Bereavement is an inevitable part of life, and while there is no way to avoid it, there is a time when practical matters must be addressed – including clearing out their home. It’s one of the saddest processes after losing someone, as you’ll find them reflected in every belonging, personal item, and memory you uncover.
However, with the correct approach and mindset, you can handle this complicated process while honoring your loved ones’ memory and find solace in the act despite the emotions it may stir inside. To help you navigate this process, we’ve provided some guidance in our article below to help you clear out a loved one’s home while dealing with their passing with grace and durability.
Clearing Out a Loved One’s Home: How to Cope With Someone Else’s Life While Dealing with Their Death
From prioritising self-care and having a support system around you to decide if you need to outsource third-party storage and taking your time to sort through each room, various strategies can help you cope with this transformative journey. Continue reading as we share insights, explore strategies, and offer guidance to help you complete this challenging task with comfort and healing.
Sort Through All Their Belongings
With your support system around you, and when you feel ready, start sorting through all your loved ones’ belongings. Decide whether you’d prefer to go through the house room-by-room or if you’d like to split into groups and comb through the entire house simultaneously.
However, this might depend on your headspace on the day and if you have a deadline to complete everything. As you go through each room, set aside any items of value, such as jewelry, antiques, art, and things of sentimental value, such as personal items, photos, etc., and decide what you’d like to keep, sell or donate (if not outlined in their will).
You can make this process more efficient (and less stressful!) by using organizational bins to keep all three piles separate until they can be shared among the family, donated, or discarded – bringing us to our next point.
Discard Belongings Properly
While smaller items might be easy to dispose of, furnishings and oversized items might present a more significant challenge. So, before you begin sorting through each room, decide what will happen to each piece of furniture that needs to be disposed of. For instance, if you’ve sold one sofa on Facebook Marketplace, will it be collected on the day, or are they expecting you to deliver it?
On the other hand, if you’ve sold something that can’t be collected for several weeks or you come across something that you’re unsure what to do with, why not consider outsourcing third-party storage solutions from Safestore? Using their private storage facilities, you can store furniture while moving for as long as you need and return it whenever you wish to add or remove items. Consider visiting their website to browse their list of locations, read customer testimonials, etc., or contact them directly to see how their innovative storage solutions could make this complicated process more manageable.
Sort Through Crucial Documentation
Although you might be eager to get the main body of your loved one’s house sorted and cleared out, it’s best to go through their paperwork first because you’ll need them to begin funeral arrangements and register their death. Although the latter might be the last thing you want to think about, it’s better to get it done sooner rather than later so you can begin your healing journey.
You won’t need every single piece of documentation to register your loved one’s death, but it’s best to hang onto the following for safe-keeping:
- Bank Statements
- Tax Forms
- Utility Bills
- Final Will And Trust
- Insurance Policies
- Mortgage Payments
- ID Documents
If you can’t find everything, do your best to find as much as possible. Search through every folder, file, drawer, and cabinet you can find in the property, or ask a close friend or relative if they have any idea where your loved one might have kept important documents.