Posted in Organizing, Solutions

Clearing & Selling the House When a Loved One Dies

House Emptied
House Emptied

When the responsibility falls to you it can be overwhelming so to help anyone in this situation here is my list. After arranging the funeral and sorting through paperwork you will have to settle the house. Here is a list of the most important things to do.

Change the locks; this is a good idea for any homeowner to do as there may be multiple keys with people that you do not know about.

If you are not living in the home forward the mail to your home as you will find out what bills to pay and if you need to cancel any subscriptions.

If paperwork has not been attended to look for the following and contact relevant parties.

Look for the following documents:

  • Homeowner’s policy. Keep in force until the day the home closes after sale.
  • Wills and copies.
  • Insurance Policies
  • Bank accounts.
  • Credit Card Companies
  • Stocks and bonds.

Continue to pay all bills until the house is sold. Now you will have to sort through the belongings. Things to throw away, donate, sell, things to keep. If your family members quarrel about a possession then put it aside until all the work is done. If there is more than one item then try negotiating or taking turns to select something.  Valuables should be appraised to determine real value.

 Once you are ready to sell the house do this first.

  • Repair and make sure everything is in good working order inside and out.
  • Get rid of the following:
  • If the furniture is old or worn, get rid of it. The same with window coverings if dated.
  • Flooring, if there is carpeting over wood floors, try to uncover as the hard wood is more desirable. If needed, refinish the floors. Replace any cracked tiles. Clean carpet or buy new carpeting.
  • Repaint.
  • Replace dated light fixtures.
  • Clean and sanitize the interior from top to bottom. Wash windows inside and out.
  • Garden cleanup
  • Garage cleanup

Just make sure you allocate the time you need for all these jobs or call in help.


The work version I am a versatile client-focused professional with wide-ranging experience in organizing, coaching and motivating with the ability to multi-task whatever the situation. My company, Style Organization is committed to helping people through strategies that assist in moving them forward positively with humour and energy. The Social Version is the same just substitute family & friends for clients and colleagues. I enjoy all the fine things in life, reading, theater, opera, gardening, cooking, entertaining, fashion, travel, anything vintage and adores good company. I am presently still restoring and renovating a 1928 Tudor Revival house.

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