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Be Prepared With A Household Inventory

You may have heard of, or even created, a home inventory before. This record, often used to document belongings for insurance purposes, can also be a really helpful tool if you are trying to declutter, prepare for emergencies, clear space for a remodel or just get organized. Check out these tips to create a thorough home inventory and streamline your belongings at the same time.

Make Your Inventory | Choose Your Checklist

The first step in making a home inventory is getting your hands on a comprehensive checklist – one from your own insurance company is best. Review the checklist before getting started.


home_inventory_checklist.jpg

Photo: via Insurance U

Work Through Your Home, Room by Room 

Following your checklist, work your way slowly through the entire house – you may wan to divvy up the task over several weekends. Record a brief description of each item, how many you have, how much it cost and the year you purchased it. 

Don’t leave out any nooks or crannies. Craft rooms, sheds, attics, workshops, porches and garages should all be carefully examined and documented.

Supplement With Photos or Video

Using digital photos is one option, but you may find it easier to create a video tour of your home to document your belongings. Whether you are taking photos or video, start at the front and work your way through each room – try to go in the same order used on your checklist.


Simple_house_floor_plan.gif

Photo: via Wikipedia Commons

Add a Storage Map

Noting down where exactly in the house everything is stored can be incredibly useful when you need to find something, whether it’s an emergency or just time to hang the Christmas lights. 

Use an actual floor plan if you have one; if not, you can create your own simple sketch of each floor of your house. Being as specific as possible, note where in each room boxes or other items are stored. 

Keep Paperwork in One Place

Gather receipts, credit card statements, appraisal documents and the like, and keep them bundled with your other home inventory materials.

Even better, take the time to scan everything and store the digital archive in at least two places.

Use Your Home Inventory to Declutter | Get Rid of Unnecessary Multiples

Cutting back on excess multiples can free up a lot of space in your home, but actually getting rid of unneeded things is easier said than done. Your home inventory checklist can make things easier by providing emotional distance.

Read over your list and mark any items you have a lot of. Do you really need all of those extra dishes? Start a list of things you want to sell or donate. 

Highlight Valuable Items

Especially note valuable pieces you’ve been holding onto for a long time but are not necessarily using. Do online research and estimate what you could sell the pieces for. Would you rather have the extra space and money? If so, let those pieces go!

Mark Your Calendar for a Big-Junk Toss

You know that stuff you’ve been meaning to toss but haven’t found the motivation to? We all have it. Now that your know exactly what and where yours is, set a date to (finally) take care of it.

Get prepared by researching where you can take it – things in good condition may be candidates for donation, while others may need to be dropped at a special recycling center. Involving a reward at the end of your day of errands is always a good plan!

Box Everything

Now that you’ve cleared out space in your storage areas, think about ways to make your storage really work for you. One simple but effective strategy is to tuck every single item in storage – whether in closets, cupboards or in deep storage – into a box or bin.

Containers instantly make things look neater, and it’s also easier to shift items around or grab a box you need rather than trying to unload armfuls of loose stuff from a shelf. 

Use Storage for Rotating Items Too

Free up space in cupboards, closets, shelves and counters for the items you actually use daily, and pack away the rest. This is one of the best ways to make your life easier, without getting rid of a drastic amount of stuff. Simply rotate in fresh dishes, linens and decorative items seasonally.

Consider Digital Backups

Creating digital backups (photos or scans) of important paper records, photos, kids’ art and other memorabilia can offer peace of mind. For less sentimental items, you may choose to actually toss the originals and keep only the digital record. 

Remember to Also…

  • Update your inventory anytime you buy something new or get rid of something on your list, pull out that inventory and note the change. If it’s something new you are adding , use this as a cue to look for a similar item on your inventory to get rid of. It’s much easier to keep clutter at bay than deal with it after things have gotten out of hand.

  • Keep a copy of your inventory offsite. Use a safe-deposit box or an online cloud-based storage system to keep your home inventory and all supporting documents secure.

