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The loss of a loved one can be a very emotional time. While having to deal with your own grief, there’s the funeral to arrange, family members to console and financial affairs to get in order. On top of all of this, there may be other issues to deal with, such as a deceased estate. It can be very overwhelming and sorting through old mementos may bring up memories of the lost loved one. While hard, this task can also be an important part of the grieving process.
During a lifetime, a person can collect a surprising number of possessions. Some valuable and poignant, others merely functional. If you find yourself delegated with the task of organising a clearance for a deceased estate, you may feel a little overwhelmed with the sheer volume of belongings. "Where do I even start?" You may think. "What do I do with all of it?"
Oftentimes, specific items that are to be bestowed to a particular family member will be outlined in the will of the deceased person. This could be precious jewellery, wedding rings, antique pieces or heirlooms – items of value that the deceased would like to be kept in the family, such as works of art, antique furniture or first edition books. There could also be items with sentimental value like a tea set you were once fascinated with as a child or a musical instrument. Anything specified in the will should be dealt with first so they do not go missing while the rest of the possessions are being sorted.
You will be surprised just how many bits and pieces are still left over after so much has been sorted. Old books, worn furniture, threadbare linen and used kitchenware are just some of the items you may get stuck with. Not to mention piles of old magazines and other knick-knacks. This is where it is best to hire professionals to lighten the load. You'll want to call a fully licensed rubbish removal company like Junk2Go who specialise in deceased estate clearance. They understand that this can be a difficult time and will do their best to make the process quick and easy. Hiring professionals for rubbish removal gives you one less thing to worry about when you are nearing the end of a long, cumbersome process.
Be kind to yourself – Remember, the process of dealing with a deceased estate can be exhausting both emotionally and physically. Go easy on yourself. Do not scold yourself for getting upset after finding an item that brings back intense memories. Just go with it. Try to work with the process instead of against it, it could help you work through feelings of grief.
The will – After the reading of the will, you will know if there are any items that are intended for specific family members. It is important that you are aware of this before you start the process of sorting and clearing items. You will also find out if the house and its contents are to be divided between multiple family members or siblings. If that is the case, it could mean that you will have others to share the experience with. Try not to see this as an opportunity for arguments over who gets what, instead look at it as a chance to work together, to celebrate the life of your loved one.
Remove items of value or sentiment – Once designated items have been dealt with, you may then wish to go through and decide what you would like to keep, either for yourself or for the extended family. This could be items with value, furniture you would like for your own home, cookware or appliances. This could be sentimental items like old letters and photographs. If there are a number of relatives to consider, it may be a good idea to invite them to go through the belongings with you. Together you can share the load, while also ensuring that everyone is able to have some small token to remember the loved one by.
Keep what brings you joy – When it comes to decluttering possessions, it can be hard to determine what to keep and what to cull. Perhaps you discover an old jar you used to keep milk money in as a child, it has sentiment, but do you need it? Marie Kondo, the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, recommends holding each item in your hands and asking yourself: Does this still bring me joy? If the answer is no, get rid of it. If the answer is yes, you keep it. If you find that the answer is that the item once did bring you joy, but now only brings you a memory of joy, Kondo recommends that you thank the item for its service then send it out into the world so it can bring joy to others.
Sell what you can – After all items of value or nostalgia have been sorted, it is time to move on to functional items for which you have no use or emotional attachment to. This can mean guest room furniture, lounge suites or garden tools. If you have the time and energy, it can be a good idea to attempt to sell these items on auction sites like Trademe, or Facebook Market Place. It may seem like a lot of hassle but items tend to sell quickly which saves on the cost and space for storage. However, it may be wise to have antiques (that have not been gifted to family) officially appraised. That way you will get a better idea of their value and will not be caught out selling for less than it is worth.
Rubbish removal – With today’s busy lifestyle, it can be hard enough to find time to organise our own excess belongings, let alone other people’s. Clearing out a deceased estate can be a long and tedious process. If you are working full-time, there may be a limit to how much time you are able to take off work to deal with everything. When it comes to the final stages of the tidy up, it is good to consider hiring a professional rubbish removal company to assist with the deceased estate clearance. When you hire professionals that specialise in this area, they understand that this is a difficult time. They work quickly and considerately. They remove any unwanted rubbish, green waste or building supplies. They can also remove any unwanted furniture, which when appropriate, is donated to charity shops etc. This step can save you time and energy.
Cleaning – Phew! You are nearly there. The last piece of the puzzle is the final clean up. After spending so much time decluttering and organising belongings why not hire a professional cleaning company? They offer competitive rates and generally work fast. Do you really want to be cleaning windows and scrubbing floors at the end of such a task? Would your relative really want you cleaning up their mess? Be kind to yourself and hire a cleaner.
Storage – Ideally, you should have been able to get rid of every piece of furniture that you were unable to find room for in your home however, that is not always the case. Oftentimes, we have family members who live overseas who may be coming back soon and could perhaps use that lounge suite, dining table or barbecue. There is also the problem of valuable items that you hope to sell but for the right price. Instead of taking a low offer, it may be better to hire a storage unit to store things in until you are able to sell these for a fair price. If you cannot afford to, could an extended family member offer you a rumpus room or garage space? It doesn’t hurt to ask.
Deceased estate clearance, while a long process, need not be arduous. Be kind to yourself, outsource tasks and ask for help when you need it, you may find the experience allows you to find closure in the grieving process. If you need a quote for rubbish removal during the process, get in touch with us online or call 0800 586 524.