It’s no secret that household clearance can be stressful, exhausting and demanding experience, particularly if it comes as a result of a recent loss in the family. House clearance costs can pile up before you know it if you’re undertaking this yourself, much like if you’re helping seniors move from their lifelong family home or moving elderly parents into assisted living.
The fact remains that should you be faced with the task of taking on this challenge, you’re not alone.
House clearance companies such as Home Care Removals offer fully managed, end-to-end services for properties in the Camberley area and around Surrey. We recognise the need to clear your house has probably come at a difficult or sad time, and we want to make this process as straightforward and stress-free as possible for you. However, we understand wanting to take the task on yourself as well.
So, begin to ask yourself:
- What does house clearance entail?
- How much does house clearance cost?
- What’s the process?
We recommend doing some research to answer the above questions, and certainly plan ahead of time. To start with, ensuring everything goes as smoothly as possible will be made easier by allowing plenty of time to complete the house clearance itself. Setting aside enough time to complete the job (with an extra pair of hands or two as support ideally) will definitely help to take the edge off the stress that comes with it.
Here are some of our top tips:
Mandatory House Clearance Tasks
These can’t be avoided if you want a smooth and simple operation.
Organisation: This goes without saying really. The key to planning an effective house clearance service is to stay organised, and to dedicate plenty of time to go through each room. Focussing on one room at a time will allow you to go through your possessions one step at a time and you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed by it all. Start by creating a list of what can be kept, sold or donated and thrown away, and delegate them to their specific groups. As you go through each room, gradually disposing of the items you want to chuck will leave you with enough room to handle the important stuff once you’ve finished.
Documents: Identity theft is still a very real threat across the country, and you should take considerable care with this by treating your confidential documents carefully. We’d recommend using a shredder and destroying any old bank or credit card statements, health records and anything that shows personal information of yourself or family members. By the same token, be cautious to keep documents you may need at a later point extra safe. This is particularly true if there is a relative who is recently deceased, as the estate might not have been settled yet. Stay in regular contact with the executor or solicitor who is handling it, so you are constantly in the loop.
Health and safety: Obviously you know what your limitations are when it comes to lifting the heavier items in your house, but it’s important, if you are doing your house clearance yourself, to give yourself plenty of rest time and not to overexert yourself. As mentioned, having one or two helping hands will make this simpler and less strenuous but it still applies. Time can run away doing a house clearance day by day, and we can often get stuck into a rhythm and forget basic tasks like eating and drinking water regularly. Ensuring you stay hydrated is vital. Additionally, it’s vital you give your body plenty of rest and don’t pursue lifting anything you’re not comfortable with. You don’t want to be dealing with any pain or injuries whilst you’re going through this, especially if you’re pressed for time. Always keep plenty of windows open and consider facial protection if clearing items that have accumulated large amounts of dust.
Estimate the volume: This is a handy tip to follow before you start organising your rooms. Anticipate the amounts of items that need to be removed per room. Once you have a rough idea in your head, collate them with the amounts for the other rooms and identify your best method of dealing with the items you’re going to need to chuck away, donate, keep, sell or auction off. It’s very beneficial to assume you have more than you realise.
Optional House Clearance Tasks
These are good steps to follow but are by no means mandatory
Move items to storage: Provided it fits within your budget and is not too difficult to get to for you, storage facilities are great ways of keeping bulkier items secure, especially if there are exceptional circumstances. For example, you might not have the space in your new house for a particular item but someone you know has said they’ll take it in a few months’ time. This allows you to keep the item safe and you can carry on with your household clearance with that in the back of your mind, and out of the way.
Gift possessions to family/friends: There’s a good chance you’ve decided on some things that can be gifted. Generally speaking, items that you personally don’t want anymore but are special to the family and too important to throw away, might be best served in another family member’s house. Provided you have enough time to allow transporting the item(s) from A to B, this can save you some hassle before you move everything else over.
Large disposals: Assuming you’ve got plenty of time and energy to dispose of the rubbish in your house regularly to your local waste tip, then you can read over this point. But two other options at your disposal include:
- Calling your local council – These can usually take up to a couple of weeks to book in advance but are good if a bulky waste collection is needed.
- Hiring a skip – A skip that sits outside your house means you can fill it as you go, meaning space is cleared more efficiently. Prices can vary but are charged at a flat rate.
- Disposal company – A simpler solution is to hire Home Care Removals who can clear, load and remove any items you specify. This extends to carpets, curtains and white goods as well as general rubbish, and we also clear garages, conservatories, lofts and sheds as a part of our full house clearance service.
Sell items: The Internet is a fantastic place to sell items these days. Social media websites are often crawling with local buy/sell pages that mean you can offload anything from furniture to odd bits and pieces in a matter of hours. The best part is you can receive some extra cash as a result. Gumtree and Freecycle are also both excellent channels but remember, it does involve meeting someone you have not met before. It’s recommended to take a familiar face with you if going to meet a seller.
Auction: Keeping an eye on listings in your local paper or yellow pages for any local operators, auctions and dealers is wise if you’re keen on offloading bulkier items. Second-hand furniture dealers will usually take your unwanted sofas or chairs as long as they are in a good condition.
Speaking of furniture, the Furniture Reuse Network is a good network of social enterprises that make the most out of reusable furniture.
Donations to charity: Local charity shops will usually benefit greatly from unwanted clothes, books, DVDs and general smaller decorative items. It’s important to remember they won’t give you any reimbursement other than a thank you, but it is comforting to know your old items are going to a good cause.