When a death in the family occurs, many family members are faced with the difficult task of cleaning out the home. This can be a challenge for many people as they deal with the grief of losing a loved one. While this can be a painful process, there are a few steps that can help family members manage it.
- Pre-Cleaning Tasks
Before you begin cleaning out the home, take care of the house logistics now that no one is living there. You should change the locks to prevent any unwanted visitors. Check out the paperwork on the house and make sure the mortgage and utilities are being taken care of and create a forward address for any important mail to be sent to.
- Manage Emotions
Even being in the home where a loved one used to live can be emotionally draining. Take time to familiarize yourself with the house now that it is empty. Take a tour of each room, and don’t be afraid to feel any emotions that arise. It’s ok if you don’t start cleaning right away. Take the time you need to process your feelings.
- Start Simple
Now that you’ve toured the home, start with easy cleanup. Get rid of the trash, toss expired foods or open containers in the kitchen. Simply getting rid of garbage makes the cleaning process easier.
- Get Help (But Not Too Much)
Cleaning out a whole home of items is difficult for just one person, so make sure you have reliable help. Close family members or friends can help you organize things into piles for keeping, donating, or throwing away. It can often be hard to make decisions like this, especially when you may have emotional connections to items, so another pair of eyes and hands can help.
Be careful not to invite too many family members, though. Tension can be high, especially if there are family heirlooms that can cause disputes.
- Leave No Stone Unturned
Kitchens and living rooms are often the easiest places to clean out, but you’ll need to go through attics, basements, bedrooms, and closets as well. Everything will need to be emptied out. If you need to take a break for an hour, a day, or a week, do so, but make sure that when you return, you hit every single area that might have items hidden away.
Cleaning out a home after a loved one passes is not easy. If you’re finding yourself struggling with the burden of dealing with emotional duress and the cleaning process, contact Classic Cleanouts for assistance.