How Much Does an Estate Clean-Out Cost?

Typical Range:

$1,952 - $5,709

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Published December 14, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The average cost for an estate clean-out is $1,250, with a low price of $50 and a high cost of $6,000 or more. The total cost for estate clean-out services varies depending on your location, how many items you have, how much time is needed to sort through everything, how accessible the items are, and who you ultimately choose to hire. Our guide will break down the typical costs for an estate clean-out. 

Average Estate Clean-Out Costs

Average Cost High Cost Low Cost
$1,250 $6,000 $50

What Is an Estate Clean-Out?

An estate clean-out typically occurs when a loved one passes away, and their relatives are responsible for taking care of the estate. This can include the home, vehicles, paperwork, asset identification, junk removal, and selling or donating other goods. Many opt to hire an estate clean-out service to help sort, organize, and move the estate's contents away. 

Estate Clean-Out Cost by Type

Estate clean-out costs run the gamut from $50 to $6,000 or more, depending on the type of service you need. The most common estate clean-out services include sorting estate paperwork, identifying assets, removing junk, and selling or donating unwanted items. Additional fees include junk removal costs, which run between $400 and $800 for a full truckload.

Estate Clean-Out Service Average Price
Estate paperwork $50 – $500
Identifying assets $2,000 – $6,000
Removing junk $60 – $700
Selling items 35% – 40% commission from gross proceeds
Donating items $100 pickup fee

Estate Paperwork

Finding, sorting through, and disposing of important estate paperwork costs between $50 and $500. Estate paperwork consists of deeds, wills, insurance policies, car titles, social security numbers, birth and death certificates, and any household or medical bills. Estate clean-out service pros will provide essential documents to the estate executor and dispose of all unnecessary documents by shredding or recycling old computers and hard drives. 

Identifying Assets

You can expect to pay between $2,000 and $6,000 to have a pro correctly identify the estate’s assets. Identifying assets includes:

  • Taking inventory of all estate assets

  • Assigning assets to beneficiaries and heirs of the estate

  • Organizing all other assets into categories to keep, sell, or donate

  • Bringing in experts to price valuable items 

Larger homes with lots of items that need to be tagged, assigned, and organized will ultimately cost more than smaller estates with fewer items.

Removing Junk

The cost of junk removal ranges anywhere from $60 to $700, depending on how much junk you have, if you need to remove hazardous materials, where you live, and how accessible the items are. For example, removing mattresses and furniture costs between $75 and $200. If you have a lot of junk, you should also factor in the cost to rent a dumpster, which will tack on $380 on average per week. 

Selling Items

According to the American Society of Estate Liquidators, you can expect an estate clean-out professional to charge between 35% and 40% commission out of the gross proceeds of your estate sale. When selling your items, a pro will organize, sort, price, professionally display, and take care of the public sale. 

Additional services and fees for unsold items include packing and removing excess items via donation or junk removal and taking higher-tier items to another location for sale. 

Donating Items

If you choose to donate large items, such as furniture, you can expect to pay around $100 for a charity to pick them up. Otherwise, you can expect to pay an hourly fee for an estate clean-out pro to pack up your items and transport them to a donation center. 

Estate Clean-Out Cost by Location and Heft

On average, you can expect to pay between $200 and $300 to have a junk removal service take away your items. Your estate clean-out costs will rise if you have items upstairs or in hard-to-reach places. Cumbersome, bulky items that require equipment, additional labor, and special packing materials will also increase your junk removal and clean-out costs. 


The average cost to move a piano is $400. Ultimately, the total price you’ll pay depends on the piano's location, height, and weight. If your piano is upstairs, you can expect junk removal pros to charge an extra $5 to $10 per step or between $40 and $100 per staircase. Other cost additions include equipment rentals, such as dollies or cranes ($25–$2,000) and special packaging materials ($100–$1,200).


You can expect to pay between $50 and $150 to remove large appliances like refrigerators and freezers. Because these items include ozone-depleting freon gases, they require special hazardous waste pickup and recycling. 

Furniture and Mattress

You'll pay an average of $180 to have your estate's furniture and mattresses removed. Items that are heavy, bulky, or located up flights of stairs will cost more. For this task, hire a furniture removal specialist near you to ensure your items are removed and disposed of properly.

