A few years ago, we took an Alaskan cruise with a group of friends.  We were about to start a major kitchen remodeling project and I found the perfect decorative accent in Seattle.  It was a coffee cup, made from a single sheet of hand-cut metal.  Unique.  Expressive.  Coffee.

After the remodel was complete, it found a home right next to the butler’s pantry and my all-important coffeemaker.

After the fire, one of your first tasks is to create a list of personal items that have been lost.  It’s overwhelming.  How can anyone possibly keep track of every single item they own?

One thing that most people hear is ‘take pictures of everything’.  There’s only one problem:  in order to process your claim, the insurance company will need not only the item, but a description of the item, where you purchased it from, when it was purchased, and how much you paid for it.  And, that’s difficult to work through, even if you took comprehensive pictures each and every year.

What about keeping receipts and owner’s manuals?  Sounds good, right?

Unfortunately, that only works if you have your paper receipts stored someplace fire- and water-proof.  Ours might have been ok, as we had a metal filing cabinet under the basement stairs.  Thing is, I’d taken them out to sort and left them on the couch.

Another thought:  Even if you took the time to scan your receipts and upload them to a cloud-based service like Dropbox, how do you go through years of receipts to compile a list for your claims rep?  And, how do you track items as you replace them to ensure that you don’t miss adding them to your insurance claim?

My husband and I know that we need to do a better job in tracking both our lost items and our replacements.  So, we created a simple spreadsheet.  We will use this to track our purchases, scan the receipts and number them in our replacement folder in Dropbox.

In the meantime, I’m still on the hunt for the company that created my coffee cup.  Seattle folks:  If you know the name of the company, please let me know!



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