An estate cleanout is a big job. Whether you are helping an elderly loved one downsize from the place they have called home or you are managing the estate after their death, there is much to consider. The goal of an estate cleanout is to remove all belongings from the property to ready it for repair, renovation, sale, or future use. This can be a tall task for any individual to manage, but Valet Trash Professionals is happy to offer these tips and resources to assist you in the process of cleaning out an estate.
Of course, all legal matters must be tended to. We recommend you consult an attorney for legal advice and follow proper protocol when handling all matters of the estate. When you are ready to tackle the physical estate cleanout, these tips will help you get the job done. Read our post, Hot Tub Removal in Northwest Arkansas, to discover a bit more about how Valet Trash Professionals provides professional hot tub removal services in Northwest Arkansas.
IDENTIFY AND REMOVE VALUABLES AND ITEMS TO KEEP
Items of personal and monetary value should be secured. Sentimental items like photos, cards, recipes, and personal momentos should be stored safely. Other items such a jewelry, coins, or cash that are of particular monetary value should also be stored in a place where they are safe from theft or other loss.
ESTATE SALE OR ESTATE CLEANOUT?
Some families find themselves with a property full of valuable items and wish to sell these things. In this case, you may find it most beneficial to hire an estate sale company. The proper companies are skilled at assessing the value of household items and have the proper resources to prepare, market, and manage an estate sale.
However, for many families, an estate sale is not the answer. If the estate at hand contains some items to be saved or sold and much more that just needs to go, an estate clean out may be the answer.
DONATING USABLE ITEMS
Family and friends may like to have certain items from the estate and, in that case, it’s a good idea to plan a time to organize those items and remove them from the property. For all items that are not wanted or needed by friends and family, donating to a local charity or thrift store is a great option.
There are many worthy charities in Northwest Arkansas that will accept furniture in good condition. Tables, chairs, couches, bedroom sets, armoires, entertainment centers, and desks are great items to donate. Pots, pans, dishes, and glassware in usable condition are also usually donatable.
Please keep in mind that Arkansas State Board of Health prohibits the sell of second hand mattresses and therefor those items are usually not accepted as donations.
“A person shall not sell, offer for sale or include in a sale any article of secondhand bedding or any article of bedding manufactured in whole, or in part, from second-hand material, unless such bedding has been cleaned, stains and odors removed and germicidally treated by a method approved by the Department.”
Clothing and linens can typically be donated so long as they are gently used and still in good condition.
You may consider these charities for donating usable items in Northwest Arkansas. Each of these organization can offer you a donation receipt for your tax filing purposes.
- Goodwill Industries. “When you donate your new and gently used items, local Goodwill organizations sell them in stores or on shopgoodwill.com and use the revenue generated to provide valuable employment training and job placement services for people in your community.” You can find Goodwill Donation Centers in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville, Bella Vista, and Siloam Springs.
- Samaritan Community Center. SCC “operates two nonprofit resale stores, called Samaritan Shops, that are open to the public and sell gently used clothing, household items and furniture.” They use the funds from these sales to feed the hungry in Northwest Arkansas. You can donate at either of the NWA shop locations, Springdale or Rogers.
- Salvation Army. The Salvation Army serves a large population in Northwest Arkansas. Donations of goods and clothing support their mission. You can donate at any location or call 1-800-728-7825 to inquire about pick up of large donations.
- Helping Hands. This non-profit organization in Bentonville, AR is run as a partnership of 26 local churches. They accept donations of furniture, clothing, jewelry, and household items and the revenue from those sales supports their assistance program and food pantry for those in need. For donations of large items, they offer a pick-up service in Bentonville, Rogers, and Bella Vista. You can call (479)273-2511 for more information regarding their donation policies.
During the estate cleanout, you will find that there are some items that cannot be donated or disposed of. These include hazardous waste, appliances, and some electronics.
Estate cleanouts are not limited to items found inside the house. Sheds, garages, and out buildings must also be cleaned out. These locations often house lawn, garden, and household chemicals as well as other hazardous waste.
The Boston Mountain Solid Waste District offers a household hazardous waste program for local residents.
“Households contain many products which can be hazardous to the health of humans, animals, and the environment. Unused and leftover portions of these products are called household hazardous waste (HHW). Collection centers are located in Fayetteville, Prairie Grove, Springdale, Huntsville, and St. Paul.”
Items accepted include:
• Oil-based paint, paint thinner, mineral spirits, water sealant, and stain
• Fluorescent bulbs
• Automotive products
• Oil, antifreeze, fuel, oil filters
• Cleaning chemicals
• Aerosol cans
• Pool chemicals
• Pressurized containers
• Propane canisters (large & small) and helium tanks
• Thermometers, thermostats
• Medical Sharps
Visit their website for more details, regulations, contact information, and donation sites.
Televisions, computers, and outdated electronics that you are not able to donate should be recycled responsibly. Old appliances, especially those containing Freon, cannot simply be thrown away and should be recycled appropriately. Our Valet Trash Professionals blog offers these and other great resources and tips for recycling electronics and appliances in our area.
