Each and every single person out there should have some sort of home inventory written down and stored somewhere outside of their house. Wouldn’t do you much good in your house if your house burned down, would it? As well as filing an inventory report when you buy home or renter’s insurance (you do have renter’s insurance, right?), you should keep an up-to-date inventory of all your expensive or sentimental belongings so you can easily be reimbursed for them in case of a fire, flood, or some other catastrophe.
While I have not done this (and I need to), a lot of people take a video camera and walk around their home filming everything. They then put the video into their computer, where they can store a digital version, back a copy up off-site, and create DVD’s to take to work or give to a neighbor. Personally I took my regular digital camera and just walked around taking pictures of the important stuff in our house. Once I was done, I imported them to iPhoto and dispersed copies to my Gmail account, my .Mac account, and in my safe in the house. You can never be too careful.
You should also make a paper list of everything in the house that you want the insurance company to know about. And while you could just write it all down in a notebook, there are inventory sheets out there on the internet, free of charge, that help you to be sure to write down all the right information. Another thing to consider is to scan these into your computer and email them to yourself, so you have a digital copy outside of the house somewhere.
Having a home inventory done and ready to go can make your life easier if you ever happen to need it. Your insurance claim will probably be processed faster and you will be reminded of the things that you did have in case you had forgotten any of them when shopping for new things for your home. Get that inventory done as soon as possible!