Top 7 Tips for Cleaning out your Deceased Parents Home

Top 7 Tips for Cleaning out your Deceased Parents Home

Are you the caregiver of an elderly loved one who recently passed away? Have you been chosen to be the executor of your elderly parent’s estate? Are you now tasked with selling your parents’ home or the home of a deceased loved one? If you are, we would like to extend our condolences. This is a very emotional and exhausting time. The process can be both physically and mentally draining. The task of cleaning out and de-cluttering a home is daunting and often overwhelming.

We would like to help you by sharing our top 7 tips for cleaning out your loved ones home and preparing it for sale. This is part of a continuing series of articles by Nick and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers ( ). Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales, real estate transition services and personal property and content clean out services in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

1. Divide the physical labor. Cleaning out a loved ones home can often be so massive that often times, help is needed. Don’t be shy about asking for a hand from close family members, friends or even your parent’s aide or simply contact us at

2. Take your time, even when you’re exhausted. Resist the desire to just toss everything in the trash. You never know what you are going to find buried deep in piles of cloths or in closets. More often than not, elderly loved ones may have tucked cash and jewelry into clothes pockets; always check the pockets before giving anything away.

3. Search for key financial documents. Before throwing away any papers, find and put aside your parent’s will, trusts and addenda; life insurance policies and statements, real estate deeds and titles; recent bank statements (you can get older ones electronically); stock certificates; 401(k) records; tax returns and receipts necessary for filing next year’s income tax return.

4. Divide up your parent’s belongings. This is often a touchy area. Sadly, when money or possessions come into play it often brings out the less desirable side of survivors. Have your siblings create a wish list of the items they’d like from the estate. Then, try to divide the assets equally by monetary value. If you can’t agree, you may want to consider getting items appraised.

If one brother or sister chooses high-ticket items, he or she should pay the other siblings an amount that will even things out.

5. Preserve sentimental photos and memorabilia. These are irreplaceable. Pictures and cherished possessions can mean a lot more than most items in ones home. Cherish them and preserve them to the best of your ability.

6. Donating or selling your parent’s clothes. Unfortunately, you will quickly learn that most clothing has little resale value, unless it’s vintage (i.e., from the ’60s or earlier). Designer resale or consignment shops might only take upscale clothes or items bought in the last two years that are in perfect condition. Other consignment stores will take items they think they can sell, price them fairly low and keep 50 percent of what people pay; the price goes down if the clothes go unsold after a month.

7. Bring in an expert to help. This is where we can help you. As we mentioned earlier, the task is often overwhelming both physically and mentally. Personal Property Managers can help you downsizing, de-clutter, organize an estate sale if there are enough items of value to sell. We are dedicated to helping you through every step of this process. We do so with dignity and expertise.

For more information on home sales, staging and downsizing, please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to transition elderly ones from their home of many years into senior care communities. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging and full service real estate services via EveryHome Realty to help sell homes.


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