A 4 step guide to sensitively clearing your loved one's belongings after they pass way
By David, Dec 21 2018 08:19AM
It’s an extremely difficult and emotional time when a loved one is lost. Their absence is a huge thing to deal with on its own. Things get even more complicated when they leave behind a property, plus a lifetime of belongings.
You may need to sell the property quickly to avoid extra mortgage payments, or need to vacate a rental property. On the other hand, you may not be in the right head space to deal with the situation right now. Whichever circumstance, it’s important to realise that there is no right or wrong.
Things are already distressing enough when you lose a loved one, having to clear their property can be traumatic. From our years of experience with probate and deceased estates, we thought we’d put together a few steps you can take to make the process a bit simpler.
1. Sort the ‘personals’
The first thing you might want to do is go around the property and remove anything of sentimental value. There may be items of jewelry, clothing or books that you definitely want to keep. If you’re planning on contacting us to help but you’re not local, we ask you to put those belongings in a box in the corner of a room with a sheet over. We can then deliver them to your home afterwards.
2. Involve other family members
If appropriate, you may want to extend the offer of choosing belongings to other members of the family. It’s surprising how many family members find it comforting to keep something that belonged to their loved one.
3. Involve charities
It can be so disheartening to think of your loved one’s life possessions being thrown away. The involvement of charities can give you some comfort that their belongings are living on.
Personally inviting charities to come and “cherry pick” items does seem like a good idea, and it is. However, most charities will come and only “cherry pick” around 4 items. They’re also normally very selective about the items they choose – needing to be in the best possible condition. You can sometimes end up with a few items having been donated, but the majority of the belongings still need removing from the property.
At House Clearance Local, we work very closely with various charities such as The Pied Piper Appeal. We automatically liaise with our chosen charities on every property that we work on. You can be assured that your loved one’s items are going to good causes, and the property is also getting cleared without additional stress to you.
4. Remove the rest of the belongings that aren’t needed
Once you’ve established what you’re keeping/donating, you’ll be left with the possessions that need removing. This can sometimes be the hardest part as it’s difficult to remove items that hold such fond and special memories. If you’re undertaking the process with your family alone, it can be daunting. Especially if you’ve not done it before or are unfortunately limited with time. The whole process is filled with the purchasing of dozens of boxes, many trips to the tip, the sorting of items into waste/recycling etc., money in fuel, time and it can sometimes even have a physical impact.
If you ask us to help, we can work with you to clear the belongings. Or, of course, do it all for you on your behalf. We can take care of the whole process and save the emotional distress of dealing with a property clearance whilst grieving. We can also clean the property afterwards, which has helped the property sell quicker in previous experience. We will also dispose of everything properly, rather than taking it to the tip and adding to landfill.
If you have a probate and deceased estate that needs clearing and you need some help, please get in touch. We’re experts at what we do, will give a no-obligation estimate and honest advice. Get in touch on 07909846679 or 01452290086.