Category Archives: Uncategorized

Washington Post article: Hoarding is a growing concern

The Washington Post, Health and Science section has a good article about hoarding. Sara Solovitch April 11

At Junk King, we work with professionals, like Maria Spetalnik (Conquer the Clutter).  Maria provides the counseling, planning, and support.  We help with the heavy lifting and disposal of the unwanted clutter.  We provide the labor and trucks.  Our crews respect the client,  We also respect the environment by repurposing, donating, or recycling everything.  We are 100% landfill free.

As Sara Solovitch states, “Hoarding is different from merely living amid clutter, experts note. It’s possible to have a messy house and be a pack rat without qualifying for a diagnosis of hoarding behavior. The difference is one of degree. Hoarding disorder is present when the behavior causes distress to the individual or interferes with emotional, physical, social, financial or legal well-being.”

Call Conquering the Clutter or Junk King Fairfax.  We can help, whether you have a little clutter or  a lot.


Junk King and Traffic in the Washington DC Area

If you are a DC commuter, you will not be surprised to learn that our Metro Area has the worse traffic in the United States.

Traffic on highway

According to a report by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and INRIX Inc., traffic congestion across the nation reached a new peak last year and is greater than ever before.

They analyzed federal data on the number of cars on the road and on traffic speed data collected by INRIX on 1.3 million miles of urban streets and highways.

Washington DC ranked as the worst congestion measured in annual extra hours commuters spend in their cars due to delay, together with the cost in lost time and fuel.

On average, Washington, D.C.-Virginia-Maryland commuters lose 82 hours stuck in traffic at an annual cost of $1,834 per commuter.  Ouch!

In our own modest way, Junk King helps reduce congestion. Each of our big trucks holds the equivalent of six pickup truck loads of debris. In a typical day, each of our trucks makes two full hauls to the dump, which helps keep an equivalent twelve pickup trucks off our already crowded roads.

The next time you find yourself behind a Junk King truck, remember that it’s better than being behind six pickup trucks. When you call Junk King, you get the best service at a good price, 100% landfill free recycling, and you help reduce road congestion. What’s not to like?

Introducing Veteran Maids

Veteran Maids is a local, veteran-owned and operated maid service. They serve all of Fairfax County for both maid and professional carpet cleaning services. They serve both residential and commercial customers. They provide all the necessary cleaning supplies.



Although Veteran Maids is small with intimate customer care, they provide all the convenience of the big franchise services. For example, tech-savvy Dan’s website provides on-line booking.

Founder Daniel S. Hilarski is a twelve-year veteran (Navy Chief Petty Officer). As a Navy Vet, Dan knows what it means to “clear quarters.” He knows what a deadline is. They hire vets and they give special discount to active duty military and veterans.

His teams are 100% English speaking, U.S. citizens, vetted, and trained. Every team member trains alongside the team leader and every month, every team is put through a Veteran Maids skills test no matter how long they’ve been working with the company. Veteran Maids is fully licensed in the State of Virginia and insured through The Hartford Insurance Company.

Satisfaction is guaranteed by their signature White Glove Inspection with every cleaning. They are so confident that you will love the service that they do not require customers to commit with any contract.

For more information about Veteran Maids, go to their website: .

Junk King Farfax is a veteran-owned junk removal company. We work closely with other veteran-owned companies.

2014-08-26 17:30:13

Landfill free — what’s the big deal?

Junk King has been landfill free since 2011. Being landfill free is not just hype.

Materials are biodegradable if they decay. The process of decay requires bacteria, light, and water. Materials that decay quickly above ground do not decay when buried in a landfill because the landfills lack bacteria, light, and water. For example, paper that decomposes in two months above ground can last 60 years or more in a landfill.


The University of Arizona Tucson Garbage Project is an anthropological study of modern waste disposal. They dug up hot dogs, corn cobs, and grapes that were twenty-five years old and still recognizable.  They dug up readable newspapers dating back to 1952.

