The benefits of doing inventory when moving

Chances are doing inventory when moving isn’t something that has crossed your mind. You are going to pack your boxes and your bags and already have an idea of which belongings you’re taking with you. Far be it for us to try to add another task to your already full plate while you’re planning your move. However, there are many benefits of doing an inventory when moving that will help you organize your move smoothly.

Hand writing in a planner
Doing inventory can help you organize your entire move more smoothly.

There are plenty of reasons you need a moving inventory list.

  • Doing inventory when moving will help you make a more conscious choice of what you’re taking with you and what you’re leaving behind.
  • It will help you organize your boxes by categories.
  • It will make unpacking much easier and help with organizing your space once you’ve moved in.
  • Your moving company will also make their own inventory list. Doing your own inventory will give you a piece of evidence in case something goes wrong. One of your boxes could get lost or your belongings could get damaged in the process.

How to inventory your belongings while packing

There is a variety of different ways to do inventory, but the best thing you should try to do is pay attention to details. You should make a list of all of your items and then add a detailed description for each. Lots of people like to do this room by room as this makes it easier to unpack later on. Another thing that can help with unpacking by taking a home inventory before the move is starting with the larger items and then moving on to smaller things. Besides basic descriptions, you should make a category in your templates for any other notes you might find necessary to make. In addition to this, you could also add photos of your items to your inventory list.

How to make a home inventory when moving and make it fun?

The answer is simple – a division of labor. One of the ways to cope with the stress of planning a move is to ask for assistance. Say you have older children or teenagers moving with you. This is the perfect task you can delegate to them to include them in the moving process. This kind of task is ideal as it will be easy for you to oversee. Furthermore, you will be able to easily correct any mistakes if necessary. Your children might actually find snapping pictures of all their belongings and listing them fun. On the other hand, having them do this will give you time to deal with some other aspects of the move that require an adult’s attention.

Helping hands
Doing inventory when moving is a good task to delegate to your children or friends who want to help.

If you are moving with a partner or on your own, it might still be a good idea to have more than one person to do this. If your friends offer you help with the move, but you don’t want to impose on their free time, this is an easy activity you can task them with. This is especially true if you have any type A personalities among your friends. Asking them to basically organize your belongings will be music to their ears.

Benefits of taking a home inventory before the move

Organizational benefits

You will be moved to write a thank-you note to your past self for doing inventory when you start packing your home. Already knowing exactly what you’re taking with you will be of immense help. If you decided to go room by room when you were making a home inventory list, packing will be even more streamlined. You already know what items will go in which room so you can group a lot of them together when packing. This method also holds obvious benefits for unpacking time comes. Grouping your items in a logical, streamlined way and properly labeling your boxes will make unpacking go without a hitch.


Doing inventory when moving can also help you make Marie Kondo proud. This activity can be tiresome, especially if you have a lot of things. Deciding what not to take will save you time while you’re doing inventory as well as help you travel lighter. Not only that, but it will help you get a truly fresh start, free of all the things you don’t really need. Lightening your load will also lower the overall cost of your move.

Doing inventory when moving impacts your cost estimate

Ideally, you would take inventory before hiring a moving company. Once you know the bulk of the items you are moving, you are ready to contact prospective movers. These moving companies will then have a firm ground to go off when making a cost estimate. It would be a good idea to contact different companies and see who comes up with the best offer. If you have any valuable or fragile items in your inventory, you should ask the movers for special insurance. The company you chose will make its own inventory list. However, make sure you compare your lists to see if they match before signing your contract. After the move, you will be able to use your respective lists to determine if all your items have been moved and if all of them are whole.

Two people looking at a contract on a clipboard
Make sure to compare your inventory list to your mover’s before signing your moving contract.

Why doing inventory when moving is a good idea?

On the basic level, doing inventory when moving will help you stay organized while moving. It will introduce some order into a process that can often go belly-up. A good inventory list is at the core of pretty much all of the essential moving components – packing, unpacking, hiring a moving company. Making one might have seemed tedious at first. However, following these easy tips will make taking a home inventory before the move simple and fun.

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