Abelia Services a locally run small business that specializes in estate cleanouts; removing and determining the best placement for personal property of deceased or incapacitated loved one's that is no longer wanted. We serve Virginia's Shenandoah Valley from Harrisonburg to Winchester and all nearby localities.

Abelia Services provides affordable and professional cleanout options to families and estate administrators dealing with a loved one’s personal property.

When a loved one is placed in assisted living or passes it can be difficult determining what to do with their possessions prior to preparing and listing the home for sale. Often times survivors live far away and have a hard time locating and dealing with cleanout companies in that location.

After removing treasured belongings one asks themselves, “What do I do with what’s left?”

Donating to charity is one great option. The things you donate help the very neighborhood your loved one lived in. By reusing and recycling locally, you’re giving neighbors a chance to put great items to good use. 

What is left is what Abelia Services can help you with. We recycle all content that we can; helping the environment and not filling up our landfills. We re-sell good items at reasonable prices to people who will value your loved one’s former possessions. And finally, when there are no other options we dispose of what remains safely.

How to contact us:

We can help you with dealing with the property of a local estate – no matter where you live.

You can reach us by phone at 540-860-0606.

You can reach us by email at: estatecleanouts@abeliasrvcs.com

You can also reach us by completing a secure contact form: Abelia Services Estate Cleanouts Secure Contact Form.

Estimates:

Estimates are free. Depending on the jobs complexity and the customers wish, estimates may be performed on site, over the phone, and/or through email.

If an on site estimate is not possible, we love having customer pictures of a job. For simplicity, you can text  pictures to us at 540-860-0606. You can also email your pictures.

 

Scheduling:

Jobs are scheduled on a first-come first-served basis once an estimate/ proposal is agreed upon. 

 

Payment:

Payment is due in full upon work completion. Some clean-outs may require a “secure the date” deposit.

We accept cash, personal check, and all major credit cards. Apple pay is also accepted on site.

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Cleaning Out a Deceased Loved One’s Possessions: 12 Tips to Make the Process a Little Easier

Preparation and pacing can help make the unbearable task of sorting a loved one’s belongings possible. Before you begin the process, you will want to gather your supplies. Plenty of boxes labeled “Keep,” “Discard/Trash,” and “Donate,” permanent markers, gloves, and garbage bags. Ask friends to help you with this important and difficult step. Make sure to set aside plenty of time to complete the task before you begin. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep the night before sorting. Remember; you will survive this.

No matter how well you prepare, cleaning out a loved one’s home, bedroom, or even closet can be a very stressful experiences. When you may be ready to sort through your loved one’s belongings will vary based on so many factors, including the relationship of the loss. A grandson will likely have an easier time cleaning out a beloved grandmother’s pantry than a mother would sorting through her son’s childhood stuffed animals. Remember that just as each relationship is unique, so is each grief journey. Don’t let others judge you for how long (or short) the time period is before you feel ready to take on this task

Below are some tips to help smooth the process, and hopefully create order and harmony during a stressful, heartbreaking time:

1. Place what you keep in a special place: Choose a place of honor to hold or display the treasured objects you keep to remember your loved one, and discard those things that aren’t either immediately useful or sentimentally important.

2. Clearly mark what you have sorted: As you sort, clearly label the bags or boxes to donate, and set them obviously aside. Do not let the boxes become mingled with keepsakes, or you may feel compelled to resort everything again, to make sure nothing is lost.

3. Items set aside for others should be given as soon as possible: It is not your job to find the perfect new home for every book, boot, or tennis racket. If a relative or close friend has requested something particular, or you think of an obvious new home, try to mail it that same day. If you haven’t sent the item after a week, think about donating it. Trust that the universe will find the right person who needs the items you donate.

4. Set concrete limits on how much to keep: Decide how much room you have in your own home, and set concrete limits of how much to keep, such as “20 books, one set of dishes, six items of clothing.” By creating limits in specific categories, it will be easier to choose what is most important and hopefully not become overwhelmed with sheer quantities. This is especially true for collections — choose your favorite three of Grandma’s ceramic cats, don’t feel like you must keep all 258 kitties just because she loved them.

5. Tackle the project in steps: Don’t try to do it all at once, or after eight hours you may be exhausted and traumatized and still not done, and reluctant to try again. This closet, room, or home full of things took a lifetime to gather and can’t be packed up in one day.

6. Do not feel guilty about discarding or donating things:The important things to keep are your memories. The rest of the “stuff” served your loved one well, and it is not your responsibility to keep it forever and ever. Your loved one filled his or her home with objects that were pretty or useful to him or her. If they are not pretty or useful to you, donate them without guilt.

7. Take pictures of items you want to remember but that are not practical to keep.

8. When sorting, move from easy to hard: Start with the items that are easiest to discard, to create momentum and clear space. Go through the house with a garbage bag and discard old socks and underwear, lidless Tupperware, soap and Q-tips, magazines and opened food items. If something is broken or stained, throw it away.

9. Try not to read every piece of paper as you sort: As you sort, put all papers in one box or bin to sort later. Don’t stop and evaluate every greeting card, play program or receipt. You can download a scanner app to your phone to make electronic copies of papers you don’t need to keep physical copies of (But of course always keep paper versions of official records like birth certificates, military discharge papers, or deeds).

10. Weigh value as you sort: As you think about items to weed or to keep, reflect on the cost of keeping the items, and set limits. What is the cost to your own psychic wellbeing to fill your home with a relative’s belongings? What is the financial cost of keeping a storage unit to maintain a home’s worth of belongings, going unused? What is the time cost and physical toll of reshuffling your own storage space, and filling garages, attics, and sheds with boxes of things? Sometimes people decide to store boxes and boxes of things because they cannot bear to sort through it presently — ask yourself, “If not now, when?” before investing in storing items.

11. Sentimental value often differs from monetary value: Items may not be worth as much as you think they are. The dining room table and chairs where you and Nana and Mom and Dad spent every Thanksgiving may be irreplaceable to you, but be prepared to let it go if the goal is to clear out the house. Sometimes families are unwilling to sell an antique dresser for $500 when they wanted and expected $700, and end up spending $1,500 on storage costs (at $100/month) before giving it away in exasperation.

12. Set a timeframe and stick to it: Create a timeframe to finish the entire project. Clearing a house may take several months of weekends. You don’t want to be too rushed, but you also don’t want to let things stagnate.

Your memories of your loved ones and relationships with family are more important than things, so choose only those belongings that have sentimental value to you. Pick your battles wisely when two relatives want the same item. Try to choose things to keep that you want to display in your home, or keep in a keepsake box, perhaps in a Memory Corner with photos.

Credit: Gloria Horsley; Huffpost

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