One of the most recognised and successful inanimate object animations is Pixar's lamp and jr lamp. John Lasseter in an interview for BBC documentary 'From Pencils to Pixels' stated "It is important to identify its face and head." In the obvious case of the lamps it is the lamp shade which is the head and the bulb representing the face.
Paul Lavey's 'The Lascivious Broom' however focuses on using the broom head to move like human legs giving the broom its character which is also successful.
After looking at these two animations it is clear to see that areas of the object that could relate to the human anatomy is what gives the object its structure and can establish how the character might look or move.