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(You are reading an article originally posted on

Houzz

)

Be Prepared With A Household Inventory – and Use It To Declutter Too

You may have heard of, or even created, a home inventory before. This record, often used to document belongings for insurance purposes, can also be a really helpful tool if you are trying to declutter, prepare for emergencies, clear space for a remodel or just get organized. Check out these tips to create a thorough home inventory and streamline your belongings at the same time.

Make Your Inventory | Choose Your Checklist

The first step in making a home inventory is getting your hands on a comprehensive checklist – one from your own insurance company is best. Review the checklist before getting started.

Photo: via Insurance U

Work Through Your Home, Room by Room 

Following your checklist, work your way slowly through the entire house – you may wan to divvy up the task over several weekends. Record a brief description of each item, how many you have, how much it cost and the year you purchased it. 

Don’t leave out any nooks or crannies. Craft rooms, sheds, attics, workshops, porches and garages should all be carefully examined and documented.

Supplement With Photos or Video

Using digital photos is one option, but you may find it easier to create a video tour of your home to document your belongings. Whether you are taking photos or video, start at the front and work your way through each room – try to go in the same order used on your checklist.

Photo: via Wikipedia Commons

Add a Storage Map

Noting down where exactly in the house everything is stored can be incredibly useful when you need to find something, whether it’s an emergency or just time to hang the Christmas lights. 

Use an actual floor plan if you have one; if not, you can create your own simple sketch of each floor of your house. Being as specific as possible, note where in each room boxes or other items are stored. 

Keep Paperwork in One Place

Gather receipts, credit card statements, appraisal documents and the like, and keep them bundled with your other home inventory materials.

Even better, take the time to scan everything and store the digital archive in at least two places.

Use Your Home Inventory to Declutter | Get Rid of Unnecessary Multiples

Cutting back on excess multiples can free up a lot of space in your home, but actually getting rid of unneeded things is easier said than done. Your home inventory checklist can make things easier by providing emotional distance.

Read over your list and mark any items you have a lot of. Do you really need all of those extra dishes? Start a list of things you want to sell or donate. 

Highlight Valuable Items

Especially note valuable pieces you’ve been holding onto for a long time but are not necessarily using. Do online research and estimate what you could sell the pieces for. Would you rather have the extra space and money? If so, let those pieces go!

Mark Your Calendar for a Big-Junk Toss

You know that stuff you’ve been meaning to toss but haven’t found the motivation to? We all have it. Now that your know exactly what and where yours is, set a date to (finally) take care of it.

Get prepared by researching where you can take it – things in good condition may be candidates for donation, while others may need to be dropped at a special recycling center. Involving a reward at the end of your day of errands is always a good plan!

Box Everything

Now that you’ve cleared out space in your storage areas, think about ways to make your storage really work for you. One simple but effective strategy is to tuck every single item in storage – whether in closets, cupboards or in deep storage – into a box or bin.

Containers instantly make things look neater, and it’s also easier to shift items around or grab a box you need rather than trying to unload armfuls of loose stuff from a shelf. 

Use Storage for Rotating Items Too

Free up space in cupboards, closets, shelves and counters for the items you actually use daily, and pack away the rest. This is one of the best ways to make your life easier, without getting rid of a drastic amount of stuff. Simply rotate in fresh dishes, linens and decorative items seasonally.

Consider Digital Backups

Creating digital backups (photos or scans) of important paper records, photos, kids’ art and other memorabilia can offer peace of mind. For less sentimental items, you may choose to actually toss the originals and keep only the digital record. 

Remember to Also…
  • Update your inventory anytime you buy something new or get rid of something on your list, pull out that inventory and note the change. If it’s something new you are adding , use this as a cue to look for a similar item on your inventory to get rid of. It’s much easier to keep clutter at bay than deal with it after things have gotten out of hand.
  • Keep a copy of your inventory offsite. Use a safe-deposit box or an online cloud-based storage system to keep your home inventory and all supporting documents secure. 

