Thursday, July 21, 2011

What Is The First Step In Cleaning Out Your Elderly Parents House?

How Do You Begin Cleaning Out An Older Adult's House?

How do you know when going through 25, 40, 50 plus years of mom and dad's stuff, what are the keepers? what needs to be tossed? and what gets passed on? For many adult children, before they even call in a consultant they often are asked by mom and pop to check out the common storage areas. This review of the project(s) ahead is what I refer to as the "looking phase". I consider this step an exploratory visit to determine what it is that is "down under" (basement) or " above" (attic).

The "Looking Phase"

Clean outs are always a major family dilemma for adult children or grandchildren faced with the overwhelming task of sorting through and dispersing of the "treasures" in mom and dad's house. You may of course decide that you need to bring in a professional, but perhaps you are just beginning to take a look at things. How should you approach the "looking phase".

Wear Proper Gear When Doing Clean Outs: Hello Rubber Gloves

First I would encourage all of you to dress in the proper gear when you go snooping around basements, attics and garages that have not seen "the light of day" in quite some time. Pack along plenty of flashlights and bring light bulbs with you. Don't forget the rubber gloves or surgical gloves and wear clothing that you will not worry about ever again.

Do You have Rubber Boots?

Don't laugh, but I tell people to wear rubber boots when they are going down to basements that have not been kept up in years . Oh, I almost forgot.....bring along a disposable surgical can get pretty damp, musty, dusty etc in basements (and attics or garages). This is not a job for wimps or for folks with health conditions.

Keep Mom And Dad Safe: Fall Risks

And by all means.....keep your parents safe, especially parents who may be at risk for falling. Fragile older adults belong relaxed on the couch in the living room. If mom and or dad are eager to see what they have ignored for 25 years or more, take some pictures, but keep them out of danger's way.

By the way, if you and your family are not up for this type of adventure...and you have the funds to do so....hire some help.

Read more in Estate Mavens
Photo are courtesy of The Junk Shop Of Canton, Canton Ct. Eric is a great resource for clean outs.

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro café.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Society of Professional Journalists


  1. That was really a great article. I have not had to go through this task yet, but I expect that that day will come and I will have these great tips to remember.

  2. You are sharing informative articles about Cleaning Out Your Elderly Parents House. I totally inspired from your hard-work. if you and your family are not up for this type of adventure...and you have the funds to do so....hire some help and contact Junk House Clearance London.