If you have renter’s or homeowner’s insurance…..and you have a loss …. in order for the adjuster/company to reimburse you, you will need to provide “proof of loss” – pictures, inventory, receipts, etc. Your insurance carrier is not just going to write you a check. Insurance is never meant to “better” you, just to indemnify, or reimburse, you for losses. Therefore, you will need to prove what you lost because of the fire, or burglary, etc.
There are companies that will come in and do an inventory for you (for a fee, of course). OR, you can just do what I call the “hokey pokey” – go to each room and slowly, slowly turn in a circle while holding your camera. Try to focus on things of high value as opposed to electronics and clothing or shoes which rarely hold any real value after purchase. (example; I bought a 42 inch flat screen HD TV back in 2006 and paid $998 for it – you can go to WalMart today and by the exact same TV for just under $500 now.) It is generally a thought process of “do I want to have to go to GoodWill to replace my belongings cause I’m too busy to do an inventory or save receipts? OR, do I want to be able to go to a higher end store to replace my belongings?” It is your choice, but I encourage taking a few minutes to do this.