I have wonderful china, glassware and pottery that once belonged to my grandmother. I often wonder: was this an item given to her as a wedding gift, perhaps she purchased it while traveling Europe or maybe she was a crafty barterer and obtained the item at a huge discount. I envision my day on the Antiques Road Show, the appraiser asking for the history of this rare vase and me blankly saying “I know it belonged to my grandmother, other than that I’m stumped”.

Organize your household inventory to document special family items and relay oral history. Creating an inventory can help you determine what items have value to you or others in your family. If you are trying to de-clutter or scale back, taking inventory aids in deciding which items have value and which items should be donated or thrown out. This inventory can also go on file with your insurance agent.

A great way to create a household inventory is to create a photo database on your home PC. What should you document? Include the date purchased or acquired, amount paid, current value and last appraisal date. Most importantly, include the story of acquisition. This story is the history and sentiment passed along to your progeny.

sample of digital inventory
sample of digital inventory

Catalog items in your estate such as artwork, jewelry, books, china, furniture, collectables or anything that has monetary, sentimental or family significance.

The act of creating an inventory is helpful in reducing material clutter and the final product will be invaluable in communicating to others the importance and history of your family’s possessions.

What treasures would you like to pass down and what can be let go?