When unpacking your items after moving, have you ever caught yourself singing, “in my closet, that’s my stuff. Yeah, if I bought it, please don’t touch?” If so, you just might be part of the Beyhive. Or maybe you're just an avid listener of throwback playlists.

But Beyoncé knew what she was talking about. And though she might’ve been telling someone to get lost, she made it clear that her belongings were hers (and they were off-limits). You likely feel the same about your favorite jacket or a piece of jewelry you bought to celebrate a special occasion. Personal property is precious, and it should be treated as such.

This concept is not lost on insurance companies. They have a whole category of protection dedicated to just your belongings. But it’s up to you to let them know exactly how much they’re worth, and you can accomplish that with a proper home inventory. Because while Beyoncé might say that nothing is Irreplaceable, you know better when it comes to your most prized possessions.

What to include in a home inventory

If the idea of creating an inventory of all the contents in your home makes you want to run for the hills, don’t tie up your laces just yet. While you do need to gather a lot of information for a home inventory, the process isn’t as tedious as you might think. In fact, you can even take a video of your home or provide pictures for proof of what you own. But if you do want to go the more detailed route, make sure to mark down the following for each item during your inventory:

  • A description
  • A picture or video
    • This will allow you to prove its previous condition to your insurance provider
  • Cost at the time of purchase
  • Current appraised value
    • This isn’t required and is only recommended for extremely rare or expensive items
  • Date and location of the purchase
    • The receipt (or picture of it) if you have it
  • Serial number

Why is a home inventory important?

Before getting started, you may ask yourself, “is a home inventory really necessary?” Great question. A home inventory is pretty important, as it’ll help you determine how much personal property coverage you need for your belongings. You’ll also be grateful you made one if you ever have to file a claim with your insurance provider. Not only will it help you remember exactly what you have in your home should you lose multiple items in a break-in or a house fire, but it’ll also ensure you can get the full value of your items when filing a claim.

What is a home inventory app?

From devices that make your life easier to tech offered with home insurance policies, you can’t buy a home (or even take care of your current home) without hearing about the latest technology. Creating a home inventory is no exception. A home inventory app is an application for your phone or tablet that helps you keep track of all your belongings, their value and location. It helps simplify the process of home inventory management, allowing you to organize your belongings and create a mobile database with just a few clicks.

What to look for in a home inventory app

When deciding on the best home inventory app for you, there are a few features you should keep in mind to help make things easier on yourself. In addition to the cost of the app, these features include:

  • Ability to create and print labels
  • Ability to upload videos or photos per item
  • Barcode scanning functionality
  • Categorical capabilities
    • By room, type of item, location, etc.
  • Cloud accessibility
  • In-app calculators
  • Search feature

9 best home inventory apps

Check out the top nine home inventory apps below that can help keep you organized, on-track and ready for whatever comes your way.

1. Sortly

Available on: iOS, Android
Cost: Free (subscription available for more features)

The Sortly app allows you to categorize your items by room, type or whatever other classification you’d prefer. You can add in multiple photos for each item as well, ensuring that you can speak to your belongings’ conditions and list prices with ease. It also makes it simple to convert older inventory lists into digital versions, so if you have an old Excel spreadsheet of your items that needs updating, this is the app for you.

2. Encircle

Available on: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

Not only does Encircle allow you to upload unlimited photos and videos of your home, but it also provides expert tips on how to mitigate any damage that you need to file a claim for directly in the app. This means that, should the worst happen, you can breathe easy knowing the Encircle app has been tracking all the items in your home and can offer assistance until your home insurance coverage kicks in.

3. BluePlum Home Inventory

Available on: iOS
Cost: Free

Manage your home, belongings, maintenance needs and even multiple properties with the BluePlum Home Inventory app. Though it’s only available on Apple devices, they do have an iPhone and desktop app, and they’ll automatically sync to each other when connected to the same Wi-Fi network. BluePlum even considers annual depreciation on your belongings, giving you a better idea of how much those items are worth in the eyes of your insurance company should they get stolen.

4. Nest Egg

Available on: iOS
Cost: Free (subscription available for more features)

The Nest Egg app takes home inventory technology to the next level. Their paid version of the app allows users to scan barcodes of their items and will automatically find and save product information for you to access at any time. It also has a notepad and reminder function to help you remember to return borrowed items or pay your insurance premiums on time. Not interested in paying $3.99 a month (or $7.99 a month for their enhanced platform)? No problem. Nest Egg’s free version operates similarly, though it’s important to note that it doesn’t back up your information to the cloud-like its paid counterparts.

5. MyStuff2 Pro

Available on: iOS
Cost: Free (purchasing available for more features)

MyStuff2 Pro is for the Type A’s of the world who don’t just want to create a home inventory, but instead, they want to organize their entire lives. Though a basic version of the app is available for free, several other versions are available for purchase that release item tracking restrictions and allow you to create more categories and color schemes for the ultimate organizational aesthetic. 

6. Inventory Manager

Available on: iOS
Cost: $4.99

When filing a homeowners or renters insurance claim, the more information you can give your insurance company, the better. If you have an app like Inventory Manager, you’ll be in a much better place to get the assistance you need. For $4.99, you can track all your belongings, home upgrade projects (even if you made something for your pet) and any services you have scheduled on any Apple device. Plus, it will automatically update any information you add between devices (without sharing it with third parties), so you can have both security and accessibility at your fingertips.

7. Memento Database

Available on: Android
Cost: $3+ a month

Keep track of all your prized possessions — as well as random people’s contact information you wrote down during happy hour — all within the Memento Database Android app. For as little as $3 a month, you can keep your personal and professional life in order. So no matter what issue comes your way, you know exactly what app to scroll to that’ll probably have the answer.

8. Home Inventory

Available on: iOS
Cost: $23.99

Though it’s one of the most expensive inventory apps out there, Home Inventory by Binary Formations, LLC seems to be worth the money for its users who have given it an average rating of 4.5 stars. You can upload receipts, documents and any other notes to go completely paperless. Other features worth highlighting include a shareable inventory report, home maintenance scheduling and estate or moving planning. 

9. Smart Inventory System

Available on: Android
Cost: Free (subscription available for more features)

Home inventory management should be simple, and with the Smart Inventory System, it finally is. Compatible with QR codes (it can even make codes for you too), this app makes finding the information you need as easy as taking a picture. It has three levels of sorting to make sure your items are categorized the way you want them and even works offline, so if your Wi-Fi goes out, you can still access all the information you need.

Infographic with images and illustrations of how to do a home inventory and the best apps for it

Whether you’re moving to a new rental or looking to buy a second home, taking a proper home inventory is crucial to get the most out of your insurance policy. Want another way to get more for your money? Make sure to try out other technology like electricity tracking apps. Or just pair up with an insurance company that gets it. Look for companies that offer modern coverage or use the latest technology to bring you a customized policy. We just might know a company to refer you to (hint, it's us).

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