Service • Trust • Value • Care • Understanding

For general enquiries call 01202 367 307

FC Douch Logo

Independent Funeral Directors
Serving Dorset for over 110 years

How to Sort Through Personal Possessions After Death

For some, sorting through personal possessions can be a painful way to let go, for others, personal belongings are warm reminders of the person they have lost. Everyone handles grief in their own way, but sorting through personal possessions is an important step once funeral arrangements have been made and you have some time to set aside.


Prepare for the sort through with a few useful items such as cardboard boxes, post-it notes, pens and refreshments. The sorting process can feel like a daunting task if your loved one has hundreds of possessions, so enlist friends and family for help. Doing this surrounded by those who care about you will provide an important source of grief support at a time when you may really need it.

There may be certain items that have been bequeathed (willed) to individuals, so it is important that the executors read the will beforehand and set aside those items in readiness of their new owners.

For additional support, consider joining a local bereavement support group. A local councillor, Cindy Weller, runs the Douch Family grief support events, providing friendly and professional support to help you understand and deal with loss and grief.


When you are deciding what to do with personal possessions after someone has passed away, communication and consulting with other people is important. Before you make any big decisions, talk through the items with other members of family or close friends. A possession that might seem insignificant to you could hold a great deal of significance to someone else. Communication during the clear out process will prevent disagreements and ensure that everyone’s wishes are respected.

Selling & Donating Possessions

Now that you have decided which items you are keeping, it can be a challenge to decide what to sell, what to donate to charity and which items should be thrown away or recycled. Consider using colour coded post-it notes as a time-saving way to sort items.

You may wish to sell some items, for instance, if they take up a lot of space or are of no practical use to family and friends. It’s worth double checking the value of possessions such as art, antiques and vinyl records, they could be more valuable than you might think.

If you come across items that you believe may have some value, it is important to have these items valued as it may affect the tax-free threshold and inheritance tax may be payable.

If you have items that take up a lot of space, for example, CD’s, DVD’s and books, there are many online databases that will buy them in bulk.

Alternatively, there might be some possessions that could be donated to a charity such as inexpensive jewellery, small items of furniture and clothes. Equally, if you have large items of furniture that you cannot be sold, contact a charity that can collect the furniture free of charge.

To find more information about Douch Family Funeral Directors in Dorset contact our expert team on 01202 882 936. If you would like to find out more about our bereavement support groups in Dorset please get in contact with your local Douch Family Funeral Directors branch or like our Facebook page to stay up to date with our events.


Stay Connected With Our Newsletter

Are you interested in joining our community support network? Sign up to our newsletter to receive helpful resources, plus hear about occasional news and updates.