Megan Williams
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Dec, 22

A Sensitive Guide to Clearing Out the House of a Close Friend or Family Member

If you have been recently tasked with going through a loved one’s private possessions and property due to a close friend or family member has passed away or else having simply moved to a senior assisted living community or to another location, it can certainly seem to be somewhat of a very challenging task.

With that being said, continue reading for a sensitive guide to clearing out and going through the house and belongings of a family member or close friend.


Naturally, in the first few weeks, it can certainly seem far too soon to arrive at the property, armed with storage boxes to clear out a lifetime of memories and cherished possessions that do not belong to yourself. It is perfectly fine to leave the task, at least for a few weeks, to ensure you are emotionally strong enough and that you have the physical time in your week to be able to do the job justice.

However, conversely, it is common for people, especially after the death of a loved one, to avoid entering their old home, even though this is somewhat counter-productive, as taking the time to go through the home may bring you some sense, however small, of closure and maybe even acceptance.

Decide What to Keep

When a loved one moves into assisted living facilities, for example, they often only have limited space or even limited desire to take absolutely everything they own.

It can sometimes be incredibly difficult to decide what to keep, what to donate to charity, what to gift to other relations or close friends and what to throw away, which is why it is important to go through absolutely everything in the home and leave no proverbial stone unturned.

Additionally, if your loved one has moved to a nursing home, for example, they may want to have their jewellery collection condensed down, sold or even have sentimental items merged into one special piece of jewellery. You can consult with a renowned bespoke jeweller such as for just how to do this.

Be Practical

Aside from dealing with the emotional, sentimental side of going through a loved one’s home, particularly if they have recently passed away, there is also a practical side to the task that must not be neglected.

Somewhere within the property, there is likely to be a folder, chest, or storage box containing important documents, such as financial details and even, where applicable, the deeds to the house, and it is absolutely vital that you take them to the safe place or appropriate person.

Additionally, be sure to change the locks on both the front and back doors as soon as feasibly possible, as there is nothing more likely to add to your heartbreak than finding your loved one’s property vandalised.

It is important to be realistic, so break down the whole task into smaller, more manageable chunks to ensure you don’t miss anything out.

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