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Any tips for sorting out the house of a deceased person?

(12 Posts)
FourArms Tue 03-Nov-09 18:08:05

I am going to help my BIL sort out his mum's house tomorrow for a few days. She died after a short illness. She left the house after a fall (when in perfect health), and didn't go back.

The house will hopefully be let out either fully or part-furnished, so it's just the personal stuff we need to sort out.

Any hints or tips? I think we'll be charity shopping most clothing, bringing back all paperwork, and putting some stuff into storage for consideration at a later date.

I'm hoping that as an outsider (I never met his mum) that I'll be able to do some of the stuff with less emotion, and I don't think anyone should have to sort out their mum's undies

Any ideas for all the part used stuff? Thinking a refuge or something? We live a loooong drive away, so no point bringing it back, plus space will be at a premium for sentimental things.

ruddynorah Tue 03-Nov-09 18:09:41

you could try help the aged. they can come out with a van and take things they could use either to sell or to those in need.

mustrunmore Tue 03-Nov-09 18:15:04

I'm sure the local homeless place, if there is such an organisation close by, would love any larder goods that are in date, even if partially used.

Mencap, amongst others, collect furniture in some areas. What about getting a house clearance firm in, or if they arent keen in partial clearance, how about local auction room valuer?

Recycling for any clothes that arent good enough to sell in a charity shop, like underwear.

Yes, paperwork should def be brought back with you, as it needs to be read so carefully.

I think you also need a box for things that look like they would have sentimental value to friends/family, that you could get in touch with at a later date.

Biobytes Tue 03-Nov-09 18:21:40

Some ideas from my EX-MIL (or things she did when she had to clear up the stuff of my FIL).

- If there are things that were special to her, keep some that you would like to use as reminders of her. Or give them as gifts to people she cared about (things like figurines, watches, jewerly, her favourite knitting needles and things of the sort)

- For clothes and things, perhaps ask him if there is anything that he would like to keep, anyhting that he would like to hand down to a particular person, but perhaps the charity route may be the best one. Just get the bags from the charity shop or ask your BIL out of the room once that he has decided if he wants to keep something. It is awfully painful to see chrished belongins going into bin bags even if they are going to help the aged or any other charity that she may have chosen to help.

FourArms Tue 03-Nov-09 18:27:55

Thanks for those ideas. She had a lot of friends, but apart from one cousin, my BIL (her son) is the only remaining family. The friends may well want to keep something particular - I'll get him to ask them.

Will also ask him to think about which charities she supported. She was very keen on dogs, so perhaps something along animal welfare lines?

Ivykaty44 Tue 03-Nov-09 18:30:55

please please make sure all photographs and things like that get offered to family members that may keep them - don't throw away even if you dont know who they are....

ABetaDad Tue 03-Nov-09 18:49:18

Yo may struggle to rent it full or part furnished if the furniture and decor is not modern. It would also be illegal if any of it it is not compliant with fire regs.

Best clear the house and give the furniture to a local charity that recycles cheap furniture for people.

FourArms Tue 03-Nov-09 19:36:52

Thanks ABD - I already rent out a property so know about fire regs for furniture. From the sounds of it, it's quite a modern house in terms of decor and furniture, but I guess we can suss that out later. Hopefully we can get a letting agent to come out and give us an opinion.

Ivykaty - we won't throw away any photos or similar I love my grandma's old photos, and trying to guess which of the three sons is in the picture (all v.blonde!) and where it might be (they lived in Hong Kong, Singapore and Cyprus!)

Tortington Tue 03-Nov-09 19:38:21

my aunty boed up everthing and phoned a charity to come collect the lot.

might make things easier - just a few phone calls to charities to see who collects

catinthehat2 Tue 03-Nov-09 21:50:40

There's going to be one or two things which he (and deceased mum) might not want to go to a charity shop/be recycled as they were so much part of her character, yet at the same time you wouldn't want to give to friends/relatives. I can think of my granny's hats. So be prepared to have a little bonfire in the back of the house of a few things. That helped my mum & auntie strangely enough.

FourArms Wed 04-Nov-09 08:02:54

Well I think we'll be having a bonfire on bonfire night anyway, so maybe we'll have a few additions to the pyre!

FourArms Wed 04-Nov-09 11:20:13

Daytime bump!

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