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How To Clean A Home Of A Deceased Loved One

The pain and heartache one feels after a death of a loved one is something you want to push into the deepest recesses of your brain. If you can forget it happened and move on, all will be well.  

But as an adult, you have responsibilities, one of which is to put their affairs in order. If the loved one who passed is your parent, you have to take responsibility and arrange for the cleanout of their home. 

The task may be daunting, but many who did this activity experienced catharsis and felt they honored the memory of the dead by paying respects to them through their possession. 

You don’t have to do it right away. Since it’s a very emotional process, allow yourself leeway and do it when you’re a bit stable emotionally. 

Do not rush yourself; instead, create a timeframe. Allow yourself sufficient time to work on each room because rushing to complete the task may leave you to spread yourself too thin.

If you can’t go through the task, companies are available to help with deceased estates cleanout.

If you’re wondering, here are the steps to take in cleaning the home of a deceased loved one:

  • Secure The Home

First and foremost, change the locks. In their life, your parents might have shared keys with other people. And to keep the property safe from trespassers, it’s necessary to change the locks. There might also be harmful elements surveying the property, and once they knew of the death, they could burglarize the home and take essential items. 

Changing the locks will also give you peace of mind, especially if it will take you some time to muster enough courage for the actual cleanout. 

  • Collect All Necessary Documents

Secure all essential documents as you find one in every step of your cleaning process. This could be deeds, a will, insurance policies, medical directives, investments, and other legal documents. 

If there’s a will for your loved ones left, it would be wise to sort it early  with your siblings and arrange for an attorney to finalize and file the will in court.

  • Sort Through The Items

Arrange their items in a pile to give, donate, sell, and discard. It will be easier for you to take the following steps and account for each item. Being organized in a chaotic place and situation will give you temporary relief, calmness, and some semblance of normalcy.

  •  Bring In The Family

Some family members might want to have a particular item of your loved one that they could keep. In your pile of to give, they could get things to honor the memory of the loved one alive. 

Elegant sad elderly man standing on the rain with umbrella and grieves at the grave of a loved person

Keeping a memento of your loved ones will make you feel that they’re always with you and will make you remember the good times you’ve had with them. 

  • Sell High-Value Items

If your loved ones have valuable items in their possession, get the help of an estate sale professional who can determine the value of each item rightfully. If the items are rare, like paintings, you may donate them to museums. It would depend on what you and your siblings have agreed upon or stated on the will.

You may host a garage sale for the rest of the segregated items to sell when you’re ready for it. 

  • Get Rid Of Unwanted Items

For the rest of the items left, get rid of them since there’s no use holding on to them. It might be too difficult to part with those items, but remember your goal when you were sorting them out. 

If your parents lived a long full life, they might have collected too many items for many years. If they were hoarders, and there’s just too much, you can always contact the services of junk removal companies. 

  •  Contact The Property Manager

If your loved ones live in a rental, it would be best to contact their property manager because if there’s a deposit, you can use the money to pay for services you’ll acquire in arranging their possessions. 

Property managers always know who the best contractors are, so that you may get some tips. 

  • Cancel All Subscription

Part of your loved ones’ remaining responsibilities are their subscriptions, and in their untimely demise, these are still outstanding unless revoked. Take time to cancel all subscriptions because some might still be billable.

  • Request For Mail Forward 

You may request their mail be forwarded to your address instead, which is a request you need to file from their post office. 


There are so many emotions tied to losing a loved one, and having to part with their personal belongings could give you stress and anxiety. Though it may give you a form of healing, if you need help with the process, know that a professional can help you organize this critical task.


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