Tips for clearing out an aging parent’s or deceased parent’s house
When it comes time to clean out your parent’s house, it’s never a fun task. It’s a lot of manual labor and there’s a lot of emotion thrown into the mix, regardless of whether your parent is moving in with you, going to a nursing home or has already passed. During these tough times, it helps if you can rely on emotional support of others, and some of them can help you with this task to make it run faster and smoother.
It also helps if you can approach this as a professional work project. This will accelerate the process and help you focus more on the task, rather than the memories and emotion. Having the right project plan and supplies on hand will enable you to move forward faster.
Here’s our best checklist for cleaning out your parent’s home.
First assess the Job Scope
Before doing anything, go through every room and roughly guestimate the amount of “stuff” in cubic yards. Yes, I know what you’re thinking…what the heck is a cubic yard? Well in terms of visualizing a cubic yard is roughly the size of a dishwasher. So, think about how many dishwasher’s worth of stuff you have. This is going to help you figure out how many boxes/bins you will need as well as the size of a dumpster you may need (if you need to order one).
Second, you will want to separate items into 4 piles:
This will help with the supplies needed for each type. At first, you may just visualize/guestimate what you need. Then, go and buy/bring the supplies so you can tackle the task efficiently.
Generally 1 cubic yard will fill 3 small moving boxes. While some people like clear plastic bins because they are reusable, we prefer boxes both because they are less expensive. And, also boxes are much easier to drop off at donation centers rather then unpacking and reusing the bins.
2. Packing Tape
Generally one large roll (with a handled dispenser) is needed for each room.
3. Trash Bags
Make sure you get durable bags that are at least 3 millimeters thick. Thinner bags are likely to tear which will cause a lot or rework. A 50-gallon trash bag will hold about 1 cubic yard of material. But, if you’re shorter and/or can’t or don’t want to carry too much at once (it’s better to avoid back injuries or over straining yourself during this process), you may need a few more. A good rule of thumb is one 25 count box per room. And, remember, if you have extras, you can just use these later at your own home.
It’s better to use gloves both to avoid paper cuts and glass cuts. We suggest using nitrile or polyurethane gloves because they are easier to work with. (It’s hard to grasp small items with leather gloves and it will slow you down.) Plan for each person to use two pairs of gloves per day, especially as you’ll want to remove them during lunch and it’s better not to reuse them.
5. Face Masks
I know it sounds odd, but everyone at the job site should wear a mask at all times, and plan to use three masks per person per day. Never use anything without a rating of N95 or P100 – masks without those ratings aren’t safe. You can find them on Amazon or in boxes of 10 in the paint aisle of most hardware stores. This is just safer for everyone and will especially help people who have dust or mite allergies. It will also enable you to work longer/tire less.
If the job requires more protection, such as a respirator mask, this is a red flag, and you should hire a professional. If there is serious mold or other types of contamination, it’s not worth it to risk it. Amateurs usually don’t have the right type of equipment or chemicals to take care of this and there are much more serious risks to one’s health.
6. Safety glasses
Due to dust, and for general safety reasons, it’s best to use eye protection.
7. Work shoe or boots (no sandals)
First, you want to have comfortable shoes. and, second you want to have safe shoes. It’s best if your shoes are leather with hard soles so that nails won’t penetrate, and inevitably something may drop on your foot and you want to protect them. Don’t forget Murphy’s law. If you don’t protect yourself, something is bound to happen. Also, don’t forget comfortable clothing. Pants are generally better than shorts.
8. Water bottles
Don’t forget to keep well hydrated and stock up on the fluids. This is hard, physical work, and it’s easy to get dehydrated. I’d recommend avoiding drinks with caffeine as those are diuretics…and you will need even more water (and more breaks if you know what I mean). Afterwards, at the end of the day, treat yourself right with whatever beverage (and food) you prefer. You deserve it.
9. Large Glass Jar
This will be for collecting the inevitable loose change you’ll find as you clean. You’ll be amazed at how many coins you’ll find in a house. And, check out this article for 17+ hiding places for finding money when clearing out your parent’s house. We recommend using glass so everyone can hear when coins are dropped into it. That makes it more of a game and builds excitement. The money you collect can go towards dinner.
Get a whole bunch of these as inevitably many will get lost during the process.
Other items that may come in handy
It’s often helpful to have some folding tables (for sorting), brooms/dust pans, cleaning rags, scissors and a pocket knife on hand. If you are dumping furniture and other bigger items, you may want to order a dumpster as it will save you a lot of time and money.
Clearing out an elderly or deceased parent’s house is never fun. But, it helps if you are organized and have the right tools on hand before you start diving in. And, if this will help you avoid needing to run out to the store to buy more supplies. It also helps if you have family members, friends or helpers to make the process go faster.
- The top 17+ places to find hidden money…when you’re cleaning up your parent’s house
- How to sell an inherited house to settle an estate – the complete guide
- How much does it REALLY cost to have your house sit on the market for 6 months?
- Can you sell a house “as is”
Do you need to sell your Long Island house quickly?
Since 1998, we have been a trusted source for the latest information in regards to selling your home fast for cash on Long Island. We will have an honest conversation with you about the benefits and disadvantages of a quick cash sale of your property. If it is not right for you then it will not be right for us. It must be a win-win situation.
- We have purchased hundreds of homes with cash since 1998
- We have over $5,000,000.00 in funding available to purchase Long Island homes.
- You will always get cash at the closing.
- We always keep our word and will always tell you the truth.
- We will purchase your home as-is, in its present condition, no matter how much work is required.
- You can avoid all the costs and frustrations of fixing your property for sale.
We are the buyers. We are interested in buying your home- not in listing it as a Real Estate Broker.
Our process is substantially faster and much less stressful than listing with a real estate broker. When you list the home with a broker you can count on 6-12 months and possibly longer before you get to the closing table. While it is likely you will end up with more money with a traditional real estate listing, our process is completely hassle free and fast!
Benefits of Selling Your Long Island Home For Cash
We are not moving into the house. Therefore there is no need to coordinate closings or lease expirations. There are no buyer showings or Open Houses ever. There is no renegotiating after a Home Inspector goes through your property. There is no waiting for a mortgage approval that may or may not materialize. You can even leave the contents of the house if that suits you best.
If you want a fast, trouble-free sale, contact us and we will make every effort to make it a win-win situation for both parties.
Every circumstance is unique, and we are open and innovative in our approach to solving any and all Real Estate problems.
Let us help you.
Contact us Today!
Map of Long Island