It’s Not A Game

There is a memory game that many play at wedding and baby showers. The host has a tray full of a variety of household objects, and for a few seconds, the attendees study them. The tray is taken away, out of site, and everyone writes down as many of the items as they can remember. You often hear moans and groans, as people know they forgot a few – or quite a few – of the objects that were on the tray. Of course, the person who listed the most receives a prize.


This can be fun, but it is really quite meaningless. Now let’s put this in a larger, more meaningful, scenario.


Consider that the “tray” is your house or business. The objects are all of your personal property, or contents.

Know what you own

Many of the items on the “tray” were just taken away by a burglar, and now you’re trying to remember what was in all of the empty spaces. Or possibly your entire “tray” was taken away by being burned down, blown away by a tornado, shaken in an earthquake so severely to make it unsafe for you to return, or some other disaster.


This “meaningless game” has now turned into a very serious, extremely important, yet difficult task. If you don’t currently have an asset inventory of your home and/or business contents, can you imagine trying to complete an insurance claim by listing each item you need to have replaced? This is now an event that affects your time, your emotions, and your financial recovery.

Keep your inventory updated

If you do have an inventory, is it updated? It is recommended that you update your records at least every two years. Think about how often you buy new televisions, computers, laptops, video game consoles and the many games to go with them. How about furniture? As your children grow, their furnishings change from a nursery, to a toddler’s room, to a child’s room, to a teenager’s room. Each time, you most likely purchase new furniture. Granted, that isn’t every two years – but when is the last time you updated the contents in these rooms? Have you remodeled recently? If so, you probably purchased new furniture, decorative items, possibly a new area rug.


Creating an inventory, then keeping it up to date, will serve many purposes over the years. In addition to disaster preparedness, you can use your report to plan your budget for new purchases, to assist with financial and estate planning, and provide information for many other life events.