what to do with all the furniture etc?

hi guys

I am after a bit of advice/help please

basically,my dad who is 79 and who is on his own,since mum passed away in June had a stroke a few months ago,and has been in hospital ever since,it has taken his left side and according to the physios it is very unlikely there will be any improvement as he had various other things wrong and had to keep being taken from the rehabilitation place back to hospital which hindered his physio.

he can't do anything for himself,not even get out of bed,so upon doctor/social services recommendation he has to go to a nursing home,which he is fine about as he understands he can't manage at all.

he lives in a 3 bed housing association house and a little savings.I am an only child so it falls to me to empty the house of all the furniture,I work full time and don't live in the town the house is in.I was going to just go and get personal stuff,stuff dad will need,tv for his room etc,then get a house clearance company in.
apart from loading it into a van and taking it to the local furniture saleroom(we are not talking antiques here)that is my only option as far as I can see........but its then finding the time to go and sort all that and get it there.
there is the ebay/freecycle route but then you have to be hanging about for people to turn up and collect stuff.

i understand house clearance companies you pay them and they just remove everything

there is a help for heroes charity warehouse in town and if you donate the stuff to them they will clear it....pressumably free?

are there companies or whatever that come in,price it up,give you the money and take the stuff away or am i being naive?it just seems a shame as dad has very little savings that I am just giving away 79 years worth of his stuff for nothing

any bright ideas folk?


  • oscarward
    oscarward Posts: 894 Forumite
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    It's a sad fact that second hand furniture is largely valueless unless antique or by a well known manufacturer and solid wood.

    When my mother died we had to dispose of the furniture she had acquired with all my childhood memories. We eventually found a charity which would take certain items they thought might sell but the majority of things like sideboards and wardrobes went to the tip.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,007 Forumite
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    Some charities might do house clearance without charging, it will be a case of phoning around to find out. but oscar's right, secondhand furniture is rarely high value, and in some cases cannot be sold at all - eg anything upholstered MUST have the right fire labels.

    Personally I wouldn't contemplate loading a van myself, because if when you get to the saleroom they reject most of what's on board, you are then left with a 'what next?' situation. It's very unlikely you'd be able to take what was left to the local tip, because most don't allow vans over a certain size in, and even smaller ones may have to be pre-registered.

    It must be very hard for you, but tbh the best thing you can do to protect Dad's savings is probably get the place cleared ASAP so that you can give notice to the HA.

    One thing you might find useful, unless you have a partner or good friend who would help with all this, is to consider using a professional de-cluttering service local to your Dad. Having someone experienced helping with the sorting out might save a lot of time, and they may also be able to advise on the best places for disposal.
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  • Biggles
    Biggles Posts: 8,209 Forumite
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    We had Mum's house cleared, it cost around £500. That seems to be fairly typical.
  • Goldiegirl
    Goldiegirl Posts: 8,805 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler Hung up my suit!
    I had my parents house cleared for £350, but this was 10 years ago.

    No doubt they made a profit out of it, as, although the furniture was old, and of no value to anyone, some of the contents would have been saleable.

    But, I don't begrudge them a penny of the £350.

    The stuff had to be cleared, I had a lot on my plate at the time so couldn't do it all myself. So I paid for a service and they did an excellent job.

    While they were doing it, I went off and did something else, as I didn't want to see my parents stuff carted off.

    But it was the right thing to do at the time. I did keep some of their nicer stuff, which I bought home with me. But over the years I have gone through it, and only kept the things that have a real sentimental value. The rest I re homed by eBay and I'm happy that other people are now enjoying them
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
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  • Is there a local auction house? Friend of mine got theirs round to check out her mother's house and was extremely helpful, indicating what may sell and willing to take and what not.

    She was very surprised at what he took to sell - some of it she would have dumped on local tip.
  • Ilona
    Ilona Posts: 2,449 Forumite
    There has been a couple of houses near me that have been cleared due to elderly person moving into a care home, and a downsizing where they couldn't take it all with them. They had a skip on the front, and left useful items outside the skip with a notice on, 'Free to take'. A lot of things did get taken from both skips, a lot of it by me, with permission of course. A few bits and bobs for my own use, but most of it to pass on to charity shops, because I can't bare to see useful things dumped.

    A skip would be your cheapest option but you would have to load it yourself. You would need to break the large stuff down so it could all fit in and go in one load, to keep the cost down.

    If the house is in a built up area, you could put a notice in a shop window saying you are having a garage sale. Get everything out on the front, and ask for offers. You would still have to dispose of what's left.
    I love skip diving.
  • SailorSam
    SailorSam Posts: 22,754 Forumite
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    It seems a shame but i wonder if someone like the Boy Scouts would come and take it for their bonfire as it's nearing Nov 5th
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  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,007 Forumite
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    SailorSam wrote: »
    It seems a shame but i wonder if someone like the Boy Scouts would come and take it for their bonfire as it's nearing Nov 5th
    Probably not: health and safety - you don't know what finishes are on the wood or if it's a plastic composite, you can't burn soft furnishings etc etc etc.
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  • zygurat789
    zygurat789 Posts: 4,263 Forumite
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    Freecycle maybe
    The only thing that is constant is change.
  • Norman_Castle
    Norman_Castle Posts: 11,871 Forumite
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    Phone the Help for Heroes warehouse and ask exactly what they want and how to arrange collection. Others here. https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=local+charity+furniture+collections&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb&gfe_rd=cr&ei=q85AVOK0GsGq8wfE-4CYDQ

    As for the furniture contents, tip out a drawer at a time, take out anything of value and anything you want to take home. Split the rest into donate, recycle or bin piles. 10 minutes maximum per drawer.

    It may seem brutal binning your dads stuff but as with most people, most of it was probably unnoticed by him for the last 20 years.
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