Charity House Clearance – The Let Down

We launched Northern House Clearance in 1998 and after 20 years of successful operation, we know the industry inside out. One of the things we come across week in and week out is the aftermath of an attempted charity donation that’s gone sadly wrong.

Here’s the usual scenario.

A family has the unenviable task of clearing a house either because of bereavement or because an elderly relative has had to go into a care home. Understandably, many families are attracted to the idea of making a donation of the furnishings and smaller items in the house to a charity. There are many charities now online which advertise house clearance services.

So one of the family will go ahead and make an arrangement with a charity they’ve seen advertising house clearing services. Perhaps over-optimistically, the person will assume that the charity will do a complete house clearance.

But when it comes down to it, many charities will pick and choose, leaving behind many items. And even worse case frequently broken appointments. That means the family member may have taken time off work, and possibly had to travel a long distance to the property, only to be let down. This is of course a very frustrating and disappointing experience at a stressful time when it’s the last thing anyone needs.

A few sample comments left online from frustrated family members

And even when appointments are kept, as we’ve mentioned, there may be a range of things the charity can’t, or won’t, take. Electrical items will often be left as these have to be safety tested, beds and furniture suites may not have the requisite fire labels. Many items, like books, may just be too difficult to sell. So all of those things and other items are simply left behind and your house clearance is far from complete.

To be fair to the charities, most of them have only limited storage space. They need to be able to sell things quickly and with a minimum of trouble for the whole thing to be worth their while. To be clear, we are not arguing that you should not give to charity, far from it. But we are saying that you should be sure in advance what items a charity will actually take.

Just take note what people tell you over the phone and what actually happens on the day can be poles apart. Volunteers taking your call may well promise this or that but they are not the van drivers, rarely do the promises match the reality.

In contrast, at Northern House Clearance, when we say we will clear your property, we mean we will take absolutely everything from the house and out buildings as well if that’s what you require. After we’ve finished, all that will be left are any items you’ve instructed us to leave.

Anything we clear which we know will be of use to a charity will go to a charity. You can rest assured that anything that can possibly be reused will be. So you will still be able to feel that you’ve done your bit for charity and for the environment, and you’ll have a completely cleared house!

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