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Losing a parent is an incredibly difficult and emotional time. Along with the grief and sadness comes the responsibility of cleaning out their house. This task can be overwhelming and emotionally draining, but with a systematic approach and some guidance, it can be made more manageable. In this article, we will discuss how to clean out a parent’s house after their death, step by step.

1. Take your time: Cleaning out a parent’s house can be an emotional journey. Allow yourself to grieve and take breaks when needed. It is important to pace yourself and not rush the process.

2. Seek help: Enlist the assistance of family members, close friends, or professionals if needed. Having support can make the task easier and provide emotional comfort.

3. Create a plan: Start by creating a plan and breaking down the process into manageable tasks. This will help you stay organized and focused.

4. Sort through personal belongings: Begin by sorting through personal belongings, such as clothing, jewelry, and sentimental items. Decide which items you would like to keep, donate, or sell. Keep in mind that sentimental value is subjective, so choose items that truly hold meaning for you.

5. Important documents: Locate and organize important documents such as wills, insurance policies, and financial statements. Consult with a lawyer or financial advisor if necessary.

6. Determine the value of assets: If there are valuable assets like antiques or collectibles, consider having them appraised. This will help you make informed decisions about selling or keeping these items.

7. Clear out clutter: Dispose of any unwanted or non-sentimental items. Donate usable items to charitable organizations or hold a garage sale to sell them.

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8. Professional cleaners: If the house requires a deep cleaning, consider hiring professional cleaners. This will save you time and ensure the house is ready for sale or rent.

9. Handle finances: Notify relevant institutions about your parent’s passing, such as banks, insurance companies, and social security. Close unnecessary accounts and transfer assets as necessary.

10. Selling the property: If you decide to sell your parent’s house, first consult with a real estate agent. They will guide you through the process and help you determine the best selling price.

11. Emotional support: Throughout this process, remember to seek emotional support. Grief counseling or therapy can be beneficial in helping you navigate the emotional challenges of cleaning out a parent’s house.


1. What should I do if I’m not emotionally ready to clean out my parent’s house?
Take your time and seek support from friends, family, or professionals. It’s important to prioritize your emotional well-being.

2. How do I decide what to keep and what to let go of?
Choose items that hold true sentimental value and let go of those that don’t. Consider keeping a few meaningful items to cherish memories.

3. What should I do with personal documents?
Organize and store important documents in a safe place. Consult with legal and financial professionals if needed.

4. How can I sell valuable items?
Get items appraised and consider online platforms, auctions, or antique dealers for selling valuable items.

5. Can I donate my parent’s belongings?
Yes, donate usable items to charitable organizations. They can benefit others in need.

6. How do I handle financial matters?
Notify relevant institutions about your parent’s passing and consult with professionals to handle financial matters appropriately.

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7. What if the house needs extensive cleaning?
Consider hiring professional cleaners to ensure a thorough job and save time.

8. How do I sell the property?
Consult with a real estate agent to guide you through the process of selling the property.

9. Can I keep the house as a memorial?
Absolutely, if it holds sentimental value and you have the means to maintain it.

10. Should I consult a lawyer during this process?
It’s advisable to consult a lawyer, especially if there are legal matters or disputes involved.

11. How long should the entire process take?
The duration can vary depending on the size of the house and the amount of belongings. Give yourself enough time and avoid rushing the process.

Cleaning out a parent’s house after their death is a challenging task, both emotionally and physically. It’s important to be patient, seek support, and take it one step at a time. Remember, the process is not just about cleaning out belongings; it’s also about cherishing memories and honoring your parent’s legacy.