How to Clean Out a House After a Loved One Passes Away

Preparing a house to sell after a loved one dies.

It is never easy to clean out a house after a loved one passes away. It is always tough, especially when every corner you turn you find something that reminds you of them. Although it is always hard to do, there are some ways to streamline the process, making it easier and a little less painful.

Walk Around

Start by taking a walk through the house. This can be therapeutic and can give you time to assess what all you have to work with.

Ask Someone to Help You Balance

It may be tempting to keep everything you see or you may find that you do not want to deal with anything and want to toss it all. Neither attitude is healthy. Later you may find that you are overwhelmed with stuff and have a hard time moving forward if you keep everything, while throwing everything away may leave you wishing you kept more. Ask a third party to come in to help you decide how to honor your loved one while choosing whether to keep or get rid of specific possessions.

Keep, Sell, Donate

Separate the belongings of your beloved into three separate piles:

  • Things you (or other family members) want to keep
  • Stuff nobody wants or needs
  • Items you want to sell

The second pile can be sent to a donation facility while the third pile can be sold in either an estate sale or yard sale (although estate sales are usually easier as yard sales are not worth the hassle).

You may find many items you are unsure about. It is okay to have a fourth pile of things you do not know what to do with yet. You can send it to storage and wait a couple months to go through again. Once some time has passed, you may have a better idea of what to do with those belongings.

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