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How to Clean out Your Late Parent’s House

Cleaning out a loved one’s home after their death can be physically and emotionally draining. Learn how to clean out parents house after death here.

While the death of a loved one is considered life’s number one most stressful event, it can be even tougher to get through if the deceased is a parent who left a home behind. Cleaning out a parent’s home to prepare it for sale can be heart-wrenching as nearly everything in is a reminder of your relationship.

Having a list of everything that needs to be done will at least make the process a little smoother. Here’s how to clean out a parent’s house after death.


Secure the Property

Unless you know for certain who had access to the home and who has spare keys you can collect, it’s a good idea to have the locks changed. You’ll also want to make sure all doors and windows and locked when you’re not physically in the home to begin sorting through possessions.


Have the Mail Forwarded and Cancel Subscriptions

Piled up mail and newspapers in the driveway or doorstep advertises to the world that the home is vacant and makes it attractive to robbers. Have the mail forwarded to your or a sibling’s address and cancel any subscriptions or services your parent had.

It’s important to keep paying the bills, particularly if you want utilities to continue such as electricity, heat, and water.


Sort Through Possessions

This is the most daunting step for many people, as your parent’s belongings are certain to dredge up memories. You may also have a hard time letting go of some items. Your best bet is to sort possessions into one of three categories: items to keep, items to sell or donate, and items to throw away.

Tackle this step one room at a time. You and any siblings will need to agree to which possessions each person is taking, such as jewelry, collectibles, and other items, if it wasn’t already discussed before your parent’s death.

Hire a trash removal service if needed to haul away any large unwanted items or debris. Check over here for same-day trash removal options.


Collect Any Legal Documents and Money You Find

As you begin going through drawers shelves, set aside any legal documents you find into a folder. Papers you will need to settle an estate include a physical will, bank and brokerage account statements, stocks, bonds, and homeowner insurance policy.

If your parent left behind credit card debt, contact the three major credit reporting agencies so they can list the cardholder as deceased. This will prevent new charges from going on the card.

You may come across cash tucked away in unlikely places. Shred any sensitive documents that are no longer needed.


Get the Home Market Ready

Once you’ve removed all personal belongings from the home, it’s time to prepare it for listing. Give every room a good cleaning from ceiling to floor and freshen up worn walls with a new coat of paint. Toss outdated window coverings and get rid of old furniture that can’t be sold.

Make any minor repairs and spruce up the yard by raking away debris, getting rid of junk, and mowing the lawn.


Know How to Clean Out a Parent’s House After Death

Knowing how to clean out a parent’s house after death will prepare you for when the day arrives and make the job a little less stressful for you.

Check out our latest real estate posts for more tips on preparing a home to sell it.



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