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0208 684 0401

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    House Clearance Guide

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    Clearing a house after the death of a loved one

    We understand that it can be an incredibly difficult time when a loved one passes away, and often, the last thing you’ll want to do is start clearing out their house. If their home was privately owned, you’ll have plenty of time to meticulously sort through their belongings, making the situation a little easier to deal with. However, if they lived in rented accommodation, you’ll more than likely be against the clock when it comes to clearing out the house.

    In a bid to help make the process a little easier for you, we have compiled a small list of things to consider when clearing out the house of a loved one:

    Click on the green and yellow hotspots to find out what you can and can't put in a skip.

    Isometric house illustration

    Kitchen

    • Pots and pans – these can be placed in one of our skips together with ceramics.
    • Wallpaper – together with old tiles, wallpaper can be disposed of in one of our skips.
    • Laminate – this type of flooring can be taken up and disposed of in one of our skips.
    • Gas cooker/oven – once professionally de-gassed, gas appliances can go in a skip.
    • Washing machines – as soon as it’s been completely disconnected, it can go in a skip.
    • Sinks – metal and ceramic sinks can go in one of our skips.
    • Fittings – cupboards, drawers and shelves can be placed in a skip.
    • White goods – white goods and other electrical appliances cannot go in a skip, they should be taken to WEEE recycling facilities instead.
    • Fridges and freezers – being electrical goods, these should be taken to a WEEE recycling facility and not placed in a skip.

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    Living Room

    • Sofas – these can be placed in one of our skips together with armchairs.
    • Wallpaper – old wallpaper can be disposed of in one of our skips.
    • Carpet – along with any unwanted rugs, carpet can be thrown into one of our skips.
    • Mirrors – if undamaged, these can be disposed of in a skip.
    • Furniture – a variety of furniture can be placed in a skip.
    • Plasterboard – this cannot be mixed with organic waste, therefore, it must go to a dedicated site with separate containment cells which holds this type of waste.
    • Light bulbs – typically, these aren’t allowed to mix with general waste, instead, take them to your local waste facility for safe disposal.
    • Televisions – these count as electrical items and so must be taken to a WEEE recycling facility and not placed in a skip.
    • Batteries – these can’t be placed in a skip and so must be taken to your local waste facility for safe disposal. Some supermarkets also provide battery recycling facilities, so keep an eye out.

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    Dining Room

    • Ceramics – these can be placed in one of our skips together with tiles.
    • Wallpaper – old wallpaper can be put in one of our skips.
    • Carpet – along with any unwanted rugs, carpet can be placed in a skip.
    • Mirrors – if undamaged, these can be disposed of in a skip.
    • Furniture – tables, chairs shelving units and a variety of other furniture can be placed in a skip.
    • Plasterboard – this cannot be mixed with organic waste, therefore, it must go to a dedicated site with separate containment cells which holds this type of waste.
    • Light bulbs – typically, these aren’t allowed to mix with general waste, instead, take them to your local waste facility for safe disposal.
    • Electrical items – these should not be put in a skip, instead they must be taken to a WEEE recycling facility.

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    Bedroom

    • Wallpaper – old wallpaper can be disposed of in one of our skips.
    • Carpet – carpet can be disposed of in one of our skips together with old rugs.
    • Bed frames – along with a variety of different furniture, bed frames can be placed in a skip
    • Mattresses – these can be disposed of in a skip for a small additional fee.
    • Plasterboard – this cannot be mixed with general waste, and so must be taken to a dedicated site with separate containment cells to manage this type of waste.
    • Light bulbs – these must be taken to your local waste facility for safe disposal. Typically, light bulbs aren’t allowed to mix with general waste.
    • Televisions – TVs must be taken to a WEEE recycling facility and not put in a skip.
    • Batteries – these must be taken to your local waste facility for safe disposal and not placed in a skip. Keep an eye out in your supermarket for a battery recycling receptacle.

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    Bathroom

    • Wallpaper – wallpaper can be disposed of in one of our skips.
    • Laminate – along with carpet, laminate flooring can be disposed of in one of our skips.
    • Tiles – along with ceramics, tiles can be put in a skip.
    • Sinks – metal and ceramic sinks are permitted for disposal in one of our skips.
    • Bath tubs – metal and ceramic baths can be put in a skip
    • Toilets – unless told otherwise, toilets can be disposed of in a skip.
    • Mirrors – if undamaged, these can be disposed of in a skip.
    • Fittings – drawers, cupboards and shelves can be thrown into one of our skips.
    • Fluorescent tubes – these must be taken to your local waste facility, along with other light bulbs, for safe disposal as opposed to being placed in a skip.
    • Electrical items – these should be taken to a WEEE recycling facility and not thrown in a skip.
    • Medication – these should be given into your local pharmacist and never thrown away, or flushed down the toilet. This goes for both unused and expired medication.

