Houses need to be emptied all the time, and if you’re the one tasked with an entire estate clearout after the passing of a family member or even a renter who has abandoned their stuff, the process of sorting and removing everything can seem overwhelming.
Here in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, we’ve helped many people with estate clearouts – from organizing, figuring out what’s valuable, to removing the items and selling or donating everything usable. We know how emotional the process can be, especially if the items belonged to a loved one. That person loved their things. They collected for a reason. They kept things that had value and meaning to them. Now it’s up to you to figure out what has value and meaning after they are gone.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go into this process blindly, and in fact – we’re going to give you a few tips on how to get started on your own.
How to Get Started on Your Estate Cleanout Project
Tip #1: Assess the scope of the project and be realistic about the time investment. Is this a small apartment or a large house? Are there things outside the house on the grounds of the property? Are there outbuildings? Knowing that the best way to approach an estate clearout is to tackle one room at a time, how many rooms will you have to sort, and how full is each room?
We’ve cleared out hoarder homes and meticulously curated apartments and everything in between. However long you think it’ll take – it’ll take 10 times that long without help. It’s hard to see the forest for the trees and what might not look like a lot of stuff can become a massive pile once it’s no longer in the home. A desk with a computer on it could turn into a mountain of paperwork. A closet with a few boxes on the shelf might become thousands of individual trinkets. So if you think you need a week to clean out the estate, you probably need 10 weeks. We’re not kidding.
Tip #2: Celebrate a Small Win. Pick a room or an area that doesn’t look so daunting – like a bathroom. You might think everything in there is garbage – but did you know there are actually collectors for vintage unopened toilet paper rolls and maxi pad packages? Or that people like vintage curlers as display pieces? Yup. There could be treasures in the bathroom. And don’t forget about those vintage faucet fixtures either!
Once you begin to look at each item through a different lens, you might make different decisions about whether to toss, donate or sell the items. Nevertheless, if you start with the smallest room, you’ll feel like you’re making progress right away. And that’s super motivating.
Tip #3: Don’t Just Throw Everything Out. When liquidating an estate gets overwhelming (and it will), it can be tempting to hit the easy button, call up a place like Junk Monkies and have it all hauled away at once. Don’t do this (yet)! Yes there probably will be some trash in there, but if you let it all go to the landfill you might be throwing away some valuable treasures or even something that might be important to your family or historically relevant.
But how do you know what’s for keeps, what to sell, what to donate and what to throw away? That’s where experts like us can help. Our Estate Cleanout Services not only speed up the process of house emptying, but also ensure that the valuable things don’t get destroyed, and can be passed along to new owners who will love and appreciate them for many more years. We might even be able to help you uncover some happy memories in the process.
You don’t have to move through the estate clearout process alone! Give us a call to get started.