Estate cleaning can be a pretty stressful experience. And they can happen for several reasons. Eviction, sudden foreclosure or hoarding are common reasons, but the most common is the death of a loved one. The shock of a late family member or friend passing is stressful enough and clearing out their belongings in a short period only adds to the stress.
No matter your reason for an estate sale, the process can be taxing and expensive for everyone involved if it’s not handled properly. The Junk King crew has years of experience with junk removal in Toronto and can help make this transition easier for you. Keep reading below for eight tips to make your estate cleanout easier.
1. Make It Appealing to Buyers
The first thing you’ll want to do is make the property look inviting. That means starting your cleanup outside the home to increase curb appeal.
This can include repainting trimmings, cutting the lawn and repainting to make a good first impression. That first look is important because buyers won’t come in to see the property if they don’t like how it looks on the outside. Consider hiding garbage bins in the garage if they’re visible from the front yard. Also, be sure to replace any older bulbs in lighting fixtures.
2. Locate Important Documents
Keep track of where important financial and property documents are. Before cleaning inside, look for wills, deeds or other similar documents. These can include:
- Insurance Policies
- Stock Certificates
- Tax Returns
- Credit Card Statements
You may need these documents later on for tax purposes so make sure they don’t get tossed accidentally.
If you have files to throw away, keep them separate from other trash. If you don’t dispose of personal files properly, you risk having your identity stolen. A shredder is useful for destroying confidential documents you no longer need.
3. Throw Out the Trash
A house full of clutter makes it hard for buyers to see themselves living there. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential buyers and look for any mess that may make people second guess purchasing. Emptying garbage bins in bathrooms, the kitchen or bathrooms is a good way to start. These areas see a lot of foot traffic, so make sure they are clutter-free.
After getting rid of the trash, you can start deep cleaning. Dust furniture and light fixtures, mop the floors, polish windows and try to purge any lingering scents.
4. Divvy Up Keepsakes
If you inherited the property from a family, you’d want to keep some items as souvenirs. And you’re probably not the only one. Certain things, like photo albums, are irreplaceable and don’t mean much to people outside the family. Other items like watches or jewellery could potentially be sold but just ensure they were not gifted to anyone in a will.
Document keepsakes and the name of the person taking them on a list to avoid mixups. Also, ensure that keepsakes aren’t hidden away in stuff you plan to toss. People always tuck valuables away in secret spots and forget about it. The beat-up jacket destined for the donation bin could have a beloved watch in a pocket. Always double-check.
Speaking of donations, why not give items in good condition a second life? Clothing, furniture and appliances can all be donated to help those in need. You’ll also be helping yourself, as many donations are tax deductible. Make sure you document donations you plan on writing off with a photo in case of future audits. Check out some places you can make donations below:
- Charities in your neighbourhood
- Canadian Diabetes Association
- Thrift stores
Most places that accept donations usually look for household items (kitchenware, books, tools, decorative accents), textiles (clothes, bedding), electronics and sporting goods. Call and ask if you’re unsure about donating a specific item.
What can’t be donated can usually be sold if it’s in good condition. You’ll probably have some items that can be sold online, like TVs, so list those now. Facebook Marketplace and eBay both let you start selling with no up-front fees.
If you have expensive items to sell, consider hiring an appraiser. For a fee, an appraiser will let you know the value of things like jewellery, antiques, cars or artwork. The appraisal is just an approximation, but you’ll get an idea of what your items are worth.
7. Hire a Professional
Under a time crunch? The Junk Works crew will quickly and efficiently haul the junk in your home. We recycle, salvage and donate what we can to reduce our impact on landfills. Our team uses eco-friendly practices to clear the entire house (inside and out) of any unwanted clutter, dirt or debris. We can also rip out those pesky carpets, tear down drywall, or perform other demo services upon request. Click here to book online and save $20. We offer two services that may fit your estate cleanout needs:
- Dumpster Rental- We deliver a self-service dumpster rental right to your driveway. Pay only for the space you use.
- Full-Service Junk Removal- One of our Big Red trucks and the Junk Works crew will come to your location and load up for you. Our full-service junk removal trucks are 20% larger than the industry standard, so you have more space.
8. Get Help
The estate sale and cleanout process can be mentally, physically and emotionally draining. This is especially true if it’s your first time. Don’t feel like this is something you have to take on alone.
An estate sale company reduces many of the headaches you would face and helps you secure the maximum value for your items. Most estate sale companies have built a network of buyers waiting to purchase items. This can greatly speed up the selling process for you.
All estate sale companies base their fees on a percentage of the sale. You should expect to give them about 35% of the total profits.
Give Us A Call
We do junk removal in Toronto and the GTA, so wherever your estate cleanout is happening, we’ll be there to help. Call us at 1-888-888-JUNK or click here to book and save $20.