Managing The Decluttering Of A Deceased Estate

Decluttering your own home can be hard and very time consuming, however, to clean out somebody else’s home especially that of a loved one that has passed can be extremely difficult and demanding both emotionally and physically.

Managing a deceased estate can become an overwhelming and costly task without proper forward thinking and planning. In this article we hope to highlight some key points to consider in making the process as painless as possible mentally and financially for yourself and the family.

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Step One – Locate All Important Documents For The Deceased Estate

To make yours and your solicitor’s job easier collect all essential documentation of the deceased as soon as possible. You want to ensure you don’t have to replace any missing documents which can be costly process. Items you may need to locate include the following just to name a few:

  • Latest Will,
  • Recent bank statements,
  • Life insurance policy,
  • Certificate of Title or property deeds,
  • Share certificates,
  • Recent Tax returns

The solicitor will require these crucial documents to tie up any loose ends during the estate administration process.

Step Two – Who Has An Interest In The Deceased Estate?

It is wise to start the decluttering process with family members so you can all go through and pull out items that are sentimental and wanting to be claimed. The reading of the will after the funeral will also give you the information you need on who is to be given what as the wishes of the deceased. If you are unsure at all on who can have certain procession it is best to seek legal advice.

Step Three – Implement A Decluttering Project Plan

With any project or major task is best to break it down into actionable task and to work out a timeline for when tasks need to be completed by. This will help reduce any anxiety, prior to pending sale or settlement of estate draws near. It is estimated you should allow approximately half a day to clear out and sort a room, all up one to two weeks should be allowed in total to do a proper job depending on the size of the house and the amount of belongings to sort through.

Step Four – Retain Items You Want To Keep From The Deceased Estate

Ensure you find and keep any photo albums, jewellery, or sentimental items when possible and remove it from the property, this is just so it does not have a chance to go missing, thrown out or get damaged. Its highly likely you will also find many other things as you clear out the residence, but best place to start is with what you know about.

For valuable items it’s a good idea to remove them from the premises or tag them to indicate you want them to be sold.

Once this is completed the remainder of the items in the property can be removed or allocated more efficiently. It is easier to start the clearing process by removing wanted items, rather than stressing over on what to do with the unwanted items and the numerous belongings to sort through.

Tip #1 – Keep an eye out for hidden cash

It is not uncommon for Money to be hidden inside the home in places like old shoe boxes. Be meticulous by checking through any paperwork and inside wardrobes and clothing such as jacket pockets and any boxes. Without attention to detail cash can easily be thrown out or left in the estate.

Tip #2 – Get things valued

If the deceased estate contains potentially valuable items as antiques or art works, it is wise to determine if a piece is an original or of any significant value. In this case organise to have selected furniture, jewellery, china wears and artworks reviewed and valued by the experts. Otherwise Mooving Matters can assist in contacting the right people to carry out this for you.

Step Five – Start The Sorting And Declutter Process Early

A clear out of an estate can easily take a number of days to even weeks to declutter and clean up depending on its size. So, its best to start the process as early as possible. Mooving Matters are experienced professional home organisers so If you need some tips on decluttering, this might help get you on your way.

Tip #3 – Methodical Sorting makes sense

Create 3 designated layout spaces or zones in the estate for all the remaining items. Tackling one room at a time, sort the items and clear this out before proceeding onto the next space. A completely clear room will motivate you to keep going and move on to the next, helping you get through the task most efficiently an in timely manner.

As you sort items these should be placed, named or labelled in the following categories:

  • Rubbish,
  • charity,
  • sell.
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Step Six – Selling Items From The Deceased Estate

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Popular online methods typically used to sell goods privately include Gumtree, ebay and facebook marketplace and can be done via their associated websites or apps. These platforms are an easy, secure and a fast way to reach a huge number of potential buyers and sell virtually anything.

Before posting the ads or the items for sale you will need to take photos, provide measurements and details and come up with a realistic resale price. The more information you provide on the advertisement the better chance you have selling quickly and for the price you want.

Step Seven – Donating Unsold and Unwanted Items To Charities

Many local charities can organise a truck and a few people to inspect and collect unwanted items such as furniture and appliances you wish to donate. For smaller items you can organise a drop off to your local opportunity store when you have a chance. It’s a much more environmentally means to try and give away items then they end up in landfill especially if in good condition.

Step Eight – Cost Effective Deceased Estate Rubbish Removal


Unfortunately, taking out the rubbish and having it removed is one of the biggest costs involved in a deceased estate’s clean up effort. However, if organised and done properly significant savings can be made.

You want to try and avoid hiring and using skips where possible. They are costly and unfortunately you will find other people in the neighbourhood may try to discard things into it as well. Best to get a company with a truck and people to load and take away your items, so you only pay for what has be collected and not a half empty skip. Ultimately try and make use of your free council rubbish collection if available or suitable.

At Mooving Matters our decluttering process is designed to minimise deceased estate rubbish removal, reducing the goods that ultimately need to go to the paid tip. Let us take the headache out of arranging your rubbish removal by taking up a tailored decluttering service package.

Step Nine – Organise Self-Storage If Required

If your home cant fit the extra items such as furniture and boxes from the deceased estate, that you have not yet sold or been able to off load or sort, then hiring a secure self-storage locker is a good idea. There are numerous self-storage companies offering competitive and inexpensive rates. One benefit of paid storage is that it could motivate you to make decisions about the remaining items sooner so you can stop paying monthly fees.

Step Ten – Get The Professionals To Help With The Clearing Out

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If you are time poor or you don’t have family or friends to assist in the estate’s clear out, then it only makes sense to invest in hiring a qualified and experienced team of professional home organisers specialising in decluttering.

After just losing a loved one the last thing you probably want to do is be surrounded by their belongings and the task of sorting through what to keep and discard. Decluttering an estate is very emotionally draining process and can be time consuming as you can be stumped on where to start and what to do.

Decluttering professionals Moving Matter can respectfully make decisions more quickly and easily for you, taking the pressure off you straight away.

Our empathetic team of ladies collectively have years of experience clearing deceased estates and preparing them for settlement. Mooving Matters can identify and locate important items and valuables within a property or just undertake a pack and detailed clean and tidy once home has been cleared out..

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Always Put Your Health and Emotions First

Dealing with a deceased estate can be a massive task and too much to bear physically and emotionally for just a single person to do themselves. Don’t at any stage take on any heavy lifting tasks yourself and if you aren’t ready to confront the grief head on then take a step back and let others help. Your number one priority during this time is to cherish the memories of the loved one you have recently lost. So remember to take photos of the house before you start the clear out, talk and share memories of your loved one with friends and family as you work through the process and treat and pace yourself, as some days will be harder than others.

Mooving Matters are here to assist and manage your deceased estate during this challenging period. To arrange a complementary on-site inspection of the deceased estate by  Mooving Matters, your home organiser Sydney call (02) 93375333 or visit us at moovingmatters.com.au.

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