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  • Writer's pictureDenise Davis

8 Tips For An Estate Cleanout

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

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When a loved one passes away, cleaning their house can be difficult and overwhelming. Sorting through years of accumulated belongings can feel too much to take on.

Fortunately, there are ways to make this process easier. This article will cover tips for an estate cleanout and how you can get your home ready for sale in no time.

What Is An Estate Clean Out?

Estate cleanout is sorting through and disposing of a loved one's possessions. This can include furniture, clothing, appliances, and other items without sentimental value for family or friends. Estate cleanout helps families quickly access their loved one's belongings to move forward.

Benefits Of Conducting A Cleanout

Conducting an estate cleanout can provide many benefits to a family. Not only does it help to reduce clutter and make it easier for family members to move forward, but it can also be a way for families to honor their loved one and ensure that their possessions are properly disposed of.

Cleaning an estate can also help free up much-needed space, making it easier to move around the home. Additionally, families can often profit from selling items and donating the rest. With the right preparation and planning, estate cleanout can be a smooth and rewarding process.

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8 Best Tips for an Estate Cleanout

Making a Plan & Setting Goals

The first step to conducting a successful estate cleanout is creating an organized plan. Set goals and determine which areas of the home will get priority attention first. Consider enlisting the help of family members or friends who can provide additional insight and assistance when needed.

Understanding What to Keep

Sorting through a loved one's belongings can be emotionally taxing, so it's important to remember that not everything needs to be kept. Determine what items have sentimental value and should be kept as mementos and which can be donated or put up for sale.

Sort Important Documents

When sorting through a loved one's belongings, it's important to look for any documents that need to be filed or dealt with. This includes life insurance policies, wills and trusts, financial statements, and any other paperwork related to the estate. Make sure these items are kept in a safe place until they can be addressed.

Hiring a Junk Removal Company

Hiring a junk removal company can be a great way to speed up the estate cleanout process.

Professional junk removal companies have the expertise and resources needed to quickly dispose of large amounts of debris and clutter.

This can make tackling even the most daunting cleanouts easier. Additionally, they can provide dumpsters or bins for easy disposal of items that may be too large or difficult to move.

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Maximizing the Value of Assets

Before disposing of any items, consider whether you can maximize their value. If some items have the potential to be sold, such as jewelry or furniture, consider researching their worth and selling the items for a profit.

Deciding What to Do With Leftover Items

Once you've finished sorting through your loved one's possessions, you may be left with items that don't need to be kept but don't have a lot of value. Consider donating these items to your local charity or thrift shop.

Working with an Estate Sale Specialist

If you have many valuable items that need to be sold, consider working with an experienced estate sale specialist. An estate sale specialist can help maximize the items' value and increase overall profits from the sale.

Additionally, they can provide insight into current market trends and pricing for certain items, making it easier to set appropriate prices.

Utilizing a House Cleaning Service

Finally, consider hiring a house cleaning service once the estate cleanout is complete. This can help restore the home to its original condition and make it more attractive to potential buyers. Professional house cleaners have the necessary experience and supplies to quickly freshen up any areas of the home that may need attention.

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What should I keep from my parent's estate?

It is important to keep any important documents, such as life insurance policies, wills, trusts, stock certificates, financial statements, etc. It may also be beneficial to keep any sentimental items or mementos that have special meaning to your family.

What is the best way to clean out an estate?

The best way to clean out an estate is to start by sorting the items and determining what should be kept, sold, donated, or discarded. After this has been done, consider using estate cleanout services to help dispose of items.

How can a family member properly conduct an estate cleanout?

To properly conduct an estate cleanout, it's important to start by sorting through the possessions and making notes of those that can be kept and those that need to be disposed of.

It may also be beneficial to consult estate cleanout companies or services for assistance. Additionally, families should consider whether items have resale value and work with an estate liquidator if needed.


Estate cleanouts of a deceased loved one can be difficult and emotional.

Following the tips outlined above and enlisting the help of professionals when needed, families can quickly and efficiently go through their loved ones' belongings.

Need help with probate? Join our Private Facebook group where you can ask questions and get answers, learn from others or share what you learned about the probate process. Be the first to join our new group! Join Here.

Denise Harper Davis Certified Probate Real Estate Agent

Denise Harper Davis

Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist

Licensed Realtor


* NOTE: North Carolina Probate Solutions and the author of this article is not a licensed attorney or CPA. This post should not be considered legal or tax advice. Always consult an estate attorney or tax professional when needing legal answers and legal advice.

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