It’s a challenging 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 property plus a lifetime of belongings. How do you get rid of it via house clearance?
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 a suitable head space to deal with the situation right now. Whichever circumstance, it’s essential to realize that there is no right or wrong.
Things are already distressing enough when you lose a loved one. 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 simplify the process.
Sort the ‘personals’ The first thing you might want to do is go around the property and do in-house clearance for anything of sentimental value. There may be items of jewellery, clothing or books that you want to keep if you’re planning on contacting us to help but are not local. We ask you to put those belongings in a box in the corner of a room with a sheet. We can then deliver them to your home afterwards.
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.
It can be disheartening to think of your loved one’s life possessions being thrown away. The involvement of charities can give you 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 four things.
They’re also usually very selective about the items they choose, needing to be in the best possible condition. You can sometimes end up with a few things being donated, but most belongings still need to be removed from the property. At House Clearance Local, we work closely with charities like The Pied Piper Appeal.
We automatically liaise with our chosen charities on every property we work on. You can be assured that your loved one’s items will go to good causes, and the property will be cleared without additional stress. 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.
The Challenging Part
This can sometimes be the most challenging part, as eliminating items that hold such fond and special memories are tricky. It can be daunting to undertake the process with your family alone, especially if you’ve not done it before or are unfortunately limited with time. The process is filled with purchasing dozens of boxes, trips to the tip, sorting items into waste/recycling, etc., money in fuel, and time.
If you ask us to help, with 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 properties afterwards, which has helped the property sell quicker in previous experiences. We will also dispose of everything properly, rather than taking it to the tip and adding it to the landfill while housing clearance.
How to conduct a stress-free house clearance.
There’s no way of getting around it (or so you think). Moving house/running a house clearance, no matter the circumstance, can be one of the most stressful experiences of your life. Clearing a property is difficult between the organisation, the manual work, and the time it takes. Many people rope in their friends, pay them with curry and manage to get most tasks completed in some form of orderly manner.
But the stress, heavy lifting and emotional attachment to some items can sometimes take their toll. Things are explicitly challenging when you have to clear the property of a loved one who has recently passed away (advice and guidance can be found here). Many people are unfortunately in a rush to sell a property when a loved one has died.
They can’t afford to maintain mortgage payments. So they’re forced to face the harsh reality of clearing their family member/friend’s property much sooner than they’d have liked. We see this a lot. And this is where Clearthelot comes in.
Help with personal items.
Firstly, we ask you to choose the items you want to keep. We call these ‘personals’. When a loved one passes, in amongst their belongings, there’ll undoubtedly be items that family members would like to keep to remember them. This is probably the most emotionally-difficult part of the process for our clients, but we try to make things as easy as possible.
If you can’t manage to take the items from the property yourself, we ask you to box them, cover them with a sheet and place them in the corner of a room. We will then collect the personal items and deliver them to you later.
After the personals are dealt with, we can begin our process. We go through the property and segment the belongings left over. One of the main things people find upsetting about clearing a property after someone dies is their belongings being thrown away in house clearance. We ensure this isn’t the case if it doesn’t need to be.
We have excellent relationships with local charities, recyclers and up-cyclers to ensure that all belongings that still have life left in them can go on to live longer. We also have relationships with scrapyards to ensure that we aren’t contributing to landfills. This usually gives our clients a lot of comforts.
Cleaning the property
Once the property is clear of belongings, we will begin the cleaning process, including skirting boards, floors, cupboards and more. We can even liaise with painters/decorators and coordinate the whole process.
It’s a good idea to complete the above before the house goes on the market and even before getting the estate agents involved. This means the place will be apparent, clean and uncluttered for photographs and viewings, making the space look bigger and more attractive. It’s all about doing things in the proper order. If your loved ones died in old age, they must be interested in the garden, and you also need garden clearance or maintain it.
Once we’ve completed everything, the property will be returned to you in a clear and clean state to go on the market. Your loved ones’ valuable possessions will be delivered to you, and the other belongings will have been donated to great causes, avoiding landfill and ensuring someone out there will get some more use out of them.
If you have to clear a loved one’s property after they’ve passed away or in another circumstance, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 02033230017 or 07734678923 for a free, no-obligation quote.