The moving and storage process can be a long, strenuous ordeal if you are not prepared. The packing, unpacking, loading, driving and other stresses can weigh you down. Whether you are beginning your move to a new city or simply need a self storage unit to free up space in your current home be sure to prepare ahead of time. One great, easy way to better prepare is to make an inventory list.

Keeping a running inventory list of all of your items is extremely helpful. Not only will you be able to keep better track of your belongings in order to make sure everything you pack is going where it needs to be, but an inventory list gives you a perfect way to keep track of your items for insurance purposes. Should something get lost or damaged in your move or storage unit you will have a paper trail documenting your items.

Easy steps to make a list to help you organize your items

There are a few ways to create and manage your list. It is probably best to start with the bigger, more expensive items. Belongings such as jewelry, electronics, TV’s, furniture and computers should all be written down and have the serial number included if you can. Be sure to take pictures of all of these items as well. (Taking pictures and documenting serial numbers will help if you need to file an insurance claim.) This can also help if your possessions are damaged while in the storage unit or moving truck.

Once your bigger items are packed and documented you can move onto the smaller items. For pieces such as plates, glasses, pots, pans etc., you can simply place them in boxes. Count the number of boxes you have for each room and be sure to label the boxes in detail so you have an easy system once you need to unpack. For example, “15 kitchen boxes with 7 being dishes, 4 being glass, 2 silverware and 2 pots and pans”. Items which don’t need or won’t fit in a box can still be listed – 10 curtain rods, 3 shower rods, 6 lamps etc.

The inventory list is a great way to make sure everything goes to its intended destination and is a good way to double check you have everything you intended to pack. If you get to the storage unit and you only have 13 of 15 kitchen boxes, you know 2 are missing somewhere. The list is also a good way to keep your everyday items separate from your donation pile when moving. Keep a separate list of items you intend to donate in order to get the full tax benefit of your donation.

Using a list also helps you understand what is in your storage unit so you don’t tear through your home looking for 2 lamps and 1 kitchen box full of glass. Simply write down all of the items you are putting into the storage unit and keep the list handy. This way you cut down on time, stress and frustration looking for something you already stored. Bonus Tip: Make a rough diagram of your self storage unit and draw all of the items you have stored and in particular, where they are stored in the unit. This will be extremely helpful if you are looking for a few items as you won’t have to dig through the whole unit.

Creating a useful inventory list prior to moving and storing your belongings is a great way to know what and where all of your stuff is located. A list can minimize the stress on your moving day and keep your moving experience positive and hassle free.