Saying goodbye to a loved one is one of the hardest things we have to do in life. They leave us behind with countless cherished memories and, often, many possessions as well.

Sorting through and packing up your loved one’s home is never easy. It’s emotionally taxing and time-consuming depending on how many things they owned, the size of their house, and how long they lived there.

If you feel unsure about where to start when packing up a deceased loved one’s home, read this article to form a plan and get started.

clearing after a deceased loved one

Make a Plan for Packing Up

If you dive headfirst into sorting through your loved one’s home, you’ll likely get overwhelmed. Do a walk-through first and survey the situation.

You can decide if you want to tackle it room by room or by one kind of thing. For example, you could sort through all their paperwork or clothing first rather than going through the office, then the bedroom, then the kitchen, etc.

Regardless of the manner in which you choose to pack, try to break up each project into smaller chunks. Dealing with your grief works the same way.

Forward the Mail and Change the House Locks

Before you even begin sorting, you need to secure the home. You don’t know how many people had access to the house while your loved one lived there. So instead of collecting all those spare keys, change the locks.

You should also contact the USPS to have your loved one’s mail forwarded to your home address or office. Mail piling up in the mailbox or newspapers stacked on the front porch will alert thieves, vandals, and vagrants to the fact the house is empty.

Be aware that the post office forwards first-class, Priority, and Express mail for 12 months and magazines/publications for only two. However, you can continue to update the forwarding annually.

Continue to Pay for Certain Services

Stop services you no longer need. Things like newspaper delivery, recycling pick-up, Internet, and cable you probably won’t need if you’re not residing in the home.

However, you’ll need to continue to pay for other services including utilities while you clean it out. You should also continue paying homeowner’s insurance premiums. 

Hire Professional Help

When sorting through things, you may not know what items have more than just sentimental value. And not every possession left behind will find a new home within your family or your loved one’s friend circle.

Hiring a professional to help you sort through what items you should keep, sell, or throw away can speed up the process. You can also find other help to clean up the house or estate and remove any rubbish.

If you’re located in Sydney, you can always contact Dirt Cheap Rubbish Removal here even if you need help the same day.

Get Great Ideas for Updating or Redecorating Your Loved One’s Home

Now that you have a plan of attack, you’re ready to start packing up your loved one’s home. Never feel guilty about stepping back and taking a break from the process. It may take days or even weeks before you finish it all and clearing your head will help you clean more efficiently.

Just don’t forget any deadlines, such as if you need to put the house on the market right away. And leave yourself some time to update or redecorate to increase its value.

Check out the rest of our blog for great ideas on modernizing and sprucing up the house before advertising.