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How To Declutter Of Belongings After Someone Dies (7 Crucial Things To Remember)

When someone we love passes away, we often find ourselves faced with the challenging task of sorting through their belongings.

While there’s a lot of tradition surrounding saying goodbye to the person, dealing with their possessions is often overlooked.

It can be tough, especially when it feels like there’s no guidebook for this part of the grieving process.

The importance of decluttering after someone’s passing might not be the first thing on your mind, but it can play a role in healing.

Even though it’s tough, sorting through their things can help you process your emotions and find closure.

No matter how you end up in this situation, whether it’s a sudden loss or something you’ve been preparing for, there are practical steps you can take to tackle the task of sorting through a loved one’s belongings after they’re gone.

How to Begin Decluttering After Loveone’s Passing

I think many of us tend to avoid discussing or even thinking about death until it’s right in front of us.

But, the truth is, having these conversations and preparing for the inevitable can make things a bit easier for our loved ones when the time comes.

When you’ve lost someone dear to you, there’s a whirlwind of emotions to sort through.

Amidst all that, there are practical matters to attend to, and it can feel like a lot to handle all at once.

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Here are some down-to-earth tips to guide you through the process of decluttering your loved one’s belongings after they’ve passed away.

1. Begin with the Least Sentimental Items

Left old things on table
Africa Studio /

When you’re faced with the task of decluttering after a loved one’s passing, it can feel overwhelming.

One way to ease into the process is by starting with the items that hold the least sentimental value.

These could be everyday objects or items that you know wouldn’t hold much emotional weight for you or your family.

Getting rid of these things first can help kick-start the decluttering process and make it feel more manageable.

2. Making Decisions on What to Keep After a Loved One’s Passing

Deciding what to keep after someone dies can be one of the most challenging parts of decluttering.

It’s natural to feel like holding onto every item will somehow keep the person’s memory alive.

However, it’s important to remind yourself that people are not defined by their possessions.

Your memories of your loved one will remain vivid and meaningful regardless of whether you keep their belongings.

Take some time to carefully select a few items that hold the most significance for you.

3.  Repurposing Beloved Items for Comfort and Solace

Repurposing items can be a meaningful way to honor your loved one’s memory while also finding comfort in their belongings.

Consider transforming some of their favorite clothing items, like a beloved shirt or sweater, into keepsakes such as memory pillows.

These personalized mementos can offer solace to family members, particularly children or grandchildren, who are coping with the loss.

If your loved one left behind a collection of items, like neckties or scarves, consider repurposing them into a memory quilt.

This creative approach allows you to preserve cherished memories in a tangible and heartfelt way.

4. What to Discard After a Loved One’s Passing

When sorting through a loved one’s belongings after they’ve passed away, it’s essential to tackle the task of what to throw away with care and consideration.

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Start by discarding items that are broken, damaged, or no longer usable. This includes anything that’s beyond repair or in poor condition.

Additionally, used toiletries should be disposed of to maintain cleanliness and hygiene.

Perishable goods, such as food items, should also be thrown away unless you realistically see yourself using them.

It’s important to assess whether these items can still be safely consumed or if they’ve expired.

If you find items that are not suitable for donation or sale, it’s a good indication that they should be discarded.

5. Donating Meaningful Belongings to Charity in Honor of Your Loved One

A box of old belongings for charity donation /

Parting with a deceased loved one’s belongings, especially those with emotional significance can be a difficult decision.

Donating these items to charity shops can provide a sense of purpose and honor the memory of your loved one in a meaningful way.

It’s a practical solution that also benefits those in need within your community.

Consider researching local organizations or charities that accept donations and inquire about their donation process.

Some charities may even allow you to donate items in your loved one’s name, providing a lasting tribute to their legacy.

6. Determining Items for Sale After a Loved One’s Passing

When considering an estate sale to manage your deceased loved one’s belongings, it’s wise to reach out to professionals who specialize in this area.

Estate sales can be overwhelming and emotionally taxing, making it beneficial to enlist the expertise of professionals who can handle the process with care and efficiency.

Dealing with potential buyers and haggling over prices can be challenging, especially when dealing with items that hold sentimental value.

Estate sale companies have the experience and knowledge to properly price items for sale, alleviating the burden of decision-making for family members.

Although these companies typically take a portion of the proceeds, the convenience and peace of mind they provide can outweigh the costs.

Consider consulting with estate sales professionals to streamline the process and ensure a successful outcome.

7. Moving Forward While Preserving Memories

Daughter helping her Mother on a wheelchair
amazing studio /

Letting go of material possessions doesn’t diminish the love or memories you hold for your deceased loved one.

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It’s a natural part of the grieving process and a step toward accepting the cycle of life and death.

By sharing treasured items with other loved ones or donating them to those in need, you’re honoring your loved one’s legacy and ensuring their belongings serve a meaningful purpose.

As you move forward, remember that it’s okay to hold onto memories while letting go of physical items.

Embrace the journey of healing and find comfort in knowing that your loved one’s belongings have found new homes where they are appreciated and cherished.

Missing our Special loved ones And Need A shoulder to lean on?

Sorting through belongings can bring up memories, some happy and some sad.

Each item tells a story, reminding us of moments shared with our loved ones.

As we let go of physical possessions, we also release emotional attachments, making space for healing and growth.

So, as you take on the task of decluttering, remember to be gentle with yourself and take each step at your own pace.

So I came up with a Declutter For Self Care checklist.

Incorporated in this are several checklists for you to use to help declutter not only your physical space but also your mental and emotional space as well.

Click the link below and start giving your life the decluttering and peaceful cleaning that it needs!


How do you declutter a deceased estate?

Decluttering a deceased estate involves sorting through belongings methodically, starting with less sentimental items and seeking professional help if needed.

It’s essential to prioritize the emotional well-being of family members during this process.

How do you sort things out when someone dies?

When someone passes away, sorting through their belongings can be overwhelming.

Begin by categorizing items and deciding what to keep, donate, or discard.

Seeking support from loved ones and professionals can help navigate this challenging time.

Who will inherit property after a person’s death?

Inheritance laws vary depending on factors such as the deceased person’s will, state laws, and familial relationships.

Typically, property is inherited by spouses, children, or other close relatives as specified in legal documents or determined by law.

What not to do when someone dies?

When someone dies, it’s essential to avoid making hasty decisions about their belongings or finances.

Avoid rushing into major decisions, such as selling property or distributing assets, without careful consideration and legal guidance.

It’s also crucial to prioritize self-care and seek support from friends, family, or professionals during the grieving process.

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