Living near the ocean for the past 23 years, I’ve been through my fair share of hurricanes and floods. Fortunately, the worst we’ve had to deal with is power outages, leaky windows, missing roof shingles and some serious yard debris. But storms, fires, tornadoes and other natural disasters are not always so merciful. And if we’ve learned anything at all from Noah, it’s the importance of being prepared!
When a storm is headed our way, I typically stock up on bottled water, propane and gas. We buy extra batteries and food for the pantry. And we secure outdoor furniture and anything else that could blow away. But I recently found a new addition to my storm prep routine – the Home Inventory App!
Home Inventory (which isn’t just for storm preparation, by the way), is a great little tool for keeping track of all your valuable belongings so that you can stay organized and make it easy to file insurance claims (or police reports) if the need should arise. I was introduced to Home Inventory a few years ago by a friend who happens to be another Catholic mom. She and her husband developed the app, which you can check out on the Mac App Store.
How I Use Home Inventory
- I take photos of my furniture, appliances, jewelry, electronics, sports equipment and anything else of value using my iPhone. Those photos are easily imported into the Home Inventory app where I can add as many details as I want – such as the cost, purchase date, retailer, etc. If I have a receipt I can attach it for easy reference.
- I organize the photos in the app according to room, making it easy to separate my home office equipment and access something specific if I need it.
- I am using it now to reassess my insurance coverage and make sure I have appropriate riders. Plus, it would come in handy if I had any storm damage and I could easily share the information with an insurance agent.
How YOU Might Use Home Inventory
I haven’t used the app for these purposes but I expect it would be helpful for:
- Moving (I’ve been in the same house since 1996 so I would be overwhelmed by the task of moving. I might need help getting organized with an app like this!)
- Estate planning (you can assign an heir to each item and attach as an addendum to your will).
- Scheduling home maintenance. If I were the kind of person who kept track of things like seeding the lawn or replacing air filters, I’d integrate reminders in the Home Inventory app. But God blessed me with a husband who gladly takes care of those things and I don’t have to think about it!
- Manage collections. I’m not much of a collector but if I had … let’s say a hundred snow globes…I’d probably want to catalog them in some way.
- Manage rental properties. Maybe someday I’ll need this feature but for now, one house is enough.
What I Love About Home Inventory
- Eliminates clutter. I used to be so organized. There was a time in my life when I kept warranty information, receipts and operating instructions in a tidy filing system. Then I had three babies in five years and I lost the ability to file anything. Thankfully, God blessed us with the Internet and I can find pretty much everything I need online. But I still need a place to store those pesky receipts and warranty details. Well, Home Inventory does that for me!
- Security. When I use Home Inventory my information is not being stored on a website somewhere for everyone to discover. It’s on my Mac. I use a sync service called Dropbox to store it in a sync folder. And I can back up my inventory wherever and however I choose, including to my iPhone with the free companion app Home Inventory Mobile Backup.
- Easy to use! I’m the mom who doesn’t know how to turn on the television and has to ask one of the kids to do it. So I’m not about to take on an app that’s super technical or difficult. Home Inventory is easy to use when you are setting up your inventory and also easy to use when looking something up for reference later.
While I pray that God spares us all from devastating storms and other natural disasters, I am grateful to have a system that helps me prepare for the worst. Personally, I think being a good steward of all my blessings – including my dining-room furniture – is a way to honor God.
Copyright 2017 Theresa Ceniccola