How to Respectably Cleanout a Loved One's House after Death

How to Respectably Cleanout a Loved One's House after Death

The weeks and months following a loved one’s death can be very difficult and chaotic. You’ve made funeral arrangements, met with family and friends, filed paperwork, you’ve barely had a chance to grieve and now you have to figure out what to do with their belongings. When it comes to a loved one, there are always going to be both sentimental and valuable items you will want to keep and disperse amongst the family. However, there are always more contents in the home than what you can reasonably keep. 

This is when you need to begin planning an estate cleanout. 

An estate cleanout is the sorting of and removal of personal property of the previous owner from the home and/or estate. 

Some individuals choose to deal with their loved one’s personal property themselves while others choose a professional to help. The benefit of hiring an estate cleanout professional is that the job can be done quickly, efficiently, and safely. 

Hiring a professional can save you and your family a lot of stress but there are some things you must know before hiring an estate cleanout specialist. 


What will an estate cleanout specialist do?

First, it’s important to know what an estate cleanout specialist can do and if you need to hire one. 

Most individuals don’t have the time, mental energy or resources to clean out their loved one’s home. That’s where an estate cleanout specialist can help. They can handle most of the cleanout process including:

A professional cleanout specialist not only removes the contents from the homes but they have their own trucks to haul away the items you don’t want. Because they have experience, they can do the work safely and effectively. 

If you’re wondering if hiring a professional is right for you then ask these 3 questions.

  1. Do I have the manpower to clean out the house/estate?

  2. Do you have a way to haul away the unwanted items?

  3. Are you on a time crunch to get the house contents cleared away?

Many find that it just makes more sense to hire the job out than attempt it themselves. 


Before you hire a cleanout specialist

For those who want to hire a professional, it is important to be prepared prior to the cleanout day. By preparing, the cleanout job can be done quickly, efficiently and can also save you frustrations down the road. 

Here are a few steps you should take prior to hiring a cleanout specialist. 


1. Secure the property

Unfortunately, a vacant home can be a magnet for thieves. Make sure you secure the property as soon as possible to prevent your loved one’s valuables from being stolen. 


2. If there’s a will, find and identify the items

Check if your loved one had a will. If they did have a will, you will want to find those items and store them somewhere safe.


3. Go through the items you want to keep

Discuss with the estate executor and/or family members, and decide what items, beyond those mentioned in the will, will go to who. It’s important to set aside any items of value that you want to keep so that the cleanout specialist does not accidentally remove something you wanted to keep.


4. Take a moment to process

In the midst of all the hecticness, make sure to give yourself some time to process. Walk through the home touching, and reviewing every piece of property. Waiting until the cleanout crew is taking your loved one’s possessions out the door can leave you heartbroken if you haven’t taken the time to grieve. 


5. Call a cleanout specialist

Once all your important items are sorted and you’ve taken the time to process, then it’s time to call a specialist.


Hiring the right estate cleanout specialist

When it comes to a loved one’s home, you want someone who is going to treat the home like their own and not like a project. There are plenty of junk removal companies out there whose sole purpose is to remove a home’s contents as quickly as possible with no care of what happens to the property itself. 

When hiring an estate cleanout company there are a few things to consider. 

First, does the company fit your needs? Every cleanout is unique, make sure the company can do everything you need them to do. 

Next, does the company align with what you’re looking for in a company? Not every cleanout or junk removal company understands what a grieving family goes through after a loss. Some simply don’t care. Find a company that understands your needs during this time.

Finally, you will need to make sure the cleanout company can help logistically. Do they service your area? Are they available within your timeline? Does their service fit your financial needs?

When it comes to cleaning out an estate, you want the job done with integrity and respect. At Sanford and Son, we believe every cleanout company should treat the properties they work for with the utmost respect and greatest of care. We’ve been cleaning out estates and homes in the Maryland area for over 20 years and understand what is expected of us as a cleanout service. 

Give us a call if you have any questions. 



What we do for you:

Count on Sanford & Son for Friendly and Fast Estate Clean Out Services

"No job is too big or too small for Sanford & Son"

We provide top-to-bottom Estate Clean Out and Liquidation services. We proudly service all of Central Maryland including Annapolis, Glen Burnie, Columbia, Catonsville, Towson, Bel Air, Pasadena, Parkville, Perry Hall, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County

Why Go with Sanford & Son Estate Specialist?

  • We're open seven days a week from 7am - 7pm.
  • Sanford & Son Estate Specialist, Maryland understands the importance of your home and valuables. We work hard to take the best care of your belongings and make sure your space is rendered spotless.
  • We offer fair pricing, attention to detail and an extremely professional demeanor.
  • We're liscensed and insured!

Get Started Today

Call Sanford and Son Estate Specialist for your Maryland clean out and liquidation needs at 410-746-5090 or email at We provide free on-site evaluations and estimates.
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