There are many reasons you might want to keep a home inventory. One of the most important includes keeping adequate documentation of your personal belongings for your home insurance company if your home is ever burglarized, damaged or destroyed – and the best home inventory app can help.
It’s hard enough to remember everything you own in normal situations, but when tragedy strikes, it’s even more important to know how much your damaged property is worth. Apps that categorize essentials, such as budgeting apps with your finances, are there when you need them the most.
The thought of having a complete inventory of your possessions might be such an overwhelming task that it’s enough to bring the organizationally challenged among us to tears.
There’s good news, though. The best home inventory apps can help you maintain your home and your sanity and save you money. Better yet, they can turn an otherwise tedious chore into a worthwhile adventure.
Quick Look: The Best Home Inventory App
- BluePlum Home Inventory
- Magic Home Inventory
- MyStuff2 Pro
- Nest Egg Inventory
- Encircle Home Inventory
What’s a Home Inventory App?
A home inventory app helps you to organize, document and keep track of the items in your home, in storage or across multiple properties. You can quickly use your smartphone to calculate how much these items are worth.
This is especially important if you need to make a homeowners or renters insurance claim after a loss. A comprehensive, up-to-date inventory of your belongings in the palm of your hand, with prices for items, receipts, serial numbers, barcodes and photos can make the claims process easier and faster.
A home inventory app is useful in many other ways, too.
What Do Home Inventory Apps Do?
The main thing home inventory apps do is keep you on top of your possessions.
Keep You Organized
No more hunting for receipts and warranties in a junk drawer or an outdated file system, and no more buying repeat items because you can’t find the ones you already own.
A home inventory app helps you keep track of everything you own on your smartphone. Whether you’re swept up in the current decluttering movement, moving to a new home or making an insurance claim, knowing what you have and what it’s worth can help you make informed decisions about your possessions.
Provide Data for Insurance Claims
When you assign a value to each of the possessions listed in your home inventory app and see the calculation of the total value, you’re in a better position to choose the appropriate insurance limits on your homeowners policy.
This helps you have adequate coverage if you suffer a loss. Digital images of receipts, warranties, serial numbers and other information your insurance company may want, as well as photos of your belongings, can speed up the claims process and help you get reimbursed for their actual value.
This information can also help you substantiate losses for your income tax return.
Create a Visual Record
Home inventory apps let you create a visual record of your property with photos of each item and the ability to tag photos and add details about items, such as the amount you paid for them.
Photos can also help you record receipts and warranties, as well as important documents like insurance policies and wills. Just make sure the app you choose has enough photo storage capacity to meet your needs.
Take the Stress Out of Moving
Packing isn’t the only hard part of moving to a new home. There’s unpacking. And trying to remember where you last saw what you now desperately need.
A good home inventory app will help you conquer this challenge by letting you create printable QR labels to place on your moving boxes so you can see a list of the box’s contents with a simple scan.
Features of the Best Home Inventory Apps
The best home inventory apps will make it easy and intuitive to categorize your possessions. You can scan barcodes and QR codes for easy retrieval of product details.
These apps also allow you to upload multiple photos per item for a visual record and provide backup. This done through cloud storage and syncing capabilities for data recovery in case you lose or damage any of your devices.
Easily Categorize Your Items
The best home inventory apps let you easily and quickly make an accurate record of your valuables. They use folders to organize items by room or item type.
Create entries for each item, add photos and detailed product information such as serial numbers, purchase dates, warranties and add searchable tags and notes to find what you need in seconds.
Have Backup and Syncing Capabilities
You want to know that you can retrieve your inventory data if you lose your phone, so you’ll want an app that has backup capabilities for storing your inventory information on the cloud.
The ability to sync your information across your devices, and even with other users in some cases, is another useful feature of the best home inventory apps.
Our Top Picks
Here are our picks for the best home inventory apps.
Best Overall: Sortly
Price: Free, paid premium version available
Available on: iOS and Android
Sortly does just about everything you want a home inventory app to do, with an emphasis on organizing and helping you when you move to a new home.
You can create a complete inventory of everything you own at home, in storage and across multiple properties. The app then calculates the total value of your belongings in one place for insurance purposes.
