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Why and How to Make a Moving Inventory


Everyone that moved before will tell you that relocation is a long and stressful process. However, there are many ways to make it go more smoothly. We at U.Santini Moving & Storage are eager to tell you why and how to make a moving inventory. This step will ensure a more efficient and less time-intensive move. Let’s cut to the chase.

The 411 on why and how to make a moving inventory

An inventory is the first thing you should complete before you move. Many people decide to skip making an inventory, either because they are moving, or they are paying for full service moving, which includes the conducting of an inventory as part of the package. Although an inventory may seem tedious there are many reasons why you will want to conduct one yourself. Reasons to conduct an inventory include:

  • getting a more exact quote from movers
  • protecting yourself in case of loss or damage
  • making better decisions regarding packing, storage, and unpacking
  • learning how to make a moving inventory will come in useful in other situations
A woman making an inventory list on a cardboard box.
The best thing you can do to make your relocation easier is to create a moving inventory.

What is it exactly?

Simply put, a moving inventory should be a list of all items you are planning to relocate, no matter how small or bulky. All your valuables should have their condition, estimated value, quantity and similar properties written down as well. This comes in great when you sign up for renters or homeowners insurance. In general, the more detail you put into your inventory list the better. Don’t forget small personal items of value, like watches, electronic devices, documents, prescription medication, etc. We will cover the possible formats of an inventory shortly.

What are some common formats for an inventory?

With the aid of technology, modern inventories are conducted in many different ways. The most popular ways involve digital spreadsheets, pre-written inventory lists that allow you to simply fill in details specific to your belongings, and video inventories. Digital inventories are useful because they are easy to update, and you can shift items around according to category, value, or room.

Some people prefer paper inventories because they are easy to give to moving and packing companies. A lot of people use video inventories because they are easy to conduct and they show the exact condition of all of your items, as well as the placement within your home. Whichever method you choose, you should find a way to note individual items.

How a moving inventory helps movers

A detailed inventory will help a professional mover determine what size truck you might need, how many boxes and which types, and how many movers will be required to move your home. Although many home and apartment moving companies will do a walk-through assessment of your home, having an inventory available makes an initial quote from moving quotes Brooklyn easier.

As opposed to relying on a moving company, creating a moving inventory yourself ensures that all of your belongings have been counted at their correct value and condition, in case anything goes wrong during the move. Furthermore, once you have created an inventory list it is much easier to simply mark which items will go into storage or to your new home without moving from room to room to make these decisions.

Use these 6 tips to make a great moving inventory

Now that we covered the basics, we can proceed with advice on how to create a moving inventory. The concept is not that complicated, however, if it’s your first time making one you might want to stick to the fundamentals. To make things clearer, long distance movers Brooklyn recommends splitting the process into 7 simple steps.

Man takes pictures of items that will get added onto an inventory list.
Most experienced movers advise that you take photos of your possessions as you add them to the list.

1. Structure your list correctly

The first thing you will need is a pen and a piece of paper. If you are tech-savvy and your computer skills are up to the task, you might find it easier to make an Excel spreadsheet. In any case, you should create a three-columned table for the most basic moving list. Naturally, the name of the item should go into the first column. The second column should contain its condition, serial number, or any other important attribute. In the last column, put an estimated value of the item. Now, all that’s left is to repeat the process for every part of your home.

2. Separate room by room

To make everything nicely organized make a list for every room and space in your home. If you have an attic or a garage we advise you to start there. The reason for that is that there’s a high chance it will take a lot of time and effort, as we all tend to hoard stuff there. Bulky furniture, machines, appliances usually belong on top of the list, followed by items of less importance. In the case of bookshelves, you don’t need to list every book by name. However, writing down the total number of books is a good way to make sure nothing gets left behind.

3. Assign a room to each item

If you plan to decorate your new home similarly, perhaps adding the preferred room of every object to your list is a good idea. In case you plan to change a location of a piece of furniture or other objects within your house it will come in handy.

