Why Make a Home Inventory List?
Simply put, you want to be able to tell if anything's gone missing from the time your belongings were loaded into the moving truck and the time they arrived at your new home. By keeping a precise record of everything you own, you'll be better equipped to file a claim against your moving company in the event something does get inexplicably lost. Noting its estimated value will also help with insurance claims.
If you're taking care of your move yourself, having a packing list tied to a system of box numbering will facilitate a far smoother unpacking. In either case, the inventory list will alert you that something's gone missing. Otherwise, you might be so busy unpacking that you won't notice for several months—and by then it could be far too late to do anything about it.
Once your inventory list is complete, make copies of it for safe keeping. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to lose things when you're in the process of moving, therefore it's critical to have at least one backup copy. When it comes to items like your birth certificate, marriage license, car pink slips and wills, these should always travel with you and should never be left in the hands of a moving company. Keep these in the same place that you keep the original copy of your inventory list of possessions.
Illustration by Kena Ravel