How to Declutter After the Death of a Loved One

Posted on: December 21, 2018 | by: Lighthouse Self Storage October 29, 2019

Heart shaped keepsake box

Losing a loved one can be an unimaginable loss. Even if the death wasn’t sudden, and you had time to come to terms with it, dealing with the death of a loved one can be very difficult. Unfortunately, often right in the midst of grieving for that individual, you may be tasked with helping to sort through their belongings. Sorting through belongings after death can invoke a wide amount of emotions, hopefully ending with peace of their passing.

While it is important to go through this process at your own pace, there are a few tips you can follow to make it easier on you.

6 Tips for Cleaning Out the House After Death

  • Review the Will: Before touching any items in the house, look at the Will. The Will is not only the wishes of your loved one, it is fact.
  • Take it one step at a time: Sorting through your loved one’s belongings can be extremely difficult. If your friend or relative has lived in the same house for many years, this project can take a great deal of time. Take the project one step at a time and try to go at your own pace. Unless the belongings have to be out of the home by a certain date in order for it to sell, move at your own pace with this project. There may be some items that you just don’t know what to do with. Don’t stress, set these items into a pile to be looked at later.
  • Ask for help: If the process is more than you can bear on your own, ask for help. Whether it’s from other relatives of the deceased or friends of your own, having someone else there who also loved the individual can make all the difference.
  • Sort the items into piles: When going through the house, sort items into piles labeled: ”keep”, “throw out”, “donate”, “give to other relative” and “unsure”. This will help you to have a clear system in place and may make the job much easier.
  • Always talk with other family members: If you find items that may be sentimental to other family members or friends, hold onto them. You never know what items will help others with their grieving process.

Temporary Storage Can Help

Throughout the process, remember to take it easy on yourself. Sometimes, sorting through all of your loved one’s belongings can be too much to handle at one time. If you have reached this conclusion, consider placing the items into a storage unit until you are ready to look at them again. A storage unit rental can give you flexibility and will prevent you from accidentally getting rid of items you may want later on.

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