Cleaning out a loved one?s estate can be physically and mentally overwhelming. You have to decide what to do with each one of their belongings, which can prove to be a very long process. With many other important plans to take care of, you might not even have the time to go through the entire estate. It is best to take your time and plan each required task.
Do a quick walk through of the house
Make a plan to do a quick walk through of the house. This can give you a better idea of what needs to be done, and how quickly it needs to be done. You can decide to tackle each room, one room at a time. You can also make the decision to enlist the help of other family members. You might even decide that an estate sale is the best way to go, especially if there is a lot of belongings that no one wants. The size of the average American home has doubled since the 1970s, meaning estates are left with hundreds of items to organize.
Start with one project
Tackling a single project can give you the motivation to complete the rest of the project. It can also help you decide which organization tasks work, and which ones do not. Try the multiple pile organization strategy with your first project. Create different piles of where items will go including garbage, for sale, and donated. You also might want to create a pile for items that will go to family members or will move with your loved one to their new place of residence. If you notice a lot of garbage piling up, it can be helpful to schedule regular garbage pickups or to rent dumpsters for cleaning the rest of the house.
Create an organization timeline
Creating a timeline can prepare your projects and keep you on track. When you create an estimated timeline, you can make decisions about how much help you need or if you will need dumpsters on site. You can also decide if a cheap storage unit will be helpful. Dumpsters for rent are a good idea when a household has accumulated a lot of garbage and a climate control storage unit is necessary when you are on a tight timeline to get items out of the house. This is common when the property is a rental or when the house is set to go up for sale soon.
Go through garages, sheds, and storage units last
Organizing the house is a big enough project on its own. However, if you mix in the organization and clean out of the garage, shed, and storage unit at the same time, you will quickly become overwhelmed. Out of all American self storage renters, 65% have a garage at home, 47% have an attic, and 33% also have a basement. These are the three areas of a home that accumulate the most trash and unwanted belongings. Renting dumpsters for these areas of the home will be especially helpful. If possible, work on one part of the house while another family member tackles one of these more difficult areas.
Organizing and cleaning out an estate is a lot of work. With the average household in the U.S. having over 300,000 things in them, the full clean out of an estate can take weeks, if not months. Preparing for and taking it one room at a time is the best strategy and will help you remain motivated. It can also be helpful to use dumpsters for large amounts of trash and to rent a climate controlled storage unit to store the items that you just do not know what to do with.