4. Complete your inventory with photos and videos

It’s highly recommended that you take pictures of your things as you add them to an inventory. You can later attach these pictures to your spreadsheet. If you prefer to make a video, capture each room in its usual state and name it after the room. Back up all digital evidence on a flash drive and store it in a safe location. When you have real evidence of the state of your possessions any claims and disputes will be much easier to resolve.

5. Double check everything

This is another great tip on how to create a moving inventory as useful as possible. When you’re finished adding your whole house onto a list, go back to the beginning and double-check. There is always a high chance you forgot something important, especially if you’re constantly using the items. Once it’s time to pack everything up, going through the list again will make sure nothing got left out.

6. Back up your list written on paper with a digital one

In case you decided to do a physical inventory, you still might benefit from recording it in a digital format. In case the list is lost during the moving process, having a backup copy can save you a lot of time and work. Further, in this form, it’s very easy to share with others, whether they are your friends helping you relocate or professional movers.

7. The final tip on how to create a moving inventory – use an app

There’s a decent amount of available apps for your smartphone that will be of significant help when making an inventory or when relocating in general. Some of them like Google Keep are free and great for taking notes, while others might cost some money but offer more specialized options for moving. In any case, you should try them out.

Hire a moving company

Regardless of whether you made a moving inventory or not, hiring professional movers is the safest and most reliable way to make your relocation into reality. It can be very affordable too. Also, movers have a lot of experience handling all types of items, so chances of accidental damage or lost belongings are minimal. They can be flexible and conform to your schedule, needs and expectations.


Creating an inventory may not be the most fun part of moving, but it will easily be the most useful piece of preparation you can do. A detailed inventory protects you from loss, helps you get organized, and facilitates easier conversations with storage and movers. In short, there is no excuse to not conduct an inventory.

Mover shows a woman how to make a moving inventory.
Even though movers know how to make a moving inventory, yours might be more detailed.

Contact us

Now that you know how to make a moving inventory your relocation will be an exciting experience. Feel free to contact moving companies NYC for more information concerning not only inventories but anything related to moving. Our experienced staff will offer the best advice, a free moving quote and much more. We offer one of the best services in the moving business that is also very cost-effective.

These guys are TRUE PROFESSIONALS! We've now moved with them twice (once in 2017 and then again this week) and we really can't say enough good things about them. Simi is incredibly easy to work with for scheduling and quotes, and the crews - John, Super Mario, and everyone - are just awesome. They're quick, incredibly careful and conscientious, and super friendly. If we ever move again (and god I hope we don't have to) we're absolutely calling them.

Allison "Elnoods" N.

From Brooklyn, NY

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CALL: 718-768-6778

Frequently Asked Questions

At U.Santini Moving & Storage Brooklyn, we've earned our reputation through honesty and transparency. We're here to address all your questions and provide peace of mind as you choose our moving services in Brooklyn.

What are your working hours?

We are open from Monday to Friday, 7:30 AM–5 PM, but feel free to contact us through our contact form anytime. We'll get back to you ASAP.

Does U.Santini Moving & Storage offer insurance?

Absolutely! We offer various types of insurance to protect your belongings, including a full replacement option. The cost depends on how much your things are worth and the deductible you choose.

How soon should I schedule my move?

It's a good idea to book your moving company at least 8 weeks before your move. If you're moving during the holidays or in the summer, it's best to schedule it 12 weeks ahead. But if your move is between September and May, you can often book movers with just 2 weeks' notice. The key is to secure your moving crew as soon as you have all the details about your move.

Do you provide packing supplies?

Yes, we do. Along with the necessary boxes and packing materials for your move, we offer various 'Saver' packages tailored to the size of your home. If you don't use all the boxes you purchased, you can return them to our team after the move, and we'll refund the unused portion.

What type of storage do you offer?

At U. Santini Moving & Storage Brooklyn, we offer complete storage solutions in climate-controlled units. Our units are monitored 24/7 to keep your belongings safe, whether you need short-term or long-term storage. We even provide storage options for very short durations, including as little as 24 hours.

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We bring our professionalism and expertise to every corner of New York City. If you are looking for a tailored moving experience, our responsive team of Brooklyn movers and packers is waiting for your call. Get your quote today!