When my father died, it was no surprise as he had been ill with cancer for almost two years. However, although he had got his affairs in order as much as possible during the last six months of his life, the job of going through his belongings and deciding what to keep and what to throw out was difficult and emotional.
My dad had lived in a lovely house just 10 minutes’ walk from Domain Park. His house had a garden and two sheds full of what can best be described as “stuff.” He had collected several vintage motorbikes in his time, and the sheds were full of buckets containing parts of engines; bolts, nuts and various pieces of metals filled the space alongside rusty old tools, piles of ancient motorbike magazines and rags.
Needless to say, this part of our dad’s life meant little to my sister and me – and as both of us lived in apartments that were already filled with our own families belongings, it was clear we would not be keeping many of my father’s possessions; other than a few keepsakes that held sentimental value.
Because he knew his death was not too distant, dad had sold of his belongings that had any monetary value prior to his death. I guess he rightly thought it would save us a lot of hassle and as he knew the true worth of the items was able to secure far better deals than we would have.
My sister and I ended up spending a week at his house, washing all our dad’s clothing, bedding and soft furnishings and then distributing them between various charities. We packed his ornaments, lamps, mirrors and small furniture items into boxes, and took these to a charity shop in nearby George Street. We rowed quite a bit while doing this – looking back it was not because we really disagreed on what we should do with dad’s belongings – we were just upset and had a huge task on our hands at a time when we would have been better off at home, or spending time with our partners and children.
Perhaps the worst part of the process was going through my dad’s papers. We found letters he had swapped with my mum before they married. Our mother had died when we were in our teens, and we had never been aware the letters existed. Our dad obviously wanted us to read them or he would have destroyed them – and while we will probably want to reread at some point in the distant future, reading them so soon after his death was very poignant.
In retrospect, we should have called in www.cheaprubbishremovallondon.co.uk but we only learned about them after the event. Although we were aware there are rubbish removal companies we could have called; we did not know that we could have called the services of professionals who are trained to deal with clearing properties after the owner has died. They do not simply go into the place and dump everything into bags as we had imagined but will work with you to help you decide if items should be sold, donated, recycled or given away. They will then clear the remainder of the estate in a considerate fashion, so within the shortest possible time the home can be put up or sale if this is the route you will take.
Hopefully, I will not be a position anytime soon that I will need to look into this kind of service – but if you are dealing with the loss of a parent or other close family member, I definitely advise you to take this route rather than trying to tackle the task without help.