How To Pack Up a Deceased Loved Ones House
Take your time
Unless your loved one lived in council housing, a nursing home or a rental, there’s absolutely no rush to pack up their things. Take your time to grieve before going through their belongings, as going through their things can create more pain that you don’t need to face immediately. It might be up to twelve months before you’re ready to open their closet and smell their clothes, so don’t let anyone pressure you before you’re ready.
Focus on the important bits first
Sorting out any finances, as well as ensuring any food stuffs or other perishables are removed from their home, should be your immediate focus. These tasks are time critical and usually need to be completed within a few weeks, and are often a welcome distraction from grief. Due to the less emotional nature, these tasks can often be a great way to ease you into the idea of eventually having to go through their other, more personal, belongings.
Send in an expert
In the instance that there is a rush to pack things up and you’re just not ready to face the endless photos and personal belongings, hire a team of packers to carefully pack up your loved ones belongings. They will take the necessary precautions to ensure nothing is damaged, as well as label everything thoroughly so that you can be sure you’ll find the items you want when the time comes. An expert packing team can also perform clean up to ensure the house or apartment is ready for the next occupants, relieving you of the stress of taking the time to do that yourself.
Keep the special things
A lot of people rush to hand over their loved one’s belongings to charities, forgetting to look through things first. Not only does this mean a lot of junk ends up clogging charity bins, you also miss out on the chance to find a keepsake that means something to you. Take your time flicking through photos, laughing at the silly ones and remembering all the wonderful experiences you had with that person. Consider what you might want to keep, and feel free to keep more than you feel is necessary – you can always consolidate these belongings later down the track.
Involve the younger generation
If your loved one has young children or grandchildren, involve them in the process. They’ll also be grieving, and while they will also want to take their own time to be ready to help pack up, they’ll be glad to be involved. This also gives them an opportunity to find something that they feel is special and may want to keep, as well as create some much needed support when the packing becomes too overwhelming. It helps to talk through your feelings, so encourage small children to talk about their favourite things they did with your deceased loved one, and take some time to look at photos and memorable objects, reflecting on all the fun times you had.