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Taking Stock of Your Stuff, Plus the Weekend Poll

Okay, this one would have to be a project for a really rainy weekend, but the IRS has published a free guide, Publication 584, Casualty, Disaster and Theft Loss Workbook, that can help you inventory all your belongings--and their value. Such info becomes priceless if catastrophe, say a flood, fire or hurricane, were to hit and you had to file an insurance claim and report your losses on an income-tax form.

As usual, the folks at the IRS are sticklers for detail. Their forms invite you to estimate the value of everything , down to your canned goods, razors and underwear. They even have a line item for placemats. It sounds silly, but the cost of replacing the little stuff really adds up, and people can forget to claim it as a loss. The book can at least help you figure out how much insurance you should buy.

Weekend reading: In Saturday's Real Estate section, the Post's Ylan Q. Mui writes about the most affordable remodeling contractor you'll ever find, namely yourself. And Lisa Bonos reports on renting your home to friends.

Real Estate Live Chat: Don't forget today is Chat day. Maryann Haggerty will be with us once again. We go live at 1 p.m., but you're welcome to submit questions and comments early. Have a great weekend.

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  June 26, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Home features , Insurance , Remodeling and repair , Weekend Poll  
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