How to Declutter After the Death of a Family Member

Did you know that decluttering can make you a happier person? Studies have shown that clutter can increase the stress hormone known as cortisol. Deciding to declutter will reduce the amount of cortisol in your brain and will reduce your stress.

Lowering your levels of cortisol by clearing out your space and getting rid of things that are no longer necessary to keep can also help to lower your chances of depression.

Coping with loss and taking the steps to declutter after the death of a loved can be a difficult task to take on but it’s necessary for your healing. Learning how to declutter after a death is possible— keep reading to find out some of the steps you can take if you’re currently going through this difficult process.

1. Decide Who Will Do the Decluttering

When there’s a death in the family, going through your deceased loved one’s belongings can be incredibly hard and it isn’t something you should have to rush through doing. It’s completely fine to give yourself some time to grieve and leave their things the way they left them, letting go is hard.

When you feel ready it’s important to set some goals for yourself. Create a schedule of when you’ll be doing the decluttering and how long you’ll take to finish. This can help you move through the process more easily.

Asking others to help you is important if you feel like you need it. Planning things out includes deciding who will be going through your loved one’s possessions.

Would you prefer some privacy to go through everything on your own? Would you rather get another family member or friend to help you or would you want someone else to do it all together? Answering these questions before starting is crucial.

2. Sort Through the Paperwork

Another step in the decluttering process is to sort through all the important documents. You’ll want to go through the will first, if your loved one left one behind. Contact an attorney if you need help understanding how to proceed with organizing your loved one’s affairs.

Other documents you should look for are insurance policies and bank account statements. Make sure to contact their credit card companies to inform them of their passing.

3. Start looking Through Personal Belongings

After a family death, going through their personal belongings will be the most emotional part of the process. While you might decide to keep everything intact at first, this is not the best for your space or your mental wellbeing. Breaking down the process into parts can make things easier for everyone.

The best way to go about this process is to take it one room at a time. Start with rooms that’ll be easier to rummage through like the bathroom or garage and move to the more sentimental rooms after.

4. Save What You Want to Keep for Yourself

There will be some items that you hold dearly and won’t want to get rid of, it’s ok to hold on to items that have meaning if you have the space for them.

Keeping all their clothes isn’t the best idea but perhaps a couple of sweatshirts you can wear or you can take pieces of their clothing and turn them into a blanket. You can also keep photographs that carry a lot of sentimental value. Instead of keeping a full set of their favorite teacups, keep one to keep that memory of your loved one.

5. Talk With Family Members

Even if your family members won’t be part of the decluttering process, it’s still important to make them feel included. Collect some of the sentimental items and invite your family over. You can spend an afternoon remembering beautiful moments of your loved one’s life and each person can choose an item to take with them.

This is a nice way to help each other heal as a family and make sure more items are being given a proper new home.

6. Make Some Donations

While giving your loved one’s things away to strangers might seem hard, it can be a nice way to help declutter their home and do something nice for others. Pieces that no longer fit in the space can be donated. Furniture, shoes that may not fit anyone else, and home decor are all things you can give away.

You may also want to think about getting certain items appraised. Paintings or antiques that won’t fit in any of your family member’s homes can be sold.

7. Throw Away What’s Not Needed

There will also be items that no longer have any purpose. If something doesn’t have any sentimental value and is too worn to sell or donate, you’ll most likely want to throw it out.

Before you begin the cleaning out process, think about getting a dumpster rental to help you get rid of things more easily. We offer different sizes depending on your needs and the drop off and pick up process is easy.

8. Make a Decision About Pets

While this step isn’t for everyone because some people don’t have pets, some do have to deal with this issue. Over 85 million families have a pet in the U.S. so it’s likely that your loved one left behind a furry friend.

If you aren’t able to take your loved one’s pet in or if no one in the family can, make preparations to send the pet to the right family. There are many loving families in need of a pet, giving up the animal for adoption can be a beautiful gesture on behalf of your loved one.

The Right Steps to Take to Declutter After Death

The death of a loved one is difficult for everyone in the family. Taking the time to grief is part of the process. If you’re wondering how to declutter after death, however, the list above includes some of the steps to take to make the process easier.

Contacting a dumpster rental service can help you move through the decluttering process more efficiently. Contact us to learn about our services and with any questions you may have.

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