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Daily Cleaning Tip: Do A Home Inventory

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Flickr photo by Capt Kodak

A cleaning tip a day by Stylelist Home's cleaning and organizing experts Stacey Platt and Sarah Hayon of DwellWell.

Keeping an up-to-date home inventory can help you purchase accurate insurance coverage and expedite claims in the event of theft or natural disaster. An inventory also comes in handy when making a will or renting out your house. Three options:

1. Photograph. Take digital photographs and print several on a sheet of photo paper. Adhere mailing labels to the back and write the salient information such as make and model, date, place of purchase, and price paid.

2. Videotape. Walk through your house with a video camera filming what you own and speak the relevant information as you go. Store photos and videos outside the home in a safety deposit box or with a friend.

3. Home Inventory Software. The Insurance Information Institute offers free home inventory software, which enables you to organize your inventory by room or category (furniture, electronics, appliances, furnishings, etc.). You can upload photos, receipts, appraisals, and easily update it when you purchase something new. The Web site Know Your Stuff stores your inventory record online. Keep in mind that big-ticket items such as art, jewelry, and collectibles may require a separate policy.

Find more cleaning and organizing tips in What's A Disorganized Person To Do?