How Creating a Home Inventory Can Save You Time, Energy, & Money

How Creating a Home Inventory Can Save You Time, Energy, & Money

How Creating a Home Inventory Can Save You Time, Energy, & Money

Last Thanksgiving, my husband, my in-laws, and I spent a peaceful, food-filled weekend together in my in-laws cabin in the woods. While we were up there, my mother-in-law and I spent hours taking a thorough inventory of every piece of furniture, kitchen utensil, towel, and cleaning product in the cabin. Essentially, every single room, closet, drawer, and cabinet and the items inside of them were accounted for. I put together an entire inventory—a 20-page handbook—of every single thing in the cabin.


Why on earth would I do that?


To save us time, money, and energy!


The cabin has been in the family for decades, and many different people have either rented or freely stayed in the cabin for years while my in-laws weren’t there. So, a lot of times things would get moved around, or lost, or added to the mix up there. Having an inventory would help people know where things are and where they should be returned.


When you’re vacationing, the last thing you want to do is spend your time cleaning or searching for things. The inventory helps save us and guests time from searching. Wondering if the cabin has a crockpot? vacuum cleaner? blender? enough sheets to sleep 20 guests? Want to know where it’s all stored? Check the inventory! That saves us and guests time; instead of packing unnecessary items or spending hours searching, we know that something already exists in the cabin and we know exactly where to find it.


Aside from time and energy, keeping an inventory also saves money! Instead of stopping at the store to buy soap and shampoo, check the inventory—last time we counted 17 bars of soap and 5 different bottles of shampoo, so I think we can skip the trip to the store this time!


Okay. You don’t own a cabin, so why would you keep an inventory?


Because even in your little apartment or home, it’s easy for items to get lost. Sometimes, our homes become so cluttered, we can’t even find items beneath the mess, and we end up either spending time or money to find them or purchase new items.


How do you create an inventory?


  • List every room in your house & each room’s closets as a subset.
  • List the major pieces of furniture in each room.
  • List the functional items (you don’t have to list every picture frame or knick-knack).
  • Keep those items organized in each respective room.
  • Save your inventory somewhere accessible, like an online storage space. (You might be shopping at the grocery store and think, “Do I already have these spices at home? I don’t remember… let me take two minutes to check the inventory.)


Here’s an example:

Master Bedroom:

  • king sized bed, my dresser, his dresser, nightstand, hamper


  • his suits, his pants, his dress shirts; vacuum cleaner, iron, ironing board


Backroom Closets:

  • Snow jackets, snow pants, wet suits
  • Fishing poles
  • Cot, storm windows (for the windows with screens)
  • Folding chairs,  card tables
  • Cooler, snorkels, flippers
  • Hot tub chemicals
  • Crock pot


Linen closet:

  • 2 sets of bed sheets per room (4 sets of king sized linens, 2 sets of queen linens, 3 sets of double bedroom linens, 4 sets of twin linens)
  • Mattress covers, bedbug covers
  • 12+ pairs of pillow cases
  • Cleaning supplies:
    • Soft scrub, Comet
    • Air freshener sprays, odor eliminator
    • Windex
    • Clorox wipes x2
    • Silver polish, Copper Cleaner
    • Liquid plumber
    • Bed bug and dust mite spray
    • Iron out, rust remover, lime away
    • Toilet bowl cleaner
    • Clean
    • Spic and Span
    • Ammonia
    • Wood cleaner, Murphy’s Oil Soap, Old English scratch cover
    • Sponges and cleaning toothbrushes



I know. It sounds crazy. But it’s not, I promise! If you take the time now, and update it regularly, I promise you will save time, energy, and money in the future!


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My goal is to help you become more organized so that you can spend your time in meaningful ways.
The Container Store
The Container Store