A Caregiver’s Guide: Tips for Cleaning Your Parents’ Home

Updated on December 21, 2022
A Caregiver’s Guide: Tips for Cleaning Your Parents’ Home

As our parents age, they often need more help with daily tasks, which usually means moving out of their homes. Whether your folks go into an assisted living home or move in with you, there’s one major task to deal with—cleaning out their house. You’ll have to sort through sentimental belongings, clothing, and furniture. In the information below, we’ve laid out the top tips for cleaning your parents’ home.

Enlist Some Help

This is a family project, and everyone can help. First, talk with your siblings about the ideal day to clear out your parents’ home. Leaving one person to take care of everything often leads to sore feelings. Ask other relatives or family friends if you don’t have siblings or they don’t live close enough to help out. Cleaning out a house is a significant task, and the more people you have helping, the more efficient things will go.

Make a Plan

Set a timeline for when you’d like to complete everything, and designate each individual to do specific tasks. Aim to divide things up by room so that you can keep things moving according to your timeline. Depending on the size, one month may be ideal, but if it’s a multi-story house, this period may not be long enough. When creating a schedule, you’ll have to consider work and other life circumstances.

As you plan, also think about what you’ll do with everything. There will be some items you hold onto, but you may need to donate, sell, or throw away others. Search for local charities in your area where you can donate any gently used belongings.

Rent a Dumpster

The next tip for cleaning your parents’ home is to rent a dumpster. With a roll-off dumpster, you can dispose of worn-out furniture and other clutter in the house. A 20-yard dumpster is usually ideal for cleaning out a medium-sized home. When searching for roll-off dumpster companies, verify what you can and can’t place into the dumpster to avoid any fines.

Sort Sentimental Items

Create a separate pile for sentimental items. While you may want to hold onto many belongings, you can’t keep everything. One way to ease the process of donating sentimental items is to evaluate what makes them special.

For instance, a painting your mother made is worth holding onto, but you can probably part with a vase she bought years ago and loved. The key is determining what makes the object unique to you and your family.

Update the House

Once you clear everything out, it’s time to inspect the home and decide what renovations are necessary. Is the paint chipped? Are carpets stained? Since you’ll likely sell the house, all areas should look up-to-date so that the property can compete with other homes on the market.

Consider hiring a Realtor to get the best idea of what updates you need to make. Saying goodbye to the old home can be challenging, especially if you grew up there, but having your parents somewhere where it’s easier to care for them is best.