Pick Junk King to remove your unwanted junk and debris. Be confident that you have responsibly disposed of the items. Also, check out our 12 foot mini dumpsters for another option.



Appraisers — more useful than you knew!

Information is power. Appraisers provide valuable information.  The right appraiser can save you serious money, time, and headaches.  We interviewed a top appraiser in the Washington DC Area, John Osipchak, to learn more.  Here is some of what I learned.

First, if you bought your house with less than 20% down, you most likely have private mortgage insurance (PMI).  If you have PMI, you need to call an appraiser like John—today.  You might be paying for insurance you don’t need, and the insurance company isn’t going to volunteer that information. 

How much can you save?  Using Kiplinger’s Best-rated Mortgage calculator, we see that a $500,000 house bought with $20,000 down and financed for 25-plus years, with a credit score of 760 or better, pays an average $528 in PMI per month!  John can tell you if your loan to equity ratio qualifies you for a lower insurance or no insurance at all.

Eight other common reasons for using an appraiser include:

  1. setting a profitable listing price which can reduce time on the market
  2. expert witness testimony and asset division
  3. valuations for relocation coordinators
  4. estate planning and retroactive date of death appraisals
  5. assessing current or past market value
  6. investor analysis and consultations
  7. homeowner consultations prior to home improvements
  8. challenging your Tax assessment

John is licensed, certified, and second-generation appraiser applying the decades of experience and the latest technologies and best practices to provide the most accurate, thorough, and timely appraisals.  (John’s stories of learning appraising from is mother is worth a separate article.)


He works in DC, Virginia, and Maryland.  And he provides the personal attention and he offers advice on how to improve your property.  For example, he might suggest you call Junk King to get rid of clutter that detracts from the home’s value. You can find more information about John’s company Appraise Metro DC on his website.

Again, what really got my attention was the possibility of eliminating expensive private mortgage insurance—that’s a no-brainer.

Removing yard debris saves money and improves safety

Yard Debris: Old firewood.

Here’s the scenario. Five years ago, you had to take down a large tree in your yard. The tree company charges about $500 extra to haul away the wood. You have a fireplace, so you figure you’ll burn the wood: save $500 on the hauling and save $300 per cord for firewood. Brilliant!

But you’ve got more wood than you can burn in a couple of seasons and the wood pile starts growing mushrooms. It starts rotting, and it’s not good for firewood anymore. In fact, your old wood is now a thriving eco-system for insects such as ants, termites, wasps, and ticks brought in by small mammals. We’ve uncovered a copperhead snake in one pile.

You need to get that old, rotting debris out of your yard. Yes, it’s heavy. Yes, it’s nasty. But delaying the removal has a cost, too.

Here is a picture of some wood we recently removed. The log crumbled as we picked it up Note the termites. Also, see the shed about five feet away from the old wood pile. Note the termite damage.

PicMonkey Collage

The average cost of termite damage repair in Northern Virginia is $318 per structure

Junk King will cheerfully remove the old rotten wood and yard debris. We do all the work, so you don’t need to get too familiar with the wildlife in the wood pile. You’ll have a safer, cleaner yard for you, the kids, and the pets.

Disposal of Old Propane Tanks (Grill size)

Propane-fueled gas grills outnumber charcoal, electric, and natural gas combined grills combined, so chances are good that you have one, or more.

A propane tank has a 12-year life span. You can see a stamp on the collar around the valve to see when your tank began service. Add 12 years to determine if your tank is too old. The date is usually month year: 12 – 11 or December 2011 in this picture.  The tank in this picture is good until December 2023.


What is Propane?

Propane is one of the nation’s most versatile sources of energy and supplies 3 to 4% of our total energy. Propane is an approved, alternate clean fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act as well as the National Energy Policy Act of 1992. Propane can be either a liquid or a gas. At normal atmospheric pressure and temperature, it is a non-toxic, colorless and odorless gas. Under moderate pressure, propane becomes a liquid that vaporizes into a clean-burning gas when released from its storage container. Just like natural gas, an identifying odor is added so it can be readily detected.

