Tag Archives: de-clutter

Full House Cleanout Services

Most full house cleanouts are part of the process of the house. Click here for a two-minute video on a typical house cleanout.

For this particular job in Fairfax, we worked the executor who needed to prepare the house to put on the market. We worked with the executor’s schedule to distribute or sell the valuables in the house. Then we removed about 80 cubic yards of papers, books, clothing, trash, unwanted furniture, mattresses, old tube TVs, e-waste . . .

Nothing went to a landfill. We separated and recycled everything. (A local theater group took a vintage 1960’s kitchen table and chairs as theater props. We love to see old things find new homes.)

I personally know that being an executor is a tough job at a stressful time. In this case, our job is to make the executor’s job easier and make her look good to all the beneficiaries.

If you need to get a house ready to put on the market, part of the process will likely be removing and disposing some clutter. That’s real life. Junk King’s mission is to make the complicated task of sorting debris, loading trucks, and proper disposal painless for you.
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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.

Bank of America shares how clearing clutter can help your finances

A Bank of America article offers practical tips how de-cluttering your home can make it more inviting, reduce your stress and help you avoid health problems aggravated by mold or dirt. Also, de-cluttering your home can save you money!
1.  Catch problems early. Do you remember the last time you saw the back of your closet? If not, your stuff may be blocking you from signs of damage. You may avoid major repair or extermination bills down the road.
2. Make better use of freed-up space. Do you have a spare room or basement that’s full of junk? If you clear it out, you’ll have more space for your family, and possibly avoid renting a storage locker. You may even be able to turn that extra space into income by taking on a tenant.
3.  Entertain at home. Do you ever go out for dinner or coffee with friends to avoid inviting them into your untidy home? If so, your clutter is ramping up your entertainment expenses. By making your home more guest-friendly, you’ll be a more comfortable host while saving money on restaurant bills.
4. Identify your big clutter problems. You may notice that just one or two types of items cause much of your clutter. Is it books and magazines? Clothes? Gadgets? Once you’ve fingered your clutter culprit, put it on a “do not buy” list. This way you’ll avoid cluttering your home again, and save money on future purchases.
Junk King can help you take advantage of this excellent advice from Bank of America. We can help yo clear the clutter. Then you can enjoy your clean home and improved finances.

Storing Junk compared to Dumping Junk

This article is not a knock on public storage. I, myself, have rented storage space for my inventory until I could build my own storage. When I had a temporary overseas assignment, I rented storage space for my furniture, until my return. Note, in both cases, the decision to use temporary storage had a specific exit strategy, and I had specific uses for the items stored.

The Self Storage Association reports that 50% of storage unit renters store what won’t fit into their homes. 1 out of every 11 Americans rents storage. However, too many of those people use public storage to store junk – stuff they’ll never use again. They do not have an exit strategy.  In effect, they use public storage to postpone the decision to get rid of unused furniture, junk, and clutter.

Public storage isn’t cheap. In the DC Metro Area, a 10 foot by 5 foot climate controlled storage unit (about the size of a walk-in closet) costs $75 per month, or $900 per year. In addition, you provide the labor and hauling to move your stuff to the storage unit.

As an alternative, getting rid of the unwanted items requires decisions, time, labor, and often some expense. A 10 foot by 5 foot unit with an 8 foot ceiling packed tightly holds about 16 cubic yards. You can rent a 15-yard dumpster for around $450, and you provide the labor. You can hire Junk King to perform all the labor and remove the unwanted items for less than $450.

As a rough rule-of-thumb, the cost of disposing unwanted items is equal to the cost of 6 months’ rent to store them.  A lot of people opt for the “free” first month of rent and slow $75 bleed than paying the cost for disposal. The problem is that at the end of 6 months rent–$450–you still have the unwanted items and you face the same decision: pay to dispose or pay to store.

If you need help solving this store vs dispose dilemma, you may want to engage a Professional Organizer.  These professionals are excellent at helping people prioritize.  Check out the National Association of Professional Organizers, or contact us for a referral.

Finally, here’s an enlightening case study written at another blog.  This person spent $48,000 over five years to store junk.

De-cluttering: Get Help if You Need It

De-cluttering is an important first step for any home improvement project or relocation. You can do more with the space you already have. You surely don’t want to pay to move furniture and other stuff you’ll never use

The challenge is finding the time. You need to methodically decide what goes and what stays. Most people want to repurpose or donate as much as possible. Finally, the stuff that goes may need special handling. For example, old TVs have lead, refrigerators have freon . . . . What is a busy person to do?

Get some inexpensive help. For a modest investment, we can save you whole days of your time. At Junk King, we separate and recycle—so far, we have recycled or donated 94% of everything we have hauled. We provide all the labor.

We also work with professional organizers. We are happy to give you a referral to a professional who specializes in helping you organize your space and time. Before you pay thousands of dollars remodeling, renting a storage unit, or moving your household goods, take the first step of de-cluttering.