It’s an unpleasant task most of us will eventually need to face: cleaning out a house after the death of a loved one. It’s a time when you are feeling emotionally raw and drained, and you might even be working on “auto-pilot” or in “crisis-mode”. The fact is that we all accumulate way too much “stuff” in our lifetime, and when we die, that “stuff” must be disposed of one way or another. This can be enormously difficult for those left to do the job.
Here are some tips for estate clean outs:
- Create an inventory of all the contents of the property.
- Sort and keep all important documents: deeds, bank accounts, personal papers, and insurance papers, etc.
- Locate and put aside all valuables – jewellery, artworks, cash, etc.
- Don’t try to do it all alone – ask other family members and even close friends to lend a hand. Sorting through a whole home can be a very large and daunting task.
- Decide how you will dispose of personal effects. Allocate items accordingly: to family members; to friends; to charity; to recycle; to sell; and for rubbish disposal.
- Hire an accredited appraiser to value any items you’re thinking of selling. These could be furniture, artworks, antiques, and jewellery.
- When dividing assets amongst family, try to divide equally based on monetary value. Preserve sentimental memorabilia and other irreplaceable items – regardless of their monetary value.
- Be thorough. Ninety-five percent of the stuff might be rubbish, but there may well be treasures amongst the piles of things in your parent’s home. For example, diamond jewellery might reside in a pile of costume jewellery; good silverware might be tucked into the back of a junk drawer. Lots of people stash valuables in clothing pockets. There may be photos to treasure amongst that pile of papers. And there may be items of extreme sentimental value you’d be heartbroken to accidentally throw away.
- Allow a little sentimentality – but not too much. Some people clean out their parents’ estates and wind up with their own home full of unwanted junk they feel unwilling or too guilty to dispose of. Remember, the line between memories and junk is a fine one – and when someone has passed, they have no right to dictate what gets done with their worldly goods beyond “leaving it to” a particular person. What that person then does with it is nobody else’s business.
- Donate as many unwanted items as possible to charity. Many charitable organisations will come and pick up.
- Call AA Adonis Rubbish Removals to take away all the goods you want to trash or have recycled in the Sydney area. We recycle as much as possible, and take the hard work out of worrying about dumping rubbish as well. We can even help you sort through stuff to determine what should be donated, what should be recycled, and what needs to be tossed.
An estate cleanout is, in many ways, a labour of love. It is the final thing you will ever do for your departed loved one. AA Adonis Rubbish Removals can help make it a little easier.