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    Attic

    • Wallpaper – wallpaper can be disposed of in one of our skips.
    • Carpet – this particular type of flooring can be disposed of in one of our skips.
    • Wood – along with ceramics and tiles, wood can be put in a skip.
    • Cardboard boxes – preferably, these should be recycled using your at-home waste management solution, together with paper. However, they can be put in a skip.
    • Suitcases – as long as they have been emptied and do not contain any hazardous or electrical items, these can be thrown into one of our skips
    • Mirrors – if undamaged, these can be disposed of in a skip.
    • Furniture – old pieces of furniture can be disposed of in one of our skips.
    • Light bulbs – along with fluorescent tubes, these must be taken to your local waste facility for safe disposal as opposed to being placed in a skip.
    • Electrical items – these should be taken to a WEEE recycling facility and not thrown in a skip.

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    Garage

    • Tiles – these can be put in a skip along with ceramics.
    • Furniture – old pieces of furniture can be put into one of our skips.
    • Fittings – any cupboards, drawers and old shelves can be disposed of in one of our skips.
    • Electrical items – instead of placing these in a skip, they should be taken to a WEEE recycling facility, this includes power tools.
    • Aerosols – check with your local council as to whether they can be recycled at a local facility as these cannot be disposed of in a skip.
    • Gas canisters – these must either be returned to the supplier or taken to a household waste centre for recycling. These cannot be disposed of in one of our skips.
    • Paint cans – whether empty or full, we do not accept paint cans.
    • Tyres – old tyres can be recycled or donated, so contact your local council to find out more. However, you cannot dispose of them in one of our skips.
    • Car batteries – these must be disposed of at a hazardous waste centre and cannot be placed in one of our skips.

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    Garden

    • Ceramics – ceramics can be put in a skip along with old tiles.
    • Soil – feel free to load up one of our skips with your unwanted excess soil after a landscaping project.
    • Bricks – along with rubble, bricks can be disposed of in one of our skips.
    • Slabs – garden slabs and hardcore material are permitted for skip disposal.
    • Foliage/plant matter – branches and other plant matter can be thrown into one of our skips.
    • Fertilisers – search for a local household hazardous waste facility to take leftover fertiliser to. Empty fertiliser containers must be taken there as well. Neither can be disposed of in one of our skips.
    • Pesticides – pesticides, together with any empty containers, must be taken to your local hazardous waste facility and not disposed of in one of our skips.
    • Electrical items – lawn mowers, hedge trimmers and garden strimmers, along with other electrical items should be taken to a WEEE waste recycling facility and disposed of responsibly.

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    Secure the property

    Whether it’s privately owned or rented accommodation, steps should be taken to ensure the premises is safe and secure. You never know who has spare keys to the property, so for extra peace of mind, change the locks as opposed to chasing duplicate keys.

    Nothing screams a vacant house like a visible pile of mail and periodicals that have slowly accumulated over a considerable amount of time. Redirect or forward the post to your own address, or make regular visits to collect them. This will help to keep burglars away, too.

    Locate important documents

    This task can prove to be difficult and very time consuming, especially when the person who has recently passed hasn’t told you where any of it can be found. Sometimes they can be hidden in the strangest of places, so don’t rule any locations out. Significantly important documents include:

    • Homeowners insurance policy
    • A will
    • Life insurance policy
    • Bank statements
    • Other financial documents, including private savings, shares etc
    • Birth/marriage certificates
    • Sentimental documents such as letters, diaries, poems etc

    Sort through personal belongings

    This will most likely be the most difficult part of clearing out your loved one’s house. Start by making three or four piles: to keep, to sell, to donate, to throw away. If you have the luxury of time, then don’t rush this process, it’s important that you’re hanging on to and throwing away the appropriate items – you wouldn’t want to mix them up!

    Preparing the house for a new resident

    If the property was privately owned:

    Take items off the walls, take down window dressings, patch up the walls, replace dated light fittings, patch up cracks in the ceiling, remove pet-related items and then give the place a thorough clean. This will allow a prospective buyer to see the property’s maximum potential.

    It’s also important to be aware that if your loved one died in the house, you may be required to disclose this.

    If the property was rented:

    It’s always best to ask the estate agents or landlord what to do here. Your loved one would have signed a contract which should outline the condition in which the house should be left in once the premises is vacated. Often, it’s expected that the house be left in the condition in which it was found, so it’s best to ensure the place is clean and undamaged. But ask the estate agent, landlord or simply look over the contract, just to be sure.

    Waste management solutions and disposal

    Despite there being numerous companies that offer their house clearance services, friends and relatives generally prefer to carry out house clearances themselves, making it a more personal experience. If this is what you’re planning to do, there’ll be items you’ll either want to keep for their sentimental value, or respectfully dispose of.

    Generally, skips are hired to take care of unwanted or damaged items. From wheelie bins that can hold up to 5 bags of rubbish to large-scale 8 yard skips, we’ll have a solution that is right for you, no matter how much you wish to dispose of.

    Here at Hinton’s, we have over a decade of experience in the waste disposal industry. We continue to pride ourselves on the service delivered by our team of highly experienced and professional specialists. If you’re carrying out a house clearance and are in need of a waste management solution, contact us today. We have a range of skips in various sizes available for hire in Croydon, Sutton and South London.

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