You can also document, track and manage your collections, add multiple photos of each item along with pertinent details. Taking pictures of receipts, manuals, contracts and other important documents reduces paperwork. You can set reminders for items you’ve lent out, warranties that will expire and return dates for library books.
Moving is usually a bit overwhelming, but the Sortly app reduces the stress with a checklist that takes you through the process from start to finish. It helps you create a visual inventory of everything you own with additional detailed notes and categorizes items by location, box, room or whatever works for you.
You can create searchable notes and tags to find things quickly and mark boxes with QR labels so you can scan them to see what’s inside.
You can access the Sortly app free on your desktop, tablet or smartphone (iOS and Android), with the option of updating to paid plans with added features.
BluePlum Home Inventory
Available on: iOS and desktop
Blue Plum Home Inventory is an iOS and desktop-only app that enables you to create and maintain a home inventory for multiple properties. You also can organize your belongings in custom collections and tag items with color-coded custom tags.
You can add photos, videos, receipts, manuals, contracts and any other document related to your items, and you can also edit the images. The app’s Continuity Camera allows you to use your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to scan a document or take a picture of something nearby and transfer it instantly to your home inventory.
You can also back up your inventory information and files and keep them on your cloud storage of choice.
Magic Home Inventory
Available on: Android
The Magic Home Inventory app has an interesting hierarchy for categorizing your belongings based on a real-life structure. Properties contain rooms that hold various items, and a container item like a box can hold other items. You can move a selection of items into any container.
While this may sound confusing, the app provides easy navigation, with a categorization aid based on more than 2,500 keywords and an advanced search feature to help you find anything in seconds. There is also a sunburst chart to give you a visual overview of your items.
This Android app is especially useful when you have items in a remote storage facility and can’t remember what’s there when moving.
Price: Free, but has in-app purchases
Available on: iOS
If you’re a collector, MyStuff2 Pro is the home inventory app for you. You can organize any number of collections, from music, movies, books, video games, electronics, jewelry, appliances and anything else you can think of with this easy-to-use database and inventory application.
Barcode scanning and autofill make data entry easy, and you can store up to 40 images for each of your items. Customize item lists to display specific data and add color to categories or items to make them stand out.
When you need to find an item, it’s easy to search with the app’s powerful filtering and sorting capabilities. You can also print reports from your database using AirPrint. The auto-sync feature of this iOS-only app lets you share your data between your devices and with other MyStuff2 Pro users.
Nest Egg Inventory
Available on: iOS
Keep track of your belongings and have fun doing it with Nest Egg Inventory. It’s easy to build your inventory with photos — up to 10 HD photos per item at full resolution.
This helps with small-print items like receipts and product information — and by scanning barcodes with automatic product information retrieval. Organizing your things is much more fun when there’s less typing to do. Nest Egg emails or AirPrints your inventory items and backs up and restores your data.
Nest Egg helps you organize into categories and sub-categories, or by location, so you know exactly where everything is located and can find it quickly if needed for insurance claims.
Entering serial numbers and warranty information, as well as the contact information of manufacturer and seller, will also help you be prepared if an item breaks down or is lost or damaged. Once you buy this iOS-only app, you can install it on all your devices: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Encircle Home Inventory
Available on: iOS and Android
The Encircle Home Inventory app, for which the website claims to be the No.1 free home inventory app for iOS and Android, lets you download and document up to two properties for free.
This easy-to-use app allows you to accurately document the contents of your home by uploading photos and adding notes about each item. Users can manage their information from their smartphone or desktop and can create exports of reports in PDF and Excel form.
This app also comes in handy when you’re moving, doing estate planning or making an insurance claim.
Stay On Top of Your Inventory
Once you’ve chosen the home inventory app that’s right for you and established a comprehensive database for your valuables, it’s important to keep it up to date.
When you downsize, make sure to delete no-longer-needed items from the app. When you purchase new items, be sure to add them right away, along with photos and receipts and any other pertinent information.
You never know what the future holds, but you can make a point of being prepared and protecting your home and family with a robust home inventory.