How To Document Your Valuables

Danny Lipford, home improvement personality, reminds you of the steps you need to take to document your valuables for police or insurance.


• Item description
• Model number
• Serial number
• Purchase date
• Color
• Purchase price

It’s good to take pictures or video, and upload it to the interweb in case your camera or computer is lost, incinerated with mind-rays, or otherwise destroyed. — BEN POPKEN

Documenting Your Valuables [DannyLipford]


Edit Your Comment

  1. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    For some reason, I’d be a bit cautious about uploading detailed info about all my valuable items online. Even on a secure, password protected photo hosting site. What I would do (if I weren’t so lazy) would be do as described, burn all the info to a DVD-R, and put it in my saftey deposit box.

  2. realserendipity says:

    I wouldnt upload it online but definetely ripping it to dvd and keeping it somewhere other than home is a good idea.

  3. Lewis says:

    I’m still waiting for a cost-effective way to print and slap a barcode on a storage box, and then associate that in a DB which, when scanned, provides me with pictures and complete listing of contents.

    We have had a few household moves, and something like the above would have proven invaluable.

  4. DeeJayQueue says:

    yeah, lemme put up a youtube of all my valuable possessions, along with my name, address and phone number. While I’m at it i should put a craigslist ad up that has the same information.

  5. kerry says:

    I know people who take pictures and burn them to CD or print them out and have them stored by their insurance agent. I was just thinking we need to do this as we’ve made some large purchases and should document everything to go with the new coverage I added.

  6. bbbici says:

    meh. i just commit everything to memory.

  7. rugger_can says:


    If you have the time and inclination to do such a thing it is very simple to do so using popular commercial database applications such as MS access. It has a bit of a learning curve actually pretty simple once you learn the software. Its possible to (using a store bought bar code scanner and its software) to create labels then scan those labels directly into that application. Which you can then log and associate those logs with images and information. Where by when you scanned this item again it would provide you with the information you had previously entered. The real difficulty would come from the start up time having to catalog your items, however once that has been accomplished it would be just a matter of adding entries. Combine this with a reliable backup system and predetermined intervals of new hardcopy (ie some from of seperate secondary database storage media be it tape drive or CD) backups would allow you to accurately keep an inventory of your valuables.

    This may seem impractical to most but it is in essence the most reliable way to keep an inventory.

    Now having said that, if you own that many valuable items, and these items are of high enough esteem that you would be willing to invest monies (insurance) to protect them. Its only logical that you would at least take some measure of self involvement in keeping them tracked.

    A much more simple and equally effective way would be to simply do as the person suggests. Take a simple storage media (be it paper or electronic) and just write out what your prized possessions are. Kinda makes sense.

    TLDR’d myself.

  8. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with online storage. No need to take high resolution 10MB pictures of your receipts and serial numbers. Just use the smallest resolution but make sure everything is legible. Then archive your images in a ZIP or RAR file, and password protect it. Then e-mail it to yourself to your Gmail account. I think Yahoo announced unlimited e-mail storage in the near future, so that’s another option for you.

    For those that prefer to burn to DVD or CDR, make sure you use quality blanks. And you should periodically try to access and extract your data. Even the “best” blank media can go bad sometimes, and your data will be lost.