home inventory

If you have any "Stuff" at all, it would probably be worth-while to keep a list of that Stuff.

Why? Well.........

This means a computer program which will allow you to record all these things is in order. NOTE that the program should INCLUDE the ability to record your DEBTS; the amounts you OWE so that it can tell you your "Net Worth" which is the residual of your assets (things you own) minus your liabilities (amounts you owe).

I wonder how many victims of Katrina are now wishing they had used this program.

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A program should record at a minimum:

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I've searched the WWW a long time and downloaded and tried out many of these tools.

This one from http://www.cniche.com/homeinv/allhomescreens.htm for US$19.95 just did not seem good enough.

The Insurance Information Institute offers a free one called "Know Your Stuff!!" at various websites, e.g. http://www.knowyourstuff.org/ This one, though, is ONLY good for insurance claims; you cannot, for example, record your Liabilities so you cannot determine your "Net Worth" with it. It is a nice program, free, but falls short of what I want.

I did find several others that are more expensive but my favorite (below) is only US$19.95 so why spend more? An example: http://www.libertystreet.com/Asset-Home-Inventory.htm $29.95 for "AssetManage 2004 Edition"

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I DID FIND ONE in early 2005. Let me tell you about it; NOT because I have *any* connection with the owner in any way, shape or form, but ONLY because I am convinced that this is a tool EVERYONE should have. Yes, it does cost US$19.95 but one loss and you might be very glad you invested that small amount. You can download it and use it free for 30 days. This program has all of the features which a program of this type should have.

Name of the program: Frostbow Home Inventory 4 (Version 4.5.2) (at Feb. 3, 2005)

Author / Owner: Richard Frost

Website where you can get a free download, good for 30 days: http://www.frostbow.com/

File size: 2.55 MB

File name: fshi452.exe

Email Richard at support@frostbow.com

Runs on: Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/ME/XP platforms

Help on installation: http://frostbow.com/files/readme_hi.txt

FAQ at: http://www.frostbow.com/faq/index.html

It comes with its own "UNinstall" file and a Help file.

You can even save the reports as a "PDF" files.

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I have set up a "group" for users to discuss it:

Group name: Frostbow_Home_Inventory

Group home page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Frostbow_Home_Inventory

Group email: Frostbow_Home_Inventory@yahoogroups.com

As I get more familiar with this great tool, I hope to add my tips/ideas/suggestions/hints here.

1. the two tabs at the bottom-left corner provide you with two different windows which you can use to input, change or delete data. The "Enter Item Data" tab will show you ONE record on the screen with its pictures if any. The "View Table" tab is not just for viewing but also for inputting data.

2. First time you want to bring in an image, I suggest you read the "Help" file for that. Basically, here is how:
- Images | import images | C.Image
- browse to the pic and it will open in a new little window.
- X to close that window and say YES to save
- Save in the menu bar at top

3. When I've entered the data for an item, I click the "Post" button which is the little round orange one with the checkmark on it. That way, if I happen to go to the "Reports" or "Charts" function, that item will show up.

4. Note at the very bottom of your screen how many records are in the database and which item you are looking at.

5. When entering items, look at the "Table" format from time to time to make sure all the items are listed with the current value. I noted that some values were missing even though I had entered them. Then I found that I had neglected to enter the QUANTITY as "1" for those items.

6. For the "Manufacturer" or "Category" etc, you do not have to pick one from the list; you can type in your own and you'll be asked if that one should be added to the list.

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Here are some screen shots:

Entering an item; in this case, a tanned buffalo hide:

Home Inventory

Here is the "Table View:" (note you can drag the headings around and make them wider or narrower.)

Home Inventory

When you are in the "View Table" mode and want to change the Category for an item, just click the "Category" box and a drop-down arrow will appear, like this:

Home Inventory

and you can choose the category you want.

You can do three types of charts:

Home Inventory Home Inventory Home Inventory

There are several excellent Reports already designed; here is one for the Category "Furniture"

Home Inventory

The "FIND" option is VERY nice. I wanted to make sure that I had BOTH of my two Boomboxes entered and not more than those two. Here is the search window; note that all I typed in was "boom" and it showed me the first one and where it is in the database; from there I could click for the next one:

Home Inventory

This is a winner, folks!

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in fact, tell EVERYBODY!

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