Cleaning Tasks to Cover After the Death of a Family Member

Cleaning Tasks to Cover After the Death of a Family Member

Cleaning Tasks to Cover After the Death of a Family Member

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The demise of a loved one whom you took care of at home can be exceptionally hard. Apart from missing the physical presence of your beloved, you also deal with the change in your daily life rhythm due to the absence.

Needless to say, moving on may not be something you want to do right away. But when you find yourself ready to finally let go, the first thing you need to do is to tidy up. And given how emotional this process may become, it will help to hire professional home cleaners to help you out.

Making Cleanup Easier

Professional home cleaners can make the job significantly easier because they are emotionally detached. But at the same time, they will go about the different tasks upon your instruction.

With a professional cleaner on hand to assist you, you can create a safe distance between you and the act of letting go but still achieve the goal of restoring a sense of normalcy back into your home.

Most importantly, a professional home cleaning service has the skills and equipment for the fastest and most effective accomplishment of the task at hand. However, as mentioned earlier, it is important for them to go about the job with your guidance. So, what should you include in the cleaning job?

Crucial Cleaning Tasks

1. Decluttering

It is important to get rid of the items at home that used to be part of the daily routine with the family member who has passed on. For example, if there are pieces of medical equipment such as a ventilator and oxygen tank sitting in the house, you need to get rid of them.

While decluttering, better determine as well what items that used to belong to the departed you would want to hold on to, pass on and throw away. Take your time with this and fully establish the value of the items so you will not regret your final decision about these things.

2. Sanitization

You probably made sure that the space your sick loved one occupied was always clean, but the common issue about that is it creates that hospital-like scent and atmosphere not appropriate to a home.

After decluttering, make sure to clean the area with a strong anti-bacterial solution to get rid of lingering bacteria and germs, and specifically target the following:

  • Floor
  • Walls
  • Windows
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Furniture

Also, sterilize those items that your deceased loved one once used. Plates, eating utensils, glasses, and others should be washed and dried separately to prevent the proliferation of harmful pathogens.

3. Pest control

When you are cleaning up, it helps tackle pest issues as well. You do not always need to but since you are already in the process of putting things back in their proper order, directing attention toward a somewhat related cleanliness issue is worth considering so you get to hit two birds with one stone, so to speak.

4. Deodorization

Get rid of that hospital-like scent by airing out the room. Afterward, use an aroma diffuser or scent your cleaning products with a few drops of refreshing essential oils. You can also use scented candles to neutralize any lingering smells.

Side Tip: If you want a homier and more natural way to deodorize, put plants in the room. Plants can absorb scents and clean the air. Plus, some of them have their own unique smell to them as well. And, you will like the lively feel they can add to the space.

5. Laundry

Bed sheets, pillows, pillow cases, blankets, comforters, drapes, and other fabric pieces used in the vacated room should be washed thoroughly and separately especially if the former occupant was sick.

Learn washing tricks that can get rid of germs effectively such as using hot water and a specific kind of laundry detergent to thoroughly sanitize these items.

6. Determining the space’s new function

If it’s a bedroom, you can turn it into an office, a den, or a new guest bedroom.

You will be able to organize the room better after you have determined its new function. You will know what items to retain and what need to be put away or given to someone who would have better use for them.

Although these are only six tasks, they demand meticulous attention to accomplish. So, make sure that you are prepared physically and emotionally.

Create a Convenient Cleaning Schedule

Psychologists advise taking it slow – meaning breaking down the whole tidying up task into manageable pieces. You do not have to do everything (even with the help of hired cleaners) in a single day.

If you want, you can schedule cleaning every weekend so you can get other people involved in the process as well.

Say, on the day of decluttering, call in other family members. It may become easier to section off the belongings of your departed loved one because you have people who also care helping you make some decisions. They may even want to take some of the items already so you will have fewer things to worry about.

Cleaning Up Is Its Own Reward

The best reward of a well-planned cleanup after the death of a loved one is it creates room in your home and life for honoring good memories.

You can create a shrine or memory wall. These just hold beautiful memories and not the things left behind. Like others, you may find this to be a better and highly effective way of keeping that special person who has gone alive in your life. It will let you focus more on the good times with your deceased loved one instead of the difficult and painful journey to the end.

Once you have created something to remember your loved one by, you will discover that moving on would be relatively easier.

It Is Not Easy But It Needs to Be Done

Letting go is hard. It takes time. But you cannot remain stuck in grief, so give yourself enough time to feel how and what you need to feel.

Once you believe you are okay, begin the cleanup process. The task always proves cathartic and you may find yourself feeling more at peace when the process is done.


Mohamed Samad is the Founder & CEO of Matic Services. He started the company in 2016 after a series of small start-ups within the home services sector. Prior to that, Mohamed was Vice President at Greenstone Equity Partners, where he spent 24 months building the UAE business from 2011-2013 with its founder.


Teresa Sabo

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