When the last resident of a property passes away, it usually falls to a close family to oversee clearing the house so that it can be sold, rented or passed on to someone who's inherited it. In a lot of cases, this is a pretty big job to handle without help, and one that can be highly emotional as well.
It's for these reasons that it's normally a good idea to get a house clearance specialist to help you, as they can get the work done efficiently on your behalf and even sell any valuables you're not keeping. Once you've booked a professional house clearance, you have much less to worry about, but there are a few things you should take care of beforehand.
1. Check in with friends and family members
It's important to make sure everyone gets what they want or are entitled to, whether it's because it's written in the will or simply because something has sentimental value to a particular person. In the case of sentimental items, it's not always obvious what they might be. Talk to everyone close to the deceased person and find out what they would like. If there are a lot of people, it helps to write a list so that you can ensure everything that needs to be kept is separated.
2. Make sure there's enough storage elsewhere
Depending on how much is being kept from the house, you might need quite a bit of storage space. If you don't have space in your own home, ask other people if they can look after things until you can deal with them properly. If you don't seem to have any options, hiring a small storage unit can be helpful in this situation, giving you time to sort items without any rush.
3. Sort out the important items first
When it comes to the things you need to sort yourself, concentrate on anything that has sentimental value, any private documents or possessions, or things you'd like to sell or donate yourself. Once you get this out of the way, you don't need to worry that important items will be lost once the clearance people arrive to start working.
4. Take the time to do a final check
You might find it difficult to visit the empty house, and it's understandable that you want to limit your time there. However, it's always best to give it a final check before it's cleared. Even if you're sure you've removed everything you need to, you'll have greater peace of mind if you make doubly certain.
For some people, this can also be a helpful part of the grieving process, but if you find it too difficult, take someone with you for support. For more information, contact your local deceased estates clearance service.