How do House Clearances Work?

6th October 2023

By Graham Matthews

House clearances are services that involve a team of professionals removing unwanted items from a domestic property. They’re used to get rid of furniture, appliances, bags of junk and more in one go. House clearing services are common when moving home or emptying a property after a bereavement.

Given the size of the task, it’s no surprise that undertaking a house clearance in the UK can be slightly daunting. But it doesn’t need to be! Put your mind at ease and ensure everything runs smoothly by understanding how the process works, what you can do to prepare, and the items removed with our house clearance help.

Find out how house clearances work and what you need to do with our answers to some common questions about house clearing services.

an empty bedroom in a house clearance.

What is a house clearance?

A house clearance is the removal of unwanted items from a home. It can involve getting rid of everything in the home, just specific items, or waste from part of a property. House clearances are when multiple items or bags of rubbish are taken away from a house at the same time.

Normally house clearances are necessary when preparing to sell a domestic property. This could be due to a death, a loved one moving into care, or moving home. House clearance solutions are available for any type of domestic property, including the likes of a semi-detached house, bungalow, flat, or terrace.

Arrange a house clearance

How much does a 
house clearance cost?

House clearance costs vary greatly due to different factors. Specific items you want removed and their weight, the size and location of the home, and when you need it cleared all affect the price of a house clearance. The average cost of a house clearance can be anywhere between £300 and £700.

Large houses with lots of items to remove may use bigger vans or make more trips to clear them. This can require extra pairs of hands and increase labour and fuel costs, which impacts the price. Clearing a bungalow of just a few white goods might only need a team of two and one trip, which will be cheaper.

The easiest way to find out how much a house clearance costs is to get a tailored quote. Contact us at Divert and we can provide a free quote for a house clearance based on your needs. Just tell us an estimate of what you need removing, where from, and when for a no-obligation quote.

aerial view of terraced and town houses in UK.

How long does a 
house clearance take?

How long a house clearance takes depends on the size of the home, and what types and number of items need removing. This should help the company clearing the house decide on the best size and number of vehicles to use. Efficient house clearances fill their vans to reduce the number of trips they need to make.

The size of the team also affects how long it takes. Most house clearing services send a team of two or three people for the job – although it may be more for larger domestic properties. If there’s more than one vehicle it can also be quicker as fewer trips to the tip should be necessary.

Accessibility, how close vans can park to the entrance, and the size of items being taken away also speed up or slow down progress. For example, domestic properties on three or four floors will take longer to remove wardrobes, beds, and other bulky items from the top floor compared to clearing a bungalow.

Professional house clearing services should provide a rough estimate of how long it will take based on the information you provide. Generally, an average two or three-bedroom house full of furniture and bags of other rubbish could take between 8 and 12 hours with a team of two or three.

What do I need to do for 
a house clearance?

Properly preparing for a house clearance helps ensure the day runs smoothly. You can just ring up and get a team to come and move everything but without any planning, the job can take longer and cost more. A few small actions can improve the house-clearing experience for you and the team.

To prepare for a house clearance:

  • Separate items – go through the house and divide everything into four categories – what you’ll keep, donate, throw away, and recycle. Ideally, you’ll remove everything from the property except what you’re throwing away before the house clearance team arrives.
  • Speak to family and friends – ask any loved ones if they want any of the items first, especially if clearing a home after a death. Even if you’re just moving home, giving away things to others is a sustainable option, and reduces how much waste you need clearing, which will lower the costs.
  • Donate unwanted items – check everything left on your donate list and take it to a local charity shop. Alternatively, put it up for free on Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, or other online platforms. Just ensure they’re gone before the date of your house clearance to avoid any confusion.
  • Estimate the amount of waste – work out what you’re getting rid of and write a list. Include what the items are and their rough size (take photos if possible) and send these to your house clearance team so they can send an appropriate team and vehicles for the job.
  • Move what you can – you’re paying for professional house-clearing services so don’t do any backbreaking work. However, if you can move everything easily into one or two rooms it can speed up the clearance job and make it cheaper.
  • Clear the way – check that your hallways, rooms, and any garden paths are as clear as possible. This reduces the risk of accidents and should help speed up the clearance by making it as easy as possible to remove bulky items.
  • Arrange a house clearance – find a local company that offers house clearances in the UK and get a quote. If you’re happy with the price book a time and day for the house clearance and you’re good to go.

How does a 
house clearance work?

A house clearance works by a team of professionals coming to a domestic property, removing unwanted items, and taking them away for responsible disposal. Often large items such as furniture, white goods, and electricals are removed in a house clearance. Vans are filled with such goods and driven away by licensed waste carriers.

The general steps of a professional house clearance include:

  • Prepare the property – bag up any loose waste, move any items into one room if possible, and ensure all walkways are clear so the team have easy access.
  • Stick to the plan – after getting a quote don’t add or remove any items as it could affect the price and the house clearance team’s plan. If you must change something then inform the company as soon as possible, as it could mean they need a different van or an extra pair of hands for the job.
  • Instruct the house clearance team – tell them where they can park, agree on a time and date, and ensure they know which items to remove and any to leave in the house.
  • Sit back and relax – once the team arrive they’ll assess the items that need removing and get to work. They do all the lifting, carrying, and loading into the van. You can sit back with a cup of tea (but feel free to offer the removal guys one as well!).
  • Driven to disposal – once everything’s loaded up into the van one of the licensed waste carriers will drive it to a nearby waste management facility. All items are diverted away from landfill and sent for recycling, reuse, or recovery where possible.
boxes in house ready for clearance.

What do house clearances take?

House clearing services can remove a wide variety of items from domestic properties, gardens, and garages. They mainly take bulky items such as old furniture and appliances, and higher volumes of bagged or boxed-up waste – more than you could easily dispose of yourself. Some examples of what house clearances can take include:

  • Furnitureold sofas, beds, wardrobes, and garden furniture
  • White goodsfridges and freezers, washing machines, and dishwashers
  • Mattresses – single, double, king and queen-size old mattresses
  • Electrical appliances – TVs, computers, toasters, and kettles
  • Sheds – dismantled old sheds and greenhouses
  • Bags of junk – bagged up old clothes, pots and pans, and other bric-a-brac

Where can I arrange 
a house clearance?

House clearances are available across the UK for all types of domestic properties. This includes the clearance of semi and detached homes, terrace houses, town houses, bungalows, and flats. You can book a house clearance whether you’re moving out of your own home or clearing a property on behalf of someone else.

At Divert we offer house clearances across Yorkshire for a local solution. Find out more about local house clearing services:


What size skip do I need 
for a house clearance?

You don’t need a skip for a house clearance. Our team will come and load your unwanted items into our purple vans to remove them from the domestic property. There’s no need for the extra costs, time, and hassle that hiring a skip involves – such as getting a permit or making space on your drive.

Do house clearance companies pay you?

You must pay for most house clearing services – most house clearance companies do not pay you. The costs of a house clearance depend on the types and number of items you need to get rid of, the size of the property and its location.

Some house clearance companies may pay you but only if they accept the valuables removed as payment. This could occur if many of the items you’re getting rid of will be sold or auctioned off and the clearance company can make a profit. Charity house clearances may also clear homes for free if they can sell the items to support their cause.

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