by Nick Vassilev
If you’ve ever read “The Hiding Place” (the biography of Dutch Resistance activist and preacher Corrie Ten Boom), you may remember the scene where one of the aunties receives the news that her long-term illness has taken a turn for the worse and she is going to die. After bursting into tears, Auntie then starts cleaning her rooms up, saying that “I’m not going to leave a mess behind for other people to clean up.” Unfortunately, no matter how clean and tidy someone is in life, there will still be something left behind to clean up, whether or not their ultimate moving out is expected or sudden.
Cleaning up after someone has died – the ultimate end of tenancy cleaning – is always an emotionally tough job for those close to the recently deceased person. What makes it harder a lot of the time is that there is usually pressure to do the job fairly quickly for one reason or another. Perhaps Great-Auntie was living in a rental property and her former landlord, while sympathetic to a point, wants to let the place out again as soon as possible. Perhaps you can only get a certain amount of time off work and you’ve had to travel from the other side of the country, the Atlantic or the world to clean up after your recently deceased relative. Or perhaps you would simply like to get the house nice and clean so that you can put it on the market as part of settling the estate.
It’s emotionally tough as well, going through a recently deceased relative’s house to clean it. There will be all those little odds and ends that bring back memories that you’d like to take time to relish. There will also be those moments of pathos when you have to tidy away something that was half-finished or was going to be done but never was. Ed Sheeran got it right in the song “Supermarket Flowers” about the emotional impact of doing little clean-up jobs like pouring old lemonade down the sink (that song hits me right in the feels every time– pass the tissues).
Having A Plan for Cleaning After A Bereavement
There are two basic reactions to doing the “ultimate end of tenancy cleaning” work. The first is a sense of being overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. This feeling can be particularly overwhelming if Great-Auntie wasn’t like Ms Ten Boom’s aunt and was more of a hoarder and didn’t worry about leaving a mess behind for others to clean up. At the other end of the spectrum, you may be one who finds the act of cleaning therapeutic and a soothing part of the grieving process.
Wherever you fall on the continuum between “I just can’t face it” and “Nobody shall see or handle Great-Aunt’s things except me”, you need to have some sort of strategy in mind. This strategy will vary from situation to situation, but here’s some questions that you need to consider:
- Is there a time limit?
- Who’s available to help you do the job, including relatives and professional cleaners?
- What’s going to happen to the house/flat?
- How much stuff did your late relative have and what sort of stuff was it (useful or junk)?
In a lot of cases, it can be a good idea to separate the task into two stages. The first stage involves getting everything out of the house and cleaning the building itself. This is probably what you need to do first, especially if Great-Auntie was living in a rental property and the landlord needs the place vacated. Most landlords aren’t completely stony-hearted and will give you a bit of time, but he or she does need to make a pound or so on his/her investment so can’t wait forever. It can be useful to have the landlord on hand during the cleaning out stage if possible, particularly in the case of a furnished property so nobody takes the landlord’s bits and pieces away along with Great-Auntie’s best china.
If your relative was one of those hoarders, then a good cleaning company will be able to help you with this clearing out stage. Cleaners aren’t stupid or stony-hearted and although they’ll be ruthless about throwing out Great-Auntie’s hoard of plastic bags, junk mail and used ice cream containers, they probably won’t throw out her jewellery or best china. It can be a good idea to talk to the professional end of tenancy cleaners before they begin about rough guidelines for dealing with the stuff. Leave the cleaners to it while they’re at work. They will be ruthless and efficient as well as detached. They won’t burst into a puddle of tears when tipping half-finished cups of tea down the sink, but you might.
The second stage involves the cleaning itself – dusting, polishing, vacuuming and all the rest of it. This is more or less like regular end of tenancy cleaning or spring cleaning, and can be less emotional. Again, a lot of people like to get a professional cleaning company in to do this part of the process, providing a bit of space for sorting through Great-Auntie’s things and deciding what to do with them and finding out which relatives would like what.
Anyclean’s End of Tenancy Cleaning Services
Whether you have to clean up a property after bereavement or whether you just need to clean the rental property before you move out or before you rent the flat or house out again, it’s good to have a team of professional cleaners to help you. This is where Anyclean comes in and when they say they’ll send in a team of cleaners, they really do mean a team. We know that speed is usually a factor for moving out cleaning, so they arrange for a team of cleaners to come in and give your rental a good going-over. The company uses recognized checklists to ensure that each property has been cleaned perfectly and to a high standard, and this applies to whether the property is to be let furnished or unfurnished.
The last thing you need on your mind, whether you have to clean up to get ready for an estate sale or to keep the landlord happy or to get your rental property nice for new tenants, is a big nasty surprise on the bill. However, this London based firm is also aware that some properties take longer to clean up than others – hoarders, dogs and small messy children happen! This is why a straightforward per-property price agreed on before the work starts is a standard practice, and then the job will take as long as it takes. All you need to do is to sit back and let the team do the work for you.
Sometimes, you might want to get the carpets cleaned as well. Although carpet cleaning is not one of the items on the standard end of tenancy cleaning checklist, Anyclean offers these services separately. Just to make things easy for you, if you book in for carpet cleaning at the same time as you book in for end of tenancy cleaning, you’ll get a discount on the carpet clean!
As is the case with all of the professional cleaning services offered by Anyclean (and there are a lot of these!), you are always protected by the company’s insurance cover and by Anyclean’s 100% satisfaction guarantee. They try to use simple and straightforward pricing systems so you don’t get hit with something unexpected, and they are able to come around at times that suit you.
Anyclean operates London-wide, from Enfield to Croydon and from Twickenham to Romford. No matter how big or small the property is, if it’s in the Greater London Metropolitan Area (i.e. within the circle of the M25), they’ll send an end of tenancy cleaning team there!
For more information about moving in and moving out cleans, or about any of their other London cleaning services, please visit https://www.anyclean.co.uk in order to get in touch with Anyclean’s helpful customer services