 

(You are reading an article originally posted on Houzz)

Kitchen Shapes That Blend Beauty and Function

We all want our kitchens to be both beautiful and functional. And while you may have an idea of how you want your new kitchen to look, balancing proportion and scale to achieve a harmonious whole is critical. However you’ll also want to understand the factors that impact how it feels to be in the space. Here, we’ve gathered some information on kitchen shapes, optimizing functionality and how to ensure a layout works for you and your family.

Your Lifestyle and Your Home Will Influence Your Kitchen’s Shape

Are you an aspiring cook? Do you like to entertain? Is counter space a premium? These are just some of the considerations that will determine which kitchen shape is right for you.

Photo Credit: Omega | MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

U-SHAPED

Popular with many cooks because of its efficiency, the U-shaped kitchen offers generous counter space and provides an efficient workflow by creating a compact work triangle. It can however make the cook feel apart from a group when entertaining, as most movement will be facing one of the three walls.

Photo Credit: Omega | MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

L-SHAPED

The L-shaped kitchen offers flexibility for both large and small homes. This shape utilizes only two kitchen walls, providing an open sensibility. The L-shape minimizes traffic through the kitchen and, typically, features larger expanses of countertops, allowing ease of preparation at mealtime.

Photo Credit: Omega | MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

L-SHAPED WITH AN ISLAND

An L-shaped kitchen with an island is ideal for entertaining. The ample counter space along the “L”of the kitchen becomes the primary work area, while the island allows guests or other family members to gather, to help prepare or just visit… AND to stay out of the way of the cook!

Photo Credit: Omega | MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

G-SHAPED

A modified “U” shape, the G shaped kitchen is very efficient. However, unless one or more of the walls are designed as half or “pony” walls, this kitchen shape can feel confining for today’s cook. 

Photo Credit: Omega | MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

SINGLE WALL

This layout positions all of the appliances on a single wall, and would typically be found in a studio apartment or other very small space. 

Photo Credit: Omega | MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

GALLEY

Open on both ends, the Galley requires a minimum corridor width of 48″ so that the cook can easily maneuver during meal preparation. Typically, appliances are near one another which is convenient, but due to the corridor shape of the kitchen, all of the household traffic will pass through the space. 

Efficiency Has a Shape: The Triangle

The basic work triangle is comprised of an imaginary line drawn between the kitchen’s primary work areas:

  1. food storage (refrigerator)

  2. food preparation (stove)

  3. clean up (sink)

For maximum efficiency, the sum total of the triangle should be 26 linear feet, with the sink being the center point. 

What You Can Expect From Your Designer

In addition to offering guidance on door style, wood type and color selections; a professional kitchen designer will typically prepare three types of documents for your review:

  1. floor plan

  2. elevations of all the wall that receive cabinetry

  3. perspective view from one of more vantage points within the room

Availability of these documents to the consumer is usually contingent on a contractual agreement and/or down payment. 


Floor Plan.jpg

Photo Credit: Omega | MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

FLOOR PLAN

A floor plan shows the wall layout from above, and an outline of all the components that will fill the space, such as base, wall and tall cabinetry. Sometimes lighting and electrical detailing are also shown on this plan.


Elevation.jpg

Photo Credit: Omega | MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

ELEVATION

A “flat” drawing that shows each wall of cabinetry as if you were standing and facing it head on. The elevation view is good for seeing the detail of the cabinetry components that aren’t visible in the floor plan view. It is also good for establishing heights of components within the room. 

Perspective

A perspective drawing is one that is “3D” or dimensional. It shows the room as it would be actually seen from the viewpoint of a person 5′-6″ in height. Perspective drawings provide details such as areas that are increased or reduced in depth, a dimensional quality that elevation drawings don’t offer. 

Testing the Fit

It is a good idea to layout the proposed kitchen in the actual space. If the space is empty, this is easily accomplished a couple of different ways. Refer to the completed floor plan utilizing a tape measure and masking tape to indicate where cabinets and appliances will be located. Newspaper can be folded to adjust its size and then moved around within the space – perfect for determining just how big that island should be! If there is an existing kitchen in place, you’ll have to improvise a bit. Both tape and newspaper can be used to outline new cabinets or appliances, helping you visualize your new space. 

