Photo by Beth Kanter

Carrying out a house clearance can be quite a daunting task: perhaps you or an older relative is downsizing to a smaller home and needs to clear out a large family home. It can be difficult deciding what to keep and what to remove as clearing a home that holds many years worth of memories can be very emotional. If a loved one has passed away this can be especially hard, but here are a few tips to help you clear a house.


It’s essential to clear the clutter and you need to be pretty ruthless, but it can be hard to know where to start. Write a list of what you’ll need in your new home. Then think about what you want and try to prioritize: you won’t be able to take all your furniture, photographs, artwork, books and ornaments to a smaller home so think about which ones have the most sentimental value.

And on a very practical level, think about which items will actually fit!

Be honest: there’s a lot you may want to hang on to, but clothes that have not seen the light of day in years or anything that’s been in a box in the basement for a long time probably isn’t worth hanging on to.

Pass It Down

Downsizing is also a great opportunity to pass things on to a younger generation if you need to have to get rid of items but want to keep them in the family. Books, paintings, jewelry, clothing and curios with sentimental value can be passed to younger family members who you truly believe will appreciate receiving them and you know will look after them.

But be careful not to inundate relatives with boxes and boxes containing the entire contents of your attic; keep it specific to the family member you’re giving it to!

Make Some Money!

If you’re dedicated to getting rid of years worth of furniture and knick-knacks, think about inviting a specialist to come and appraise your items. If you’re offered a good enough price, you might be able to make a nice tidy sum before you move!


Having to carry out a house clearance after a death in the family is the hardest one to do. If it falls to you, make sure you’ve consulted the entire family about what they want to do with the home’s contents so that you’re all in agreement. It’s important to ensure that any items that were bequeathed to certain family members or anything of sentimental value that anybody would like to take is removed first to avoid any trouble later. This also allows you to get on with the job in a more efficient manner.