Steps To Clean Out a House When a Loved One Passes

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Steps To Clean Out a House When a Loved One Passes

The last thing you want to do after losing a loved one is go through their belongings. It will bring up many memories that may be difficult to process. That’s where we’re here to help. Follow these steps to clean out a house when a loved one passes.

Locate Important Documents

Do you know where your loved one kept their house title, life insurance policies, will, home insurance policy, and other important documents? The first place to check would be a lockbox or safe in the house. When you communicate with insurance and mortgage companies, you must have the account numbers handy. Going through the house and finding these documents will create a smooth process for transferring the home to another person or selling the house altogether.

Forward the Mail

Make sure billing statements and other important documents don’t get lost in the mail. Someone close to the deceased should keep track of all the incoming mail and handle any issues that pop up. Want to find a way to stop junk mail from showing up at your loved one’s house? File a “deceased no contact” registration.

Process Everything and Tour the Home

Are you tempted to jump in and start cleaning everything out of the house? Take a step back, then walk through the house and locate special items you want to keep. There’s no harm in starting slowly. You don’t want to throw away anything accidentally.

The initial tour will also help you process your emotions. You can take photos of the home to help you keep the connection with your lost loved one.

Create a Timeline and Action Plan

Did the deceased live in a different state? Do you need to sell the house by a certain time? Creating an action plan is best when you’re working with a tight timeline. Set a realistic goal for yourself, and leave time for breaks. You’ll likely come across unexpected items, like keepsakes, photos, and scrapbooks, so you can take as much time as you need to process your loss.

Timeline Tip

Many states in the US require the will to be processed by the Court before you can donate, sell, or clear out possessions of the deceased.

Sorting and Cleaning

After you’ve done your walk-through of the house, it’s time to start the cleaning process. Consider renting a dumpster to dispose of junk or unwanted items. If you feel overwhelmed, take a break. Feel free to go through photos and have a laugh or cry.

The best place to start is the pantry, fridge, or freezer. They are easy to clear out since they’re unemotional. Then, you can move on to the more sentimental areas in the home.

Losing a loved one is never easy. Following these steps will help you work through the process of cleaning out their home. Remember, it’s okay to take your time. There’s no right or wrong way to process grief.