When a family member passes, it can be an incredibly painful and difficult time. The loss of a loved one, the memories of the life they shared with the family, the feelings of loss and at times frustration associated with their passing can be difficult. It can become almost overwhelming alone, not to mention, the addition of the responsibilities of taking care of their estate clean up. There are funeral arrangements to be met, final will and testament reviews, financial assets that require attention and legal documentation can all add to the weight of losing someone close.
With estate cleanup comes legal documentation, closing financial accounts, and presenting necessary documents to financial or government institutions. In addition to this, there is also the home of the family member who has passed away. Organizing, cleaning and packing up personal belongings can almost be too much to bear for the family during this difficult time.
This was the case with one family who contacted us here at Home and Life Organizers to provide help during this difficult time. Because HALO is so efficient with organizing and cleaning, we were able to step in, organize and deep clean the late family member’s former home, helping to prepare the house to be listed on the market.
First, there were the personal items that the family wanted. We were able to organize and return each of the personal items to family members that wanted them. The house was filled with a lifetime of collectibles of interest to the deceased. The family had opted to donate some items, so we dealt with them appropriately. In the home, we came across several artifacts that were collected over the years by the family member from both World Wars. We donated those items to museums, ensuring the heritage of such items were not lost.
Now, as anyone who has ever owned a house knows, it is easy for a house to collect a lifetime of memories, and those items need to be addressed too. We were able to organize, sort and package items that the family did not want while making appropriate arrangements for repurposing. The wardrobe, we were able to donate to a local charity. Furniture that was in the home that the family did not take, we were able to donate what was salvageable and dispose of items that were no longer functional.
A lifetime of hobbies and interests can be unique, and this next item was one of the most fascinating aspects of the home. The deceased family member used to raise and race pigeons. Pigeon racing is the sport of releasing pigeons, from a distance, and the pigeon will return to their main nesting area. For curiosity’s sake, check out this article on pigeon racing. Anyway, the client had raised and raced pigeons for several years, and kept the pigeons nested in his attic. Pigeons, also known as homing pigeons, will always return to their nest. If the nest is moved, great care needs to be put in place to safely relocate the pigeons to a new home.
HALO worked with a local pigeon racing club and was able to safely donate the pigeons to club members ensuring that the pigeons were safely taken care of.
There was a second advantage to this as well. Had the pigeons simply been released in the wild, they would have returned to their nest, which was the attic of the family member’s home. This presented a problem, because the family’s final wish was to place the house on the market. We were proud of our adaptability and resourcefulness, because it is not everyday you need to relocate a family of pigeons. The pigeons were safe, and the home was ready for next steps.
For curiosity sake, check Wikipedia for Pigeon Racing information.
Estate Clean Up Finalization
After the pigeons were safely moved, and all items appropriated to local charities and museums, we were able to take the next steps to help finalize the home to be shown on the market. We first removed all visible dirt from the home, then spent a great deal of time disinfecting and sanitizing every area. The home was prepared, and the final step was to list the home on the local real estate market.
The home was purchased by a local investor for further renovations, and the family could take the time they needed to mourn their loss with the closure of the estate.
We here at Home and Life Organizers were grateful to be able to help during this difficult time, and we were glad to know that we were able to lighten the burden of a family member in a time of loss.
Here at Home and Life Organizers, we have quite a bit of experience in clean up. For more information on cleaning up a home, check out our article on Disinfectant wipes & 8 more deep cleaning tips for COVID-19.