Estate Cleanouts: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, Part 1

An ‘estate cleanout’ is where you have a house full of items and for various reasons, (bad neighborhood, condition of the house, provision in the will, etc.), an estate sale is not possible.  Usually the owner of the house is deceased or they are in a nursing home, and the executor or guardian needs the house cleaned out so they can sell it.  Somerset House has handled all types of estate cleanouts, or what we like to call the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The “good” estate cleanout is fairly straightforward.  We separate items that can be sold for pickup by the auctioneer, other useable items are donated to the chosen charity, the rest goes into the dumpster.  All items are searched before being disposed of, and we box up mail, legal documents, and any valuable items such as coins and jewelry for delivery to the executor or guardian.  Any hazardous waste such as old paint, chemicals, household cleaners, etc., are properly disposed of, and the house is left in a broom clean condition.

A “bad” estate cleanout is where the house is a big mess.  There are piles of mail, newspapers, clothes, and trash everywhere.  The place hasn’t been cleaned in years, the curtains and carpets are filthy, and the smell is bad.  First we open the windows and then we start with the room closest to the dumpster.  The procedure for the cleanout is the same.  Any items that can be sold or donated to charity are set aside.  Mail, legal documents, and valuables are boxed up for delivery to the executor or guardian.  Old paint, chemicals, etc. go to the recycling center, everything else goes into the dumpster.  Once we’ve emptied the house we can assess the condition of the carpets.  Sometimes the carpets can be cleaned but usually they have to be torn out.  Then we clean the house from top to bottom.  The end result is a house that can be sold and a very happy client.

Next blog:  The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, Part II  

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About Somerset House Services

Somerset House Services works with Executors, Guardians, Trustee's, POA's, individuals, and family members that need to sell, cleanout, or inventory the contents of a house or storage unit. Our services include Estate Sales, Estate Cleanouts (including 'hoarder' houses), Inventories & Appraisals, and Asset Research Services.
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