If you need to save money for other moving expenses, you can do it yourself, even if you are not a professional. You do not have to own a digital camera either – a mobile phone camera will do the job equally well.
How to Take Pictures of Your Belongings Like a Pro
Before anything else, you have to set up proper conditions in terms of appropriate lighting and background to be sure the important details are visible. That does not mean you should use flash, particularly at a close range, as the light will reflect from the item surface and the image will be blurred. The background should be in contrast with the item and should not reflect light.
First, take a photograph of the item as it stands in its usual place and then move it to photograph it in more detail. While taking the first few photos, capture part of your room as a sort of proof it indeed is your belonging. You may even photograph a member of your family next to it. The other photographs have to show as many details of the item as possible since it will be the determining factor for its value if it needs to be replaced.
Before packing computers and moving electronics, make sure to show that they are operable – maybe even create a video just in case. Of course, photograph the sticker with the basic item information, such as a model, brand, and serial number. When packing your valuable paintings, take photos of the signature and the copy number.
To confirm the item size, photograph the item next to another object to be able to compare. You can also place a measuring meter next to it, if possible, and then take a picture. You certainly have to photograph the reference documents for the items, such as warranty papers, receipts or work orders.
Form a Photo Inventory of Your Home
No need to emphasize how important it is to form an image catalog of your home and garage tools you are moving to get full reimbursement for your damaged or lost property. The insurance claims process is complicated and tiresome, so make it easier by providing sufficient documents to support your claim.
It is best to photograph items room-by-room. That way you will not forget any of them. Group the items by sets for easier management. And take one shot of the whole room if possible, just to have a better perspective of all of them. For every valuable item, document serial numbers and other labels.
The Easy Way to Form a Home Inventory
Making a home inventory is not only useful for relocation purposes, especially if you are using moving services, but also for your own perception of what you have. Before starting the process, you have to choose the right method. You can categorize the possessions according to the room they belong to or according to their type. Then write them all down in a list, indicating which ones will be supported by photographs. Cross them out as you photograph them to be sure you’re not forgetting any. Do not forget to include the items you may have lent to someone or borrowed from someone. And make sure to take a lot of photos before packing fragile and delicate things.
Keep Track of Your Belongings During Packing
For better reference, you should group the items according to the method you have chosen, take photos and upload them. Turn all the related documents into digital files and name them in such a manner that it is easy for you to find them if needed. Store the files in the appropriate memory stick as a backup version. You can also photograph the list with your cell phone to have it at hand when the packing time comes.
Try to photograph the items as they are being packed and write a general list of contents on every box so that both you and the movers know how to handle them.
Best Way to Organize Thousands of Items in Your Home
When you have so many items to catalog, it is best to categorize them and upload their photographs to files with appropriate icons and names. You can choose to put a letter in front of every picture file belonging to a specific group. That way, when you open the directory, they will all appear together. Once you open the file, you can add to it as many photographs as you deem necessary.
Store and Organize Photos on Your Computer
Photographs need to be backed up and stored in a way that will enable you to reach them easily and not waste any time. Think of proper file names for better surfing. If you don’t want to use an online file archive as storage, make sure you create a backup copy. You can create a copy on a DVD or portable USB memory drive and give it to a family member or a friend for safekeeping at their place.
Use Sortly to Help You
Sortly is a photo inventory application that will help you manage your household items by storing their images in folders and subfolders. You can group your belongings in folders according to rooms or types. Also, this application enables you to input a lot of details and up to eight images for every item. You can also list prices and calculate the total value. Furthermore, Sortly has the option of creating printable QR labels for your packing boxes, which you can scan to see what is in them. They also thought of the items you may have loaned and created a reminder for when they need to be returned.
Use Sortly on iOS or Android
You can get the basic Sortly app version for free, but the premium version has to be paid for.