Yard Debris

Your estate clean-out service costs will rise by about $200 to $550 to haul yard waste away. The size of your yard, the amount of debris, how much labor is required, and whether a junk removal company can get their truck near the waste will all factor into the total cost of yard cleanup

Electronic and Hazardous Waste

You can expect to pay between $50 and $500 or more for electronic and hazardous waste removal. Many junk removal companies charge extra to remove and properly recycle electronics, latex paint, fluorescent light bulbs, televisions, and computers. 

Prices for these items depend on the location within your estate, how many things you have, and how heavy the items are. Expect to incur more charges for additional labor, staircases, special equipment, and any other specialty disposal fees for chemicals. 

Estate Clean-Out Cost Breakdown

We know that the average price for an estate clean-out costs between $500 and $2,000. Your total cost will vary depending on where you live, how many items you have, and how much the labor cost is near you.

Geographic Location

Typically, you can expect to pay more for estate clean-out costs if you live in a large metropolitan area versus a small rural town. It comes down to the cost of living in your area, with higher living costs resulting in higher fuel costs, junk removal fees, and disposal costs. 


The cost to hire movers ranges between $25 and $50 per hour. Your overall labor cost depends on the accessibility of items in your home. Heavy items located on upper levels will cost more for disposal. In addition, having an estate with lots of items also increases your labor cost, as movers will take longer to remove and haul everything away.

Other Estate Clean-Out Cost Factors

When planning for the average cost of an estate clean-out, you’ll need to consider several factors that could increase or decrease your total price. For example, organizing and sorting items in advance can help you save on hourly and fixed fees. Other factors include the company you hire, how many days it takes to complete the clean-out, and the cost of a move-out cleaning.

Pre-Clean-Out Checklist

With the average cost of an estate clean-out running between $500 and $2,000, you can save if you do all the prep work yourself. Prep includes sorting, organizing, and packing all the items in the home. You can also save if you decide to take donations to a charitable organization yourself or if you’re able to haul junk away to a local landfill, which costs about $20 to $50 per ton. 

Company You Hire

You can expect estate clean-out costs to vary from company to company. We recommend contacting at least three estate clean-out professionals, such as national brands and small, local companies, to see the best fit for your needs. Your overall costs will depend on the type of service you choose and the hourly or fixed rate that the company charges. 

Days to Complete the Job

Depending on the size of the estate, clean-outs can take as little as one day or as many as several days, especially if the estate includes several areas, such as barns, garages, and large backyards. The more time a job takes to complete, the more expensive it’ll be. 

Move-Out Cleanup Cost

You can expect move-out cleaning to cost an average of $360. After all the junk is hauled away, many estate clean-out pros will bring in a move-out cleaner to clean the kitchen, bathrooms, floors, baseboards, and the areas behind appliances. Move-out cleaning is essential if you plan to sell the estate.

DIY Estate Clean-Out Cost vs. Hiring a Pro

If you have the time and patience, you can DIY an estate clean-out yourself. You’ll need to take care of all the assets, paperwork, junk removal, donations, selling of items, and doing the move-out cleaning. 

Other than hiring an estate clean-out professional for $500 to $2,000 on average, another option is to hire a junk removal service near you. This service runs between $75 and $680. Having a pro come by and haul everything away for you might be worth your time, especially if you’re short on it.


What should I look for when cleaning out an estate?

Before cleaning out an estate, contact all family members and discuss whether they want to keep any items. This way, when you start to clean out the estate, you'll know to look for important paperwork and documents, items of value for an appraiser, and sentimental items. Everything else can be discarded, sold, or donated. 

What is the four-box method for decluttering?

The four-box method makes it easy for you to clean out an estate without feeling overwhelmed. You’ll take four large empty boxes for the four-box method and label each one: trash, give away, keep, and relocate. If you sort and organize all these boxes before a professional estate cleaner comes in, you’ll save time and money on the overall bill. 

Should I clean or declutter first?

We suggest decluttering before you clean. You don’t want to clean first, only to throw away those cleaned items after you declutter your space. In fact, you should leave cleaning until the very end once all items are relocated, moved, sold, or hauled away. This way, it’s much easier for a local move-out cleaner to come in and polish everything before you’re ready to sell the estate.