Make a list and check it twice to keep track of possessions


NEW YORK - Having a list of all your possessions will take at least some of the burden off you if you're ever the victim of burglary, fire or other disaster. Regularly updating that list could mean a big difference on insurance claims.

Here are some steps to create a comprehensive household inventory:

Go through every room. Open each drawer and carefully list everything, along with its value. Don't forget your attic, basement and garage. Pay close attention to things you might normally overlook, such as window treatments or rugs. Also include outside items, such as a patio furniture or expensive landscaping.

Describe each item in detail, such as the serial number, age, brand name, size. Record your date of purchase, the amount you paid and how much it would cost to replace it. Don't forget to include things of sentimental value, such as photographs that cost 25 cents to several dollars to replace.

Make sure you have appraisals of all art, antiques, jewelry and other valuables. The American Society of Appraisers, at can help you find a local appraiser to suit your needs.

Keep your inventory lists in a secure location outside your home.

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