Design 101: Common Kitchen Shapes That Blend Beauty and Function

We all want our kitchens to be both beautiful and functional. And while you may have an idea of how you want your new kitchen to look, balancing proportion and scale to achieve a harmonious whole is critical. However you’ll also want to understand the factors that impact how it feels to be in the space. Here, we’ve gathered some information on kitchen shapes, optimizing functionality and how to ensure a layout works for you and your family.

Your Lifestyle and Your Home Will Influence Your Kitchen’s Shape

Are you an aspiring cook? Do you like to entertain? Is counter space a premium? These are just some of the considerations that will determine which kitchen shape is right for you.

Photo Credit: Omega | MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

U-SHAPED

Popular with many cooks because of its efficiency, the U-shaped kitchen offers generous counter space and provides an efficient workflow by creating a compact work triangle. It can however make the cook feel apart from a group when entertaining, as most movement will be facing one of the three walls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Omega | MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

L-SHAPED

The L-shaped kitchen offers flexibility for both large and small homes. This shape utilizes only two kitchen walls, providing an open sensibility. The L-shape minimizes traffic through the kitchen and, typically, features larger expanses of countertops, allowing ease of preparation at mealtime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Omega | MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

L-SHAPED WITH AN ISLAND

An L-shaped kitchen with an island is ideal for entertaining. The ample counter space along the “L”of the kitchen becomes the primary work area, while the island allows guests or other family members to gather, to help prepare or just visit… AND to stay out of the way of the cook!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Omega | MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

G-SHAPED

A modified “U” shape, the G shaped kitchen is very efficient. However, unless one or more of the walls are designed as half or “pony” walls, this kitchen shape can feel confining for today’s cook. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Omega | MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

SINGLE WALL

This layout positions all of the appliances on a single wall, and would typically be found in a studio apartment or other very small space. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Omega | MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

GALLEY

Open on both ends, the Galley requires a minimum corridor width of 48″ so that the cook can easily maneuver during meal preparation. Typically, appliances are near one another which is convenient, but due to the corridor shape of the kitchen, all of the household traffic will pass through the space. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Efficiency Has a Shape: The Triangle

The basic work triangle is comprised of an imaginary line drawn between the kitchen’s primary work areas:

  1. food storage (refrigerator)
  2. food preparation (stove)
  3. clean up (sink)

For maximum efficiency, the sum total of the triangle should be 26 linear feet, with the sink being the center point. 

What You Can Expect From Your Designer

In addition to offering guidance on door style, wood type and color selections; a professional kitchen designer will typically prepare three types of documents for your review:

  1. floor plan
  2. elevations of all the wall that receive cabinetry
  3. perspective view from one of more vantage points within the room

Availability of these documents to the consumer is usually contingent on a contractual agreement and/or down payment. 

Photo Credit: Omega | MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

FLOOR PLAN

A floor plan shows the wall layout from above, and an outline of all the components that will fill the space, such as base, wall and tall cabinetry. Sometimes lighting and electrical detailing are also shown on this plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Omega | MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

ELEVATION

A “flat” drawing that shows each wall of cabinetry as if you were standing and facing it head on. The elevation view is good for seeing the detail of the cabinetry components that aren’t visible in the floor plan view. It is also good for establishing heights of components within the room. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perspective

A perspective drawing is one that is “3D” or dimensional. It shows the room as it would be actually seen from the viewpoint of a person 5′-6″ in height. Perspective drawings provide details such as areas that are increased or reduced in depth, a dimensional quality that elevation drawings don’t offer. 

Testing the Fit

It is a good idea to layout the proposed kitchen in the actual space. If the space is empty, this is easily accomplished a couple of different ways. Refer to the completed floor plan utilizing a tape measure and masking tape to indicate where cabinets and appliances will be located. Newspaper can be folded to adjust its size and then moved around within the space – perfect for determining just how big that island should be! If there is an existing kitchen in place, you’ll have to improvise a bit. Both tape and newspaper can be used to outline new cabinets or appliances, helping you visualize your new space.