How do I get rid of an old propane tank?

Fairfax County residents can take small tanks less than 20 pounds to the White Goods/Metal Recycling Area of the I-66 Transfer Station or I-95 Landfill Complex. Some local propane dealers will take the old tank if you buy a new one from them. Otherwise, most dealers charge a recycling fee.

Does Junk King take propane tanks?

Yes, and carefully! In turn, we use a service that properly transports and disposes of the tanks. We do not charge extra for propane tanks.

What do homeowners need to know about handing old propane tanks?

If you have an old propane tank, do not throw it in with your regular trash. All previously used propane tanks have some amount of gas left in them. Do not put an propane tank into a dumpster or other disposal container. Many trash trucks and dumpsters are also compactors. When the trash truck or dumpster compacts its load, the tank ruptures releasing the rest of the propane and may cause an explosion and fire.

When storing tanks—even empty tanks—store them outside. Store tanks in an upright position. Never store tanks on their side or upside down.

Do not attempt to remove the valve from your tank. Special safety equipment is required to prevent explosion. Removal of valves involves costly equipment and extensive training to meet the requirements set out in National Fire Protection Association.

If you have any questions about disposing propane tanks –or anything else for  that matter, please call us at (703) 455-6831.


Home Maintenance Checklist

Home Maintenance Checklist: 5 Things To Do This Spring

The snow is gone (hopefully), the mild weather is back, and you have a to do list of things that need accomplishing before the heat and chaos of the summer returns. Spring is a great time to do all kinds of things around your home. With a little planning, you can get a jump on some common springtime tasks before the Easter bunny makes its rounds.

Here’s a checklist of things that you’ll need to follow up on as the weather gets warmer. (These tips are brought to you by, a home services website designed to hook families up with the right pros for their home-project lists.)

Review your roof
The winter is a punishing time for your home’s front line of defense against the elements: your roof. Check for shingles that have come loose or broken in the snowy or icy winter weather. These inefficiencies can allow your roof to leak and water to puddle. For a quicker (and safer) inspection, get out the binoculars and detect damage from the ground.

Get your mind into the gutter
While you’re on the roof, you might as well give your gutters some attention. Snow and ice storms can send additional leaves and twigs into your gutters, and you’ll need to make sure that the detritus isn’t clogging the downspouts. In spring’s rainy season, the extra precipitation, if not funneled away from your home, can end up leaking into your foundation.

Swap your winter coat for a coat of paint
Spring is the perfect time to paint. The weather is finally warm enough that you can open the windows when you put a fresh color on your indoor walls, so pick a room and give it a facelift. This is also a good time to get an estimate on sprucing up your home’s exterior with a new color.

Declutter your home
While you were in the throes of cabin fever, you surely brought home some things you don’t really need. It’s spring cleaning time, so open your windows, shake out your rugs, and start going through your closets. The garage is screaming for attention, and your basement looks post apocalyptic. We can help! Junk King makes decluttering easy, all you have to do is decide what you want to get rid of and we do the rest! You can even book online and save money when you book services or rent a dumpster from us!

Dig into your landscaping
Grab your pruning shears, because this job will take some elbow grease. Start by removing any dead annuals and pruning back the perennials that have new growth at the mulch line. Proactively pull weed seedlings while the ground is soft and before the weeds become pesky in the summer months. Assuming the winter left your soil unbalanced, your beds could probably benefit from an application of fertilizer.
Condensed Spring Home Maintenance List
Review your roof
Attend to your gutters
Consider a new coat of paint
Declutter the home
Tidy up the lawn and garden


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Junk Removal — Arlington County Residents and Junk King

Here is some information to help you decide whether to use the Arlington County Service or call Junk King when you need to dispose unwanted items or debris. In general, for small pick-ups, Arlington provides good service at a modest additional cost to residents. If you think you have a big load or you need some labor to clear your clutter, then Junk King is likely your best option.

