Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Woggy #20: Home Inventory

Any of the responsible among you will know it's a good idea for everyone to have a homeowner's or renter's insurance policy, which provides for you in case of unfortunate incidents resulting in the loss or damage of the insides of your home. One can always use the standard suggested amounts for families of certain size, and rely on one's memory when the day-after filling in of the paperwork is required (hmm.. was that 13 or 130 handbags I had..?) but these can in many cases be wildly inaccurate, and it turns out there is actually a better and more precise way of assessing this, called a household inventory. The very dutiful among us will actually follow thru on this in a manner that is more than just a small envelope filled with one or two outdated snapshots per room of your house and a handwritten note that says "Think that necklace Aunt Agnes gave me might be worth something. Get appraised." Doing so requires making a list of all your belongings, along with an estimated value of those items. However, even the most responsible among us can't really bear to go through this process more than about once every five years, as it is very tedious and laborious.

My husband recently brought it to our attention that the amount on our homeowner's policy had not been changed in at least 5 years, and perhaps that might be out of date considering all of the newer, higher-quality furniture and other things we had purchased over that period, to replace all the ones bought during or just after our years in college, when our finances and tastes were considerably less discerning. I tried to avoid the inevitable, but I knew that this could only really mean one thing, that it was time to dust off the old household inventory for an update.

Conveniently, there have been some technological advances since then and with the use of digital cameras and photo uploading now being second nature, and software to make the best advantage of this, the process has been made somewhat easier. And by somewhat I mean it is somewhat easier to carry a ten-gallon screw-top titanium jug filled from your bathtub faucet across the living room than it is to carry two wooden buckets of 5 gallons each on a broomstick from the town well.

So I have begun this task, and it is of course taking much longer than I had originally anticipated. I began with the three simplest areas of my house, which I knew would have the least number of items and complications. Going thru and finding prices, model numbers, and proper product names for these items alone has already taken me the better part of several afternoons of valuable summertime. One of which has already been completely wasted due to an unfortunate forgetting-to-save followed by a fatal program crash. I haven't had the courage or endurance to return since then, though I'm sure I'll be finishing that and moving on to all of the more complicated rooms of the house soon.

Oh, and by the way, I have had at least one reward so far for all my hard work.. Finding out my framed space-stamps sheet, originally purchased new for $20 to fulfill my nerdly cross-section of both stamps and sci-fi/space hobbies, is now apparently worth $225! Wow, it's like starring on Antiques Roadshow... thanks, Household Inventory!

Things Left to Complete This Woggy Project:
  • research & re-enter all of the item details for the coat closet
  • take down holiday items and photograph them
  • put holiday items back away
  • upload holiday item photos & add to hall closet folder
  • research & enter item details for holiday items
  • photograph kitchen, dining area, living room, bedroom, garden, WIC, master bath, workroom, & workroom closet
  • upload photos for all above rooms, and place in appropriate folders
  • research and enter item details for all above items
  • print out new household inventory
  • adjust homeowner's insurance to new amount
  • replace old inventory with the new one in our lockbox

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Update: Woggy #19

I have actually made pretty significant progress on this now. Just a few last minute things (which for me of course always take the longest to actually complete).

Things I can check off my Woggy to-do list:

x rip open all the new packages
x begin hammering, drilling, ratcheting, and hanging
x finish hammering, drilling, ratcheting, and hanging
x make labels for all the new bins
x sort everything into its proper place
x clean up the tools and other project debris

Things Left to Complete This Woggy Project:
  • decide on how to permanently attach labels (and do it)
  • amaze husband with dazzling mail and message efficiency possibilities
  • school husband and self in proper use and upkeep of said dazzling system
  • hope for the best


Yeah, yeah, 5 weeks... what can I say? It's summer for cryin' out loud. I've been busy with summer things. Pretty good reason, if you ask me.