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How to Handle Cleaning Out an Estate

Posted By On September 07 2022
How to handle cleaning out an estate

Estate clean-outs happen for different reasons: divorce or separation, the passing of a loved one, moving into a retirement home, and more.

Whatever the reason, it is not easy. However, planning ahead can make things go a lot smoother for you and anyone helping you.

Knowing and understanding what tools are also at your disposal can make a world of difference in this seemingly overwhelming task, including everything from your local donation or reuse centers to the landfill and recycling locations.

Tips for Getting Started

In cases where the estate has to wait for certain things before it can be cleaned out, such as probate or a legal division of particular items, this will give you more time to plan how you want to start the process.

  • Make a system/plan. If you think of the entire estate as one big project, you will quickly become overwhelmed. Break down each area of the property and set a time frame for it to be cleared out.

    In cases of items bequeathed in wills, remove those things first. Either pass them to the appropriate person or store them off-site until they can be collected. That way, they are safe from being sold, donated, or thrown away.

  • Be honest with yourself. Cleaning out someone‚Äôs estate does not mean that you take everything back to your home. Ask yourself: Do you need it? Can you use it? Will you use it? If the answer is no to any of those questions, then don’t take it.

    Things that hold a sentimental value or personal connection are different. These items, if they have not been promised to another family member, should be taken home with you. Just do not get carried away and claim everything.

  • Take pictures. When cleaning out a property for any reason, it is easy to feel like you have been working hard, but not achieving anything. Take pictures so you can see the before, during, and after scenarios. Seeing the results or progress will help to keep you motivated and moving forward.

  • Start immediately. As soon as you know you can have access to the property, do not put it off. Just go for it. The longer you wait, the more daunting it will become, and the easier it is to find excuses not to do it.

Mark the date on your calendar and organize friends or other family members to assist if you are not hiring a professional to go in and take care of it for you.

Figuring Out the Where and How

There are many questions about what to do with the items in the estate that are being moved or disposed of: the most important thing to remember is to be kind to yourself.

In cases where a loved one has passed, it can be especially hard to go through their belongings and decide what to do with them. While waiting for probate to end or the will to be enforced, take that time to plan what you need to do, and look at where your local landfill or donation places are.

Take the time for yourself to come to terms with things. Then, when the date finally comes, simply begin the work.

Not everything should be disposed of either. There may be several items, big and small, that could be donated, reused, or even sold. There is nothing wrong with selling some of the items.

Things can be listed on buy-and-sell sites, or you could set up a garage sale. You can keep the money you make, or donate it to a charity.

When you start the process of clearing a room, make sure you have an area for donating or selling, recycling or reusing, and a landfill. This will make it easier to ensure the items get to the right place.

If you are unsure about what can go into a landfill or be recycled, a professional disposal company can help with this issue. When you rent a bin, the company can sort through the items and ensure that they go to the right places.

Wrapping the Process Up

Set an end date. This gives you a time frame and, more importantly, a deadline to get the estate cleaned out. Try to be realistic, though. Look at the time you have available, the size of the property, and what help you have in carrying out the task.

This deadline will push you to ensure it is all done. This could be the date the property is being listed with a realtor, so it needs to be show-ready. Or, if you are moving away, then set the date for a day or two before you leave. This means that you will have no ties to your current location, and anything you are taking with you will be packed and ready.

On average, a townhouse could be completed in approximately two weeks. By this time, you can sort and organize the items both inside and outside the home. Try not to forget about the garden things, too.

Keep in mind that larger properties will take longer, and that smaller ones will be done faster.

Contact Scarborough Disposal

For dumpster rentals in Ajax, Scarborough Disposal has the experience and bins required for all estate clean-out projects. With bin sizes ranging from 4 yards to 40 yards, and with options including roll-off bins, we can help you with any project.

We can deliver the bin on the date you confirm as the start of the clean-out journey. This gives the added incentive to begin and not to put it off with the bin already at the location. We can also remove it on your set end date.

When you are ready to get started, call us at 416-265-7979, or click here to book your bin. Our friendly and experienced team is waiting to assist you in finding the right bin for your needs and to help you get started.

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