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How to take inventory of your garage

By Flow Wall
January 22, 2015

There's no better feeling that getting your garage totally organized and spruced up. A great garage organization system can turn a dark and dismal storage space into a gorgeous extension of your home that's much more than a garage. That being said, there's one thing you'll need to do after you've finished freshening up your garage cabinets and shelves: Make an inventory of everything you've got.

Why make an inventory?

Well, we're glad you asked. An inventory will help immensely with an insurance settlement should disaster strike your home. Fires, tornados, hurricanes and floods can all do a lot of damage to your home and your possessions, and try as they might, insurance agencies can't always piece together everything you had inside. Your garage is a particularly difficult room to replace, what with all of the major appliances and tools you keep in it. Taking a thorough inventory of it will make sure you're able to replace as much of it as possible.

Insurance settlements aren't the only things that an inventory will help with, though - it will also help you take stock of everything you own and make it as organized as possible. Here's how to do it:

Create a spreadsheet

The first thing you'll need to do is walk through your garage and write down everything you own. (Yes, everything). It might seem tedious, and it truly is, but it will be well worth it once you're finished. Once you've compiled your list, you'll want put it into spreadsheet form on your computer - somewhere in the cloud where it can't get destroyed, preferably. Some insurance companies will even provide you with a spreadsheet so that you don't gloss over anything important.

After you've listed everything somewhere safe, it's time to segment it into categories. Every person's list of categories will vary based on what they own, but here are a few good examples:

  • Major appliances
  • Utility
  • Power tools
  • Sports equipment
  • Gardening supplies

After you give each item a category, you should include its brand, purchase date, model/serial number, value and whether you purchased it yourself or got it as a gift. (For some reason, this last category is important.) If disaster were to strike in the future, you'd be well on your way to reclaiming your stuff!

Do a reality check

Hopefully you never run into that awful situation. If you don't, you can still use your completed inventory list to sort through and organize all your belongings. Look over your finished list and ask yourself: How much stuff do you have, and how much do you need? What can you get rid of? Toss anything you have too many of or haven't used in a while, and take notes of holes you can fill. Simply seeing how much stuff you own on paper can be telling.

There you have it! We won't lie, taking inventory of your possessions isn't fun, but you'll be glad you did it. Even if you never need it, you'll have one organized garage.