This past weekend I listened to the tales of a friend’s struggles with their most recent move. Over the past several months they’ve had to have their stuff in several different locations due to housing issues. Half of their stuff was in a storage unit, part was at a friend’s house, and part was waiting for them at their new place. When it came time to start unpacking, the questions of “Where is ____? I thought it was with _____?” came up constantly. In all of the chaos, remembering things like where all of the curtain rods and accessories were didn’t stay in their memory quite as well as they had hoped. In cases like this, it is important to keep an accurate storage inventory.
Keeping a running storage inventory helps you to know what is being kept where. You can dive into many levels of detail with this like where in a storage unit something is kept or what container it is in and so forth, but you at least need to keep track of what is in the storage unit compared to what is being kept elsewhere. A handwritten list, a spreadsheet, or even a memo in a mobile phone are great ways to document the list.
Personally, I prefer a combination of an electronic list and a picture version of storage inventory. I’m a visual person, so I like to take a picture of what is left in a storage unit or in a room. I like to have a picture of boxes filled with important items that I might need later. Having a snapshot of the contents of my “important books” box lets me know that yes, in fact, my limited edition Gone With the Wind is in there as well as my keepsake book of the 1995 Atlanta Braves. A visual for sports equipment, electronics, and holiday decorations are handy as well. Being able to look back at a box and see that a football helmet’s chin strap wasn’t on the helmet when it went into storage can save you a lot of searching time.
Keeping a picture version of storage inventory can help you with verifying the condition of valuable items. If you have electronics, appliances, pieces of furniture, or collections of some sort, showing what you had and what condition it was in can help a lot if you need to report something damaged or missing. Having a written list is nice, but a picture can tell so much more in many cases!
Save yourself a lot of trouble and don’t rely on your memory to help you with everything! Moving is a chaotic time. You won’t remember where you put everything. Having a list or a picture showing you where your items are can save you a lot of searching time. Find a method for storage inventory that you’re comfortable with and update it frequently.