For Arlington Service, you request a pick-up, Monday — Friday, 8 a.m. — 5 p.m. You need to get your items to the curb and Arlington has some rules you must follow. “Pile items separately, curbside or in the street (not in the yard). There must be an overhead clearance of approximately 25 feet. Do not pile under low hanging power lines or tree limbs. Do not place next to parked cars; the truck needs at least a 10-foot clearance from cars to avoid possible damage.”

Arlington charges $20 for televisions and $15 for computer monitors, added to your quarterly utility bill. Arlington charges $10 for metal items (air conditioners, cabinets, exercise equipment) collected curbside for recycling. They have a weight limit of 50 lbs. maximum for each item. These charagable items include:
• Air conditioner
• Awnings (window, porch)
• Boat
• Camper shell (truck)
• Car doors, bumpers
• Cast iron/wrought iron fixtures (bath tub, sink) and furniture
• Chain link fence
• Dehumidifier, humidifier
• Desk/office
• Drill press
• Engine block
• Exercise equipment
• File cabinet (3 drawer+)
• Fireplace, insert
• Floor buffer
• Furnace
• Garage doors
• Gas grill
• Grate/iron (sewer, tree)
• Heat pumps
• Heating oil fuel tank
• Home appliances (dishwasher, freezer, refrigerator, stove, washer/dryer)
• House radiator (cast iron)
• Hydraulic floor jack on wheels
• Lathe/metal
• Lawn equipment, motorized (leaf shredder, mower, rotor tiller)
• Motor/outboard
• Pool
• Recreational vehicles (go cart, moped, motorcycles/motorbikes)
• Safe
• Shower stall
• Snow blower
• Metal stairs
• Stationary air compressor
• Table saw
• Tool chest
• Truck wheel/rim
• Wardrobe/closet
• Water cooler, heater
• Wood stove

The Arlington County Website has a list of items they take curbside or that you can drop off at their disposal facility. Click here.

Junk King takes everything. We provide all the labor, even some demolition for items such as sheds and hot tubs. We charge by volume. You can call Junk King 24 hours per day for same-day service in a convenient two-hour window. We can guide you through the disposal of paint and other items that Arlington will not take. Roughly speaking, if you have enough junk to fill a standard pick-up truck or more, you are probably better off using our labor to remove the unwanted items.

Again, Arlington has a good service for small, easy-to-manage disposal problems. Certainly, if you can get your items to the curb, Arlington’s $20 charge for TV or $10 for a gas grill makes more sense than calling a junk hauler.  For larger cleanouts, you can save your time and your back by calling Junk King.

At Junk King, we give free estimates, and we’ll be straight forward and tell you if we think you are better off with the Arlington County service. Call me any time: Alex Powers, Owner and General Manager, (703) 819-5667

One last note:  Arlington has an awesome system for leaf collection.  Here’s the schedule: Click here. 


2013-10-24 14:04:10

Clutter and Peace of Mind

Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project says, “Outer order contributes to inner calm.” A scientific study was done that backs up Rubin’s claim. In an excellent article on parenting, Katie Morton shares research and tips on how de-cluttering the home benefits the child. Click here to read Katie’s article.

As a father of a large family, I want to add another point: de-cluttering the home teaches the child the relative unimportance of stuff. People are more important than stuff. Time is more important than stuff. Health is more important than stuff. A job well done is more important than stuff. A good story is more important than stuff. In fact, almost every aspect of life is more important than stuff. Detachment from stuff leads to contentment.

We engage our kids in the periodic de-cluttering and involve them in donating used clothes, books, and other goods. They learn to think of other people in need. They are rightfully proud of a job well done – a clean bedroom. They like the space. And most importantly, they realize that they are actually better for having less stuff.