How to Clean Out a Deceased Elderly Parent's Home and What to Do with the Stuff

by Chinello Plummer ; Updated September 28, 2017

Cleaning out a deceased parent's home requires good organizational skills.

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Cleaning out your elderly deceased parents home can be an emotional process. Siblings may share the work of cleaning out the house, but the executor has the responsibility for any financial decisions associated with the home and its contents. By getting organized, you can go through a lifetime’s accumulation of things and piece together a financial mystery.

Search through the house for purses, wallets, financial documents and insurance paperwork. Also put any keys found in one location to be matched with the according locks later.

Do a thorough search in every nook and cranny of the house for hidden items. Rings could be found in cookie jars and cash could be hidden inside shoes.

Separate personal and household items into two piles. The first pile contains items with emotional or monetary value. The second contains unwanted items.

Once family members have retrieved the items they want, you can contact an estate sale company and sell the remaining things. If you decide to donate items, make sure to retain a receipt for financial records.


  • Change the locks on the house as soon as possible. This is to prevent theft since you do not know who has a key.

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About the Author

Chinello Plummer has been writing and editing since 2007, specializing in topics related to insurance, personal finance and the beauty industry. Her work has appeared in "The Claimant," "News Wiz" and various online publications. Plummer graduated in 2005 from the University of Memphis, earning a Bachelor of Arts in communications.