Dear Coz I recommend you do it twice a year, I made it after christmas and at the end of the summer (I start doin this in college and was great moment, before leave to school and after summer, again before leave to school.
The reason I am telling 2 times is because you will be able to see what things you are buying and not using, and is going to let you reduce the things even better.
For example, my wife and I quit buying in SuperWalmart, because discover that we where tempted with all those indispensable things we did not need. Last Cleaning process instead of take 2 or more days took only 1 and feel so good.
Our next cleaning day is soon (September 11), we both get the day at work, and go througth everything. I create lists and works like a charm.
I started doing this over twenty years ago when I was a Sophomore in High School. Some time in January I start going through all my "stuff" and asking myself two questions:
:arrow: Have I used this in the past year?
:arrow: Am I likely to use it in the coming year?
If anything receives a "no" answer to both questions, out it goes!
Funnily enough, it occurred to me just this weekend that if I knew every single thing I owned, it would be a liberating experience. It would put tangible borders on the “stuff” that I own. It would make it a lot easier to get rid of things. It would be a minor dress rehearsal for confronting my own destiny, “well there you have it: your entire earthly possessions”. A bit like an interim last will and testament I suppose. With happy irony though I can say that the feeling it evoked in me is one of lively freedom and flexibility.
They key would be to have the items grouped:
Favourite t-shirts, 6
Partly used videocassettes 11
Copies of favourite album (all formats) 5
And so on. There is no reason why most of the items could not be reduced to “1 of”. And with the number sorted out, then I could take a step back and look at the actual item itself: do I even need 1 telescope? Do I even need 1 German dictionary? Etc.
With so much stuff gone, I could let my newly revitalised mind look forward to the next new thing, but of course this time I would acquire things in a much more sensible manner, only one book at a time, only one cool shirt at a time … honest …
Busydave -- The kind of inventory you describe has a practical use as well. An inventory like this is good for insurance purposes. Once you have made your inventory, assign dollar values to everything, add it all up, and get the appropriate amount of homeowner's insurance. Make sure you keep a copy of your inventory in your safe deposit box so you'll have it if you have a fire or are flooded out.