Sometimes, when contemplating the topic of moving, it isn’t in terms of moving your possessions from one home to another, it’s instead trying to clean out a loved one’s home, which you have inherited. The process of going through possessions, categorizing them and getting rid of some of it is similar to what you do when packing for a move. However, it is obviously more emotionally taxing and is often more draining overall. Read below to learn what to do with a house full of stuff you have just inherited:
Determine What You are Going to do With The House
Before making another step, you need to determine if you want to sell, rent, or move into the inherited house yourself. Use the following elements to determine which is best for you:
- Is there a mortgage? If there is, obviously, you might need to sell in order to pay the debt. If it’s paid off, you can stand to make a good deal of money either selling or renting your inherited home.
- Determine the tax consequences. Ask a tax professional about estate taxes and how they could affect your selling, moving into or renting the home. Are there tax advantages to one option over another for you? A tax professional can advise you best on this.
How to Clean Out The Stuff
No matter what you determine to do with your inherited home, it will likely involve cleaning out the home, removing all the stuff. Keep the following tips in mind when starting the process:
- It might take time. If you were close to the deceased, going through their belongings can be emotional. Therefore, it’s important to take your time with this process. In most cases, unless there are financial reasons to move quickly, there is no reason to not take your time.
- Move sentimental items into storage. If you plan on having either a garage or estate sale to get rid of many of the contents of the home, remove and all sentimental items out of the home into some sort of safe storage. This will allow you to make progress in terms of cleaning out the property, without having to make an immediate any decision on sentimental items. It also frees you up to have your estate sale without having to worry about the sentimental items. You can even employ the help of a moving company to transport these precious possessions out of the home for you.
- Get rid of broken, worn items. Once you have moved out any sentimental things and determined what can be sold, go through the old, worn and/or broken items. It’s a good idea to go through the home one room at a time, maybe even one drawer at a time. In many cases, this inherited house will be full of decades worth of possessions and mementos. It’s a process that can take some time.
- Donate items no one wants. After going through the home, removing sentimental items, and selling the rest in an estate or garage sell, donate the rest of the usable items to a charity.
Inheriting a house means you were an important part of someone’s life. Therefore, it should be considered an honor. Of course, it might not always feel like a gift when you have to address an entire home full of stuff. Thankfully, by taking your time and following the tips listed above, you can handle the task and get the most out of your inherited gift.