Recycling is a responsible and readily available option for electronic and appliance removal in NWA.
Best Buy customers can get rid of their old or unwanted appliances and electronics in several ways:
- Recycling kiosks — Every U.S. Best Buy store has kiosks, just inside the front doors, to drop off rechargeable batteries, wires, cords, cables and plastic bags.
- Recycling in store at the Customer Service counter — Best Buy stores accept most electronics, with a few exceptions. See the State-specific recycling information section on the the Electronics and Appliances Recycling page to view program details for your area.
- Appliance and TV haul-away and recycling options — Best Buy will haul away a major appliance or TV from your home for a fee of $19.99 when a replacement product is purchased and delivered by Geek Squad® or Best Buy Home Delivery. A $19.99 service fee will be charged for each appliance that is relocated within the delivery address.
- Reclaimed product from trade-in — If products cannot be refurbished or resold, Best Buy will ensure the products are responsibly recycled.
Earth 911 offers a free recycling directory. Just enter your zip code and they’ll provide a list of recycling resources in your area as well as guides for responsible recycling of common items.
Boston Mountain Solid Waste District offers various recycling options for Northwest Arkansas residents, including e-waste. They will accept “flat screen TVs, VCRs, DVDs, stereos, computer systems or single flat screen monitor or tower ” for $5.00 each. Older tube style televisions and monitors are accepted for a $10 fee. Non-freon appliances are accepted for free. Pick-up is not available. Please take note of their hours of operation and drop off locations.
Contact the trash provider for the estate to inquire about special programs that may be available for recycling and disposal.
Once all items of value have been safely stored, sold, donated, and all necessary items have been recycled, your estate cleanout will likely be left with junk, trash, and plenty of unwanted items. In this case, you may choose to rent a dumpster. You could contact your local trash provider for more information on their rates, rules, and regulations. Be sure to check with your municipality and/or neighborhood association regarding rules for where dumpsters can be parked and how long they can stay there. If you choose to rent a dumpster, the physical clean up and cleanout of the property will be your responsibility.
What you pay for this rental will vary depending on the company you’ve chosen. In most cases you rent the dumpster based on the size that you want and then you are billed for the tonnage that you put into it. Sometimes the rental fee includes a certain amount of tons of disposal and you are billed if you go over that amount.
Estate cleanout is difficult enough when the property concerned has been well cared for and is relatively tidy. Estate cleanout of a hoard is an even bigger task. You should take these things into consideration before proceeding with a hoard clean up.
- If human or animal waste is present, bio hazard precautions must be taken. Wear appropriate gear and dispose of waste appropriately.
- If the hoard is particularly large or has been accumulating for many years, the home’s structure may have been compromised. Proceed with caution and have an engineer examine the home if there is any question of safety.
- Dumpsters and trash containers fill up quickly. Schedule dumpsters accordingly and plan for the cost of each load of waste removed.
- Decide in advance if it is safe to salvage any items inside or if all items are to be disposed of.
- Schedule contractors or repairmen to make necessary repairs to the home and utilities to make future occupancy safe.
- Prepare for deep cleaning and disinfecting of the home as well as sanitizing any items to be saved and reused.
Large items of the estate, may be more difficult to dispose of. Sheds, outbuildings, hot tubs, swimming pools, and play structures will likely require disassembly or demolition if they are to be removed from the property. In addition to the necessary equipment to break these items down, you’ll need enough strong backs to load the debris into dumpsters or on to trailers for disposal.
PROPERTY CLEAN UP
Once the estate has been emptied of belongings, you will often find other concerns that need tending to. For example, flooring, cabinetry, and other fixtures may be dated or damaged beyond repair. You may find yard debris and other items that you did not anticipate. Don’t forget to account for these items when estimating the amount labor necessary or the space those things will take up in the dumpster.
PROFESSIONAL ESTATE CLEANOUT
Valet Trash Professionals has extensive experience in junk removal of all types. We have performed simple estate cleanouts as well as massive hoarding clean ups. No job is too big or small for our team and we are prepared to handle your job with respect, sensitivity, and professionalism.
We understand that when you are dealing with an estate cleanout, it can be an emotional and stressful time. Our team of professionals can help you with any level of the junk removal and clean up. If you have done the bulk of the sorting and organizing and just need us to haul away the leftovers and trash, we can do that. If you don’t know where to start and would like us to handle all the details, we can do that, too. You point, we’ll do the work. Our crew will work efficiently to sort through items as we load them into our dumpsters. Items such as appliances, paints, cleaning supplies, and tires that require recycling will be set aside and recycled appropriately, while other items, both large and small, will be loaded into our dumpsters for disposal.
Outside debris, demo, and haul off is no problem. From heavy equipment to our fleet of trucks and dumpsters, we have the proper equipment to get any job done.
Owner, Kyle McCarty is available to discuss the details of your estate cleanout at your convenience. You can reach him via text or phone call at (479) 236-4981 or via the contact form on our website.
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