Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Even with OCD, this is a little excessive

One of the more monumental tasks I have to complete today is an exhaustive, itemized inventory of every single thing we own. Every. Single. Thing. From salt shakers to lawn mowers, from sandals to drapes.

The Department of National Defense even gave us a Word template to use. For each item, we are to list:
  • Qty

  • Item (Brief Description)

  • Year of Purchase (Do you remember what year you bought that platter or that food processor? Heck, I can't even remember what year we bought the fridge! Hence begins the hunt for receipts.)

  • Replacement Cost (CDN)

  • Condition
There are two reasons to do this:

  1. For clearing Customs into Canada - anything we have purchased in the past six months will be subject to Duty. Also, if we had any, we would have to declare any weapons or other controlled items. (What other "controlled items"? Fireworks? Fertilizer? Illegal aliens?)

  2. For insurance purposes - if any of our stuff goes missing or gets damaged, we will be able to file a claim.

I tell ya - it's almost enough to make me want to have the mother of all yard sales and just start from scratch when we get to Ottawa. I've heard there are people who actually do this every time they move. But I'm too attached to my little treasures, items I've picked up in my travels that strike my fancy. And I can't help but think you would lose a lot of money along the way - you'll never sell a food processor for full replacement cost.

So, I have started going through every room in the house and photographing everything - including inside cupboards and drawers. I even had the boys pull out all the shoes and boots and line them up for a photo op. This picture shows only the shoes that were in the back hall. Most of them are mine (and there are more upstairs). No surprise.

But I have decided that I'm not going to itemize every single low-value item, like grocery items or most of our clothes. I'll list them as a group (e.g., 30 pairs of women's shoes). If Customs or the insurer quibbles I'll just pull out the photograph and show them all the shoes (and how lovely they are). And if I can't remember the year it was purchased, I'm leaving it blank.
That's reasonable, isn't it?
Anyway, I'm now on page 15 of the list. Time to get back to work.


  1. OMG, I'm pretty sure I'd just stay put and never move!

  2. I love the picture of Brian's room!

  3. Diane, we would stay, but that would require taking out American citizenship or something else that requires a lot more paperwork. The red tape'll get you one way or another!

  4. Good Luck with all that, Wynn Anne! I never would have thought it would be so complicated/involved to move back to Canada. ~ Mary Ann

  5. Oh. My. God. I would give up before beginning!
    Good luck with it... you're a stronger woman than I!


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