Thursday, June 12, 2014

Housing Pictures > A Thousand Words

The adage of a picture is worth a thousand words minimizes the true value of a picture in my opinion. Maybe it doesn't take into account inflation since it's an old phrase. One set of pictures I try to take during a move is a visual inventory of our stuff. Another useful set of pictures is what the nice housing people at post can provide.

Visual Inventory

We didn't have digital cameras when we first moved with the military. Who wants to mess with developing film or the expense of Polaroids for household stuff? We only had the inventory sheets on which the moving companies always checked off that every side of our stuff had marks and scratches. They also wrote in that they couldn't verify if electronics worked even if they just saw me unplug the working TV. I forgot to take pictures for our short local move from the house to the apartment so there are some new scratches here and there. It's mostly old furniture so we don't care about that as much as things going missing or arriving broken.

I quickly wandered around the apartment with my phone's camera and they're automatically saved to Google cloud storage. It was the fastest I'd ever taken inventory pictures. I even remembered to get some of the model/serial numbers for the electronics.

Another nice thing about our digital age and buying things online is having a lot of our recent purchases in emails to prove what we bought and how much we paid. I always intend to keep the receipts but can't always find them after I've filed them somewhere. Receipts are definitely good to have with the pictures.

Some people suggest taking videos and describing your things while you do it. That sounds like a bit more work and I don't go too crazy with move preparations. Selected still shots are easier to send to insurance companies instead of cutting down a video or saying "just watch for 20 seconds around the 12 minute mark and look close because it blurs a little as I'm spinning wildly around the room."

Hindsight is 20/20 so I may regret not having a video I can overdub with some sappy remembrance song and describe how everything was horribly destroyed in transit or is forever lost at the bottom of the ocean. Reference this NPR story Lost, Then Found: Shipping Containers On Seafloor. Yep, this is how our belongings make their way overseas...

Provided Apartment Pictures

We're moving into a Stockholm apartment they picked for us and it's hard to see how our stuff fits into it when we've never seen it. This is even more important with Stockholm being one of the few unfurnished posts. They provided an initial set of pictures which mostly consisted of one angle of each room along with a separate list of room dimensions. Some of the rooms could be used for different purposes so it was confusing trying to keep the 2 correlated since I've discovered the names didn't match.

We just got an excellent new set of pictures of various angles in the rooms that were just taken after the current occupants left. This is where a picture is worth way more than a thousand words. I think the value increases exponentially when you have multiple pictures so 3 pictures may really be worth 9,000 words. Does anyone really want to know the exchange rate on multiple pictures to words?

There's a very narrow 3rd bedroom about 6 feet wide that we were going to use for the spare bedroom. However, the dining room has sliding doors that can close it off and I'm told the previous occupants used it as a bedroom. I think it would make for a better guest bedroom. It has a small balcony which means our daughter wants it as her bedroom. There's 2 other big bedrooms to choose from so we'll see.

The living room has 2 areas so it appears we can use the smaller part as the dining area. The narrow bedroom can be demoted to a computer room or storage. I'll post pictures after we move there and replace the sparse temporary furniture with our stuff. Only 14 days to departure!

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