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Taking Care of an Estate After the Death of a Loved One

When a loved one dies, the last thing you want to do is take on a huge project. Unfortunately, it is often necessary. Especially if an elderly relative has passed away, someone close to them is going to need to sort through all of their belongings and property and make important decisions about what to do with it all. What’s the best way to handle this, without it becoming any more stressful than it needs to be? We have a few tips.

Start Sorting

Your basic categories should be: keep, sell, donate, and discard. Take it one room at a time, and go through all of the items deciding what category each thing falls under. It’s best if you do this while other family members are present: they might want to keep something that you would get rid of. In general:

  • KEEP – things with sentimental value, or things that could be useful to you, personally.
  • SELL – things that are in very good condition, that won’t be too much trouble to sell, and that you can sell for a price that will make your time worth it.
  • DONATE – anything that is in fairly good shape and could be of use to someone, but would be too much of a hassle to sell, or wouldn’t be worth enough to make the sale worth the extra work.
  • DISCARD – anything that doesn’t have sentimental value, and is broken, ripped, stained, unreadable, or in otherwise poor condition.


Get a Storage Unit

This is probably the single best thing you can do to keep everything organized and to keep yourself sane. Find a self-storage facility nearby that has great security measures and customer service, and rent out a unit in a size that seems most fitted to your needs.
Renting a storage unit will allow you to clear out the residence in a timely manner. If you have a lot of items that you need other family members to look at, for example, a storage unit is the perfect place to keep them while the residence is prepped for showing and selling. It is also a great place to keep things while you wait to hold an estate sale.
If you’ll be storing delicate items or items that need to be completely protected from the elements (like musical instruments or high-quality furniture), consider getting a climate-controlled storage unit.

Sell Smart

Whatever you are planning to sell, make sure you do it in a smart way. If you’re using online, local-selling sites like Craiglist or OfferUp, make sure to meet in public places for exchanges whenever possible. If the buyer needs to come to you to check out a piece, make sure you aren’t alone when they come. Accept cash only, and never agree to ship an item.
If selling on eBay, follow seller guidelines carefully and stick to deadlines for shipping dates.

To Yard Sale, or Not to Yard Sale?

A yard sale may seem like an appealing way to sell items quickly, but there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, a yard sale is a lot of work. Setting up, managing, and marketing your sale could make it more hassle than it’s really worth. Also, people shopping at yard sales are often looking for the best deal possible, so you might not get top dollar for even the best pieces. So before you commit to a sale, make sure you’re ready for a lot of work and potential disappointment.
If you’re dealing with the recent loss of a loved one and are wondering how to best manage their estate, we hope that these tips have been helpful to you. Above all, this is an emotional time, and hopefully you are working to take care of yourself even while you take care of everything else.
Looking for a reliable self-storage facility in the Phoenix area? Arizona Storage Centers has facilities in Chandler, Gilbert, Phoenix, Glendale, and Deer Valley. Offering a wide variety of unit sizes and options, we’re happy to help you store your loved one’s estate or any of your belongings. We’re here when you need us. Give us a call at 480-386-6022 today!

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