Cleaning out a Deceased Relative’s House

Cleaning out a Deceased Relative's House

In addition to planning and organizing a funeral, family members are often responsible for cleaning out a deceased relative’s house. Whether the physical house is being kept by a member of the family, or sold to settle the estate, there is still the matter of all the possessions within the home. While some items may have been willed to specific people, the vast majority of items will have to be sorted and cleared out by whichever method the family decides.

If you’re unsure of how to clean out a deceased relative’s house, here are some ideas for getting rid of stuff in a fair and honest way.

Ideas to Make Cleaning out a Deceased Relative’s House Easier:

  1. Hold an Estate Sale – After recycling and throwing out all items deemed garbage, and all loved ones have received items promised to them, throw a massive estate sale. The proceeds can go back into the estate, which will be divided once the home is sold. Estate sales are like garage sales, only prices might not be as low, as there can be some quality antiques and fine furnishings among the items. That said, some families are eager to move on, so even these items can be purchased for a fraction of their worth. Antique dealers and collections often visit estate sales looking for great finds. Be sure to advertise the estate sale in the local paper and online.
  2. Silent Auction – A silent auction can be done two ways. The first way is for family and loved ones only. This can be a fair way to settle family disputes over items. Avoid sibling squabbles by making all sought after items of value part of a silent auction. The second way is holding an auction that’s open to the public. You can do this as part of an estate sale, putting the high value items up for auction.
  3. Donations – Donations can also be done two ways. If the deceased owned some rare or locally significant items, you could offer them to local museums or historically societies. If there are items that are in good shape, but aren’t wanted by anyone in the family, they can be donated to local charities and second-hand shops.
  4. Sell Online – There are many online market places where you can list items for sale. Due to the nature of these types of sales, it’s always best to arrange to meet the buyer during the day in a public place, rather than your home.

Once the house is empty, you can clean it from top to bottom! You can have it staged to sell, renovate it, or just sell it as is in order to settle the estate faster.

Contact Chapel Ridge in Markham

If you’re overwhelmed by all of the things you have to do after a loved one passes away, the staff at Chapel Ridge Funeral Home and Cremation Centre can unburden you by helping with the funeral plans. We can also refer you to other services in the Markham and York Region area for help.