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When you lose a loved one and you have to clean out their home in order to list the home for sale, it can be a difficult process. After all you’re still dealing with the grief but need to clear out the estate in order to get on with your life.

While there are services that can clear out an estate for you, this can be expensive. And there might be items that have sentimental value that only you can identify.  So, doing it on your own might be the best option. The problem is how do you approach it.

Here are some ways to make the process go quicker, even if it doesn’t necessarily make it easier from a mental standpoint. This might have been your family home for years and knowing it will soon belong to someone else will be difficult. As will dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Getting help with an estate cleanout.

Estate cleanout

Determine What You Want To Keep

The first step is probably the hardest, but also the most important. To decide what to keep. Some of the items you might want to keep because they still have use for someone in the family, such as dishes or pieces of furniture.  And there are critically important items to look for such as financial documents.

Then there are items that have sentimental value, such as old photographs or maybe some knickknacks. Go through everything and set aside those items you want to keep. If you have doubts about something, keep it. You can always get rid of it later. You can’t get back what you discarded.

If your setting aside items for specific people, then have bins labeled with their names. And label other items so you won’t have to dig through boxes or bins later

Determine What To Sell Or Donate

There are going to be a lot of items that have value to someone, but you have no use for. You might be planning to do an auction or simply plan to donate many items to a local charity. Or maybe to do both.

If you are doing both, then first decide what might have enough value to be sold. If you’re doing an auction, then they’ll offer appraisals or at least suggestions on what can be sold.

For items you’re not likely to sell, then separate out what can be donated. And when you take it to the charity, get a receipt. Items donated to a charity can be a tax write off. It might not seem important now, but it will make a difference later.

Determine What to Recycle

There might be a lot of stuff that you don’t need that can simply be recycled. Those old papers that accumulated over time or the out of date canned goods you just dumped into the garbage disposal. Get rid of these as you can so you can clear out space quicker.

Determine What is Trash and How to Dispose of It

No matter how much you think about what you parents have in your home, there is going to be a lot of items that have no value to anyone. Broken items or items that were simply set aside instead of being disposed of. This means disposing of it now.

You could consider hauling it all to the local landfill, but this could take many trips. And you’d have to bag most everything in order to keep your vehicle clean. And for some communities, such as people living in Washington DC, this isn’t even an option.

A junk removal service would be another choice. Then you’d simply point out to them what you want hauled and let them do the heavy lifting. This might be a good option if you have a lot of heavy stuff and don’t want to move it on your own.

For most people, however, a dumpster rental might be the simplest option. After all, you let the rental company know approximately how much junk you might have, and they bring the correct size.

With a dumpster rental conveniently parked outside your home you simply haul things out as soon as you decide to get rid of them. No taking the time to bag items and no taking the time to drive to the nearest landfill and potentially wait in line. More importantly you free up space as you go.

The other advantage of a dumpster is that you can schedule more than one drop-off. Maybe you plan to remodel part of the home before putting on the market. Schedule a dumpster for when you’re going through items and another later when your cleaning up the home to get it ready to list.

If you’re cleaning out an estate, then contact Nova Dumpster. We serve Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Prince George and Montgomery Counties in Maryland. Not only do we offer affordable prices, but we use a hook and haul system that is designed to protect your property.  The last thing you want is for a dumpster to be dropped off and in the process a driveway or yard is damaged. Our system avoids that.

Call us today to get an estimate and schedule your drop-off. We’ll do what we can to make the cleaning out process as painless as possible.