woman assisting older woman

7 Tips For Clearing out Grandma’s Stuff

Life happens. And unfortunately, one of the realities of life is the loss of your parents and grandparents. It is a traumatic time filled with many decisions…including “what do we do with grandma’s stuff?” At 123JUNK, we’re here to help make at least that decision easier.

We understand, and are sympathetic to, the emotions that go along with the loss of a loved one, whether it be a parent, grandparent, or any other family member. It something nobody wants to go through, but it is an inevitability of life. That’s why we make sure that when you call, you speak to someone in person…every time. We don’t believe your call should go through an automated answering service.

Emotions not only surround the loss of the person, they emerge again when it’s time to deal with their belongings. And after a lifetime of raising a family, a house can be filled. Having a good way to clean out grandma’s stuff is essential. Here are some tips that can help you navigate that process.

7 Tips for Clearing out Grandma’s Stuff


Look for Legal and Financial Documents

Find and preserve any papers or documents that relate to legal, financial or insurance matters. Look in filing cabinets, the office, drawers, and even hidden places. Put these in a safe place where they won’t get tossed out.

Preserve Photographs and Memorabilia

Photographs and items with special memories can’t be replaced. Pack these items up separately and remove them from the sorting areas. Keep them for yourself, or divide these items up among family members as cherished keepsakes. If you no longer want to keep the memorabilia later, you can always take digital photographs and donate the items.

Ask for Help

Going through grandma’s stuff on your own is a huge and stressful tasks. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends. They’re probably looking for ways to help you navigate through the grief and will be glad to lend a hand. Assign them limited-time shifts to prevent burnout, and remember to take it easy yourself. Emotions will be on high alert.

Sort into Piles

Create a sorting system, and place items into piles marked “Keep,” “Donate,” “Sell,” and “Toss.” For larger items like furniture, use color-coded tags. If items are designated for specific family members, attach a name tag to them and place them aside.

Related: 21 Useful Tips for Cleaning Out Your Elderly Parent’s House

Go Through Everything

People tend to hide valuables in safe spaces, so as you are sorting, open every drawer and box, and check through clothing pockets. Be careful not to get bogged down or stalled in the memories. Keep to the task of sorting and clearing out. You can always set items or boxes aside and go through them later if you need to. A professional organizer can assist you with the overwhelming task of going through everything while keeping on task.

Get Appraisals

If grandma’s stuff includes high-value items like jewelry or artwork that you’d like to sell, hire an appraiser to give you an estimate of its value.

Contact 123JUNK to Donate, Recycle or Dispose of Grandma’s Stuff

From your first call to 123JUNK, you’ll notice is our exemplary customer service. Since everyone’s stuff has memories attached—including grandma’s stuff—we make it a point to treat you and your loved one’s belongings with the utmost courtesy and respect. We’ll listen to what you need and provide you with an easy-to-manage all-inclusive price quote.

You’ll love our 1-2-3 Process of Donate-Recycle-Dispose. We’ll take items that can be reused or repurposed and donate them to our charity partners, who will use them for families in need or sell them to raise money for their causes. We’ll separate out items that can be recycled, like papers, magazines, electronics, and metals, and deliver those to the area recycling station. And since it’s our mission to keep as much out of landfills as possible, we’ll take only what’s left over to the dump.

If you’ve taken the time to sort into “donate” and “toss” piles, simply point us to them. But don’t worry if you haven’t. Our team members are well-trained in sorting items on the spot. Our job is to remove as much stress as possible out of the job of clearing out grandma’s stuff.

When you need to clear out a home in Northern Virginia, Maryland or Washington DC that is filled with a lifetime of memories, contact 123JUNK.

two men standing on work truck with text on the left

What is a House/Estate Cleanout?

There are a handful of times when a house needs to be completely cleaned out; when moving out, when making extensive renovations, or when splitting up a loved one’s estate after they’ve passed away. No matter what your situation is, it’s a big deal and can be difficult to manage. 

However, with a team of professionals from 123JUNK, you’ll be able to quickly and efficiently clear out your entire home. Our team is thoroughly experienced in providing quality property cleanout services to residents and businesses throughout Fairfax County, VA. No matter the size or amount of items you have, our team is equipped to haul and clean out whatever space you need, from large-scale warehouses to small outdoor sheds. 

Here’s some things you should know about house and estate cleanouts: 

House/Estate Cleanout Defined

Simply put, it is the complete removal of all appliances, furniture, kitchenware, foodstuffs, and all personal items from a particular home or property, to the point that it appears as if it were a newly built home. 

Though the name itself is self-explanatory, there is a clear difference between a ‘house cleanout’ and an ‘estate cleanout’. A ‘house cleanout’ follows the previous definition and is often done when a house’s inhabitants are moving to a new home, renovating it entirely, or any other reason one might have to completely clear out their house. 

An ‘estate cleanout’ is a bit different, in that it often involves certain unfortunate circumstances, such as a divorce or a homeowner passing away. In an estate cleanout, the homeowner, or a relative of theirs, removes any and all assets from their home in order to potentially sell and liquidate, or split amongst inheritors. 

In both cases, it can be extraordinarily difficult to perform such a large task, which is why professional movers, like our team at 123JUNK, provide quality property cleanout services. 

Tips When Performing a Cleanout

No matter what the circumstances, performing a total house cleanout is a big job involving several things to keep track of. As experts in property cleanouts, below are a few tips to follow to ensure your next cleanout goes smoothly: 

Be Thorough in Your Removal

Look through everything carefully in order to keep track of every item that is removed from your home. Check every box, container, shelf, drawer, and even down to the pockets in pieces of clothing. An exhaustive inspection will reward you with the satisfaction of knowing what has been removed and who each item belongs to. 

Find Important Documents

Among the first things you should gather in the process of your cleanout are important documents such as birth certificates, insurance policies, wills, trusts, bank statements, tax returns, and other important financial documents, both stored physically in print or digitally in the hard drives of various devices. Keeping these in order is often vital for you later on, whether they are yours or a deceased relative. 

Remove All Valuables

In addition to vital legal and financial documents, you should also first remove any precious items and memorabilia you deem valuable before you begin cleaning out your home. The process can be wearisome enough to end up with someone accidentally damaging or forgetting items of importance.

Think About Donating/Selling

Before you clean out your home, you may realize that there’s way too much stuff for a proper cleanout. With such abundance, consider sharing it around or selling it. You can do this by putting together a yard sale or donate your items to a local thrift store or the Salvation Army. Or even better, allow us to help you donate, recycle, and dispose of your items thoughtfully. 

Consider Hiring an Estate Liquidator

Estate liquidators professionally appraise and sell off all the items of an estate to the highest bidder. For those who are seniors going into assisted living, or are relatives of a deceased family member, this can help reduce the number of items that you need transport once cleaned out of your house. 

123JUNK: Professional Property Cleanout Services in Fairfax County, VA

The information above will help you get the best outcome for your house/estate cleanout. Moreover, hiring a team of professionals in expert property cleanout services will guarantee a fast, easy, and safe transfer of your property out of yours or your relative’s home. 123JUNK of Fairfax County, VA is a highly-experienced property removal company with an efficient team of friendly and dedicated movers. They are able to clean out all kinds of materials from any area, whether they be various pieces of old junk, furniture, or appliances. 

Contact us at 1-800-364-5778 for more information about our house and estate cleanout services.