How to Tackle an Estate Clearance

When a loved one dies, the task of clearing out their home can be difficult and emotionally harrowing. People who are grieving may find it too upsetting to go through the person’s belongings and decide what to do with them. The process is time consuming, and it can be difficult to get it done within a reasonable timeframe. Unfortunately, this can lead to having a property sitting idle for long periods. During this time, the person who is responsible for clearing out the home may experience constant feelings of anxiety due to the difficult task they have hanging over them. Here are some tips that may help if you find yourself in this situation:

• Before you remove anything from the property, make sure that you are legally entitled to do so.

• If you are the executor, find and distribute specific bequests.

• Try to complete the clearing out process as quickly as you can. It is very unpleasant to have a task like this hanging over your head. From a financial perspective, the property will continue to cost the estate money until it is sold or rented. If you can, take time off from work and other commitments and try to get it done in one concentrated burst.

• Accept offers of help or ask for help from others. Having helpers can really speed up the process, and you will have emotional support at hand if you need it. Having someone with you to discuss what you should do with effects can help you to make confident decisions as well.

• If the proceeds of the estate are to be shared, make sure that you document all effects.

What to do with the effects:

• Carefully preserve precious heirlooms and memorabilia.

• Hire a skip or utilise the local council’s hard rubbish service if they offer one.

• Sell unwanted items that are too good to throw away on Gumtree or eBay, or put them on consignment at a Conventional Auction House. You could also consider having a Garage Sale.

• Excess towels and bedding are always welcome at animal shelters such as the RSPCA or Animal Welfare League.

• Some charities will collect furniture, bric-a-brac and clothing. Diabetes Australia is a good one to try.

Once you have cleared out the home, the next step is to prepare the property to be sold or rented. Make sure that it is clean, the garden is neat, and minor repairs have been completed. All of these tasks may be outsourced. If the property is to be sold, consult your Real Estate Agent for advice on how to present the property so that it will attract maximum interest and the best price. It is a good idea to ask them to look at the property while it is still furnished, as they may recommend that the home will present better if it is not empty.

If you don’t feel that you are emotionally able to clear out your loved one’s home, or you simply don’t have time, a Professional Organiser can complete the estate clearance quickly and efficiently. If you live in Adelaide, please give me a call to discuss your situation. As an outsider who is not emotionally involved with your loss, I can provide compassionate guidance on how to deal with the estate, and arrange it all for you.