When a Loved One Passes Away, What Is the Most Efficient Way to Clear Out Their Home?

The number of possessions accumulated over a lifetime can be astronomical. When a loved one dies, the task of sorting through these possessions can be a difficult one, both because of the amount of work that is required and because it can be a sad, bittersweet thing to have to do. Your loved one's home needs to emptied, and if that task has been given to you, what is the most efficient way to clear out those possessions that were collected over a lifetime?

The Executor of the Will

Before making any decisions, you need to check with the executor of your loved one's will (if you are not already the executor, that is). Does the will grant possession of anything in the home to a particular person? If so, these items will need to be identified and set aside to be delivered to the beneficiaries in question. Once these particular items have been removed, the rest of the contents of the home will need to be disposed of in a manner that is prompt and respectful.

Charitable Donations

The executor of the will might also be able to shed some light on whether your loved one wished to donate anything to a charity. They might have bequeathed a certain amount of money to a particular charity group, and if so, you might also wish to donate the contents of the home to this charity. And yet, sometimes the existing charitable donation might have been sufficient in terms of honouring your loved one's wishes, and you feel that the items in question could be sold with the proceeds being split amongst the key beneficiaries of the will. What's the most straightforward way to sell the contents of a home?

Selling the Items

You can make the sale arrangements yourself, but you need to realise how time-consuming this can be and that there are no guarantees. A garage sale can be helpful, and yet there are no certainties that this will make much of a dent in the sheer number of items to be sold. Listing larger items online can also be helpful, but again, it's quite time-consuming since someone will need to be at the property to assist with the collection of the items, which can take up a lot of time when there are multiple items on offer.

Outsourcing the Sale

A better bet is to contact a company that handles deceased estate clearance sales. They can visit and collect anything of value. Sometimes you will be paid a flat rate there and then, or the items might be sold at auction with you receiving a portion of the proceeds. Not everything in the home will be suitable for collection in this manner, but it can make a sizeable impact in your efforts to clear the home. Perhaps once these valuable items have been earmarked, you're in a better position to donate the remainder of the items to a charity.

It can be heartbreaking to sort through the possessions of a deceased loved one, but it usually needs to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible.