key in front door lock

An estate cleanout can be a very emotional task to perform. It is very likely that the circumstances warranting the project may be stressful and sad. 

Most times, moving items out of estate homes comes on the heels of the death of a loved one, a divorce, bankruptcy, or even an eviction. You may also be downsizing due to financial troubles. In these times, one is often undergoing an overwhelming change in one’s way of life.

Regardless of the circumstances, an estate cleanout is an important task which must be carried out with diligence. It requires careful planning and expert advice so as to ensure the integrity of the process. 

Below are steps that can guide you during an estate cleanout:

Secure the Estate

The first step is to make sure the estate in question is safe. You can change the locks on the house so that it is not exposed in any way.

Develop a Timeline

This should include an exact date to finish the cleanout, which will set you up to meet your deadline. If the home has already been sold or a new renter has leased the apartment, you may have to move the process along faster than you want. In any case, setting a timeline will push you to move the cleanout along faster.

Gather Important Documents

This enables you to be fully aware of what exactly you are dealing with. It would be bad for you to be unprepared and not familiar with all the facts before starting an estate cleanout. You will likely deal with legal and financial documents regarding the estate, including wills, bank statements, insurance statements and policies, tax returns, real estate deeds and titles. Getting these together will make things much easier on you.

Think About Costs

Time is money, and most major home cleanouts will take upwards of 200 person-hours. You may also have to pay for the home’s mortgage, taxes and repairs before it sells. Other out-of-pocket expenses you may have to cover include storage rental, shipping boxes and fees, and expert help (more on this later).

Create An Inventory And Determine Value

First make a list of what you have to remove from the home. Classify the items and belongings of the estate according to their value. This can be measured in sentimental or monetary terms. Some items may be donated to a charity or recycled in an environmentally conscious way. Others will have to be thrown away. You may also consider having an estate sale. However, there will be more valuable assets that you will not want to part with.

Sell Items That Have Value

Besides an estate sale, you may be able to sell items you don’t want online. Websites like Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Craigslist are filled with buyers looking for deals on all sorts of items. See what others are selling similar items for to set your price. You also may consider a buyout. This is when the owner sells the home and everything in it. This makes things easier, but you will likely miss out on more money.

Consult Experts

Seek the advice of an estate appraiser, liquidator, or licensed attorney. These experts can give you solid guidance about the state of the estate and how best to go about the cleanout, distribution of possessions, and sale of the property. Also, because you may be very emotional, there’s a chance you will not be in the best frame of mind and therefore will need all the help you can get to make the best decisions for now and later.

If you’re responsible for selling the home, you will likely be left with cleaning it up and prepping it to sell. An estate sales manager can help. When hiring a liquidator or auctioneer, make sure you do your research. Get multiple quotes, read online reviews, and ask for references.

Engage the Services Of An Estate Cleanout Company

There are moving companies and removal services (like Pittsburgh Home Cleanouts) that specialize in this area. They take over the whole process and make it stress-free for you. It may be easier for you to hire them in a trying period like this. After all, you likely will be left to move heavy furniture, home appliances, and other large items. In that instance, it will be necessary to have strong helpers.

Bottom Line

Careful planning, keeping a level head, and calling on the assistance of experts will help you execute a successful estate cleanout.

We hope you found this blog post How To Plan An Estate Cleanout useful. Be sure to check out our post 5 Preparations That Will Help You Sell Your Home Faster for more great tips!


Have Experience in the Moving Industry? Want an Additional Income Stream? Work With All Around Moving!

Partner with us and we’ll help you make money. Click here to learn more.