Tag Archives: junk

More than you need to know about the word Junk

Junk has come to mean worthless stuff such as discarded or useless items of little or no value. People talk trash or junk. A financial instrument of little value is a junk bond. People also refer to their disorganized stuff as junk, as in I need to get my junk together. (Recently, people have referred to parts of their anatomy as junk, which used to be called family jewels or schmuck, which is German for jewelry—the opposite of junk.)

Where did the word junk come from? The word has a nautical heritage but not the Chinese Junk – that’s a different etymological path from the Chinese word pronounced Chun and came to use through the Portuguese word junco.

Our word junk comes from a 14th century word for an old cable or rope no longer usable. Sailors used the junk rope to plug leaks, or they tossed it overboard. Sailors expanded the word junk to mean any trash from ships, which expanded to become any discarded item.

Some word wonks say that the word junk derived from the Old French junc (from the Latin iuncus, meaning rush or reed)—a term once used to mean something of little value.

So where does this leave Junk King?  If we stick to the French etymology, we would be Roi des Ordures. Or Latin, Rex Purgamentum. I think we’ll just keep the good ol’ Junk King, and we are not talking about the family jewel variety.  Does this blog make me a word junkie?


Holiday Clutter

Don’t let the holidays stress you out!

We all love the holiday season. Family we haven’t seen in a while, the decorations we put up with care, the delicious foods, it’s both joyful and triumphant. We cook and bake ourselves into a wonderful holiday frenzy. Days are spent shopping and thinking of our loved ones. Evenings are spent watching our favorite movies, attending parties and sipping eggnog and champagne.  It’s fun but exhausting and stressful.

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When the dust settles and the seemingly endless parade of holiday visitors leave, we find ourselves in a post apocalyptic size mess. Empty bank accounts, refrigerators, and pantries now replaced with, full credit card statements, mounds of trash.


Well, not this year. Here are some great tips to keep you sane:

1. Stick to a Budget – It’s really not the amount you spend on someone, it’s the thought. Don’t overextend yourself and regret it later.


2. Toss the Junk: Holiday decorating often involves rearranging the house. Make sure you organize and store items properly or you will get claustrophobic. Clean every day. A little tedious but with busy schedules it’s so much easier to pick up every morning before you leave for work, rather than waiting until the house is a chaotic mess. Get rid of the junk! Nothing will make you grumpier than going into every room of the house and seeing clutter. If you don’t need it, toss it.


3. Organize the Kitchen: Cleaning your fridge and pantry before the Holidays will help you stock up on real food, not just snacks and processed foods.


4. Get Some Sun: Some people suffer from depression due to a lack of sunlight. It may be cold outside but on sunny days go for a walk, or do an outside activity. It will help take a minute to breathe and de-stress, while getting some much needed Vitamin D.


5. Post holiday-pocalypse clean up: If you are just too tired to deal with it let Junk King help get the bulk of it out of the way by removing your christmas tree, and clutter. 


Have a safe and Happy Holidays. Remember if you drink, don’t drive.

From your friends at Junk King in Fairfax

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. 


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Keeping E-waste out of landfills

Junk King Fairfax is 100% landfill free, which means we recycle 100% of the e-waste we haul.

According to DoSomething.org, an incredible 80 to 85 percent of tech junk, or e-waste, ends up in landfills or incinerators, and can release toxic gases into the air.  Again,  Junk King keeps 100% of the e-waste we collect out of the landfills.

1. 80 to 85 percent of electronic products were discarded in landfills or incinerators, which can release certain toxics into the air.
2. E-waste represents 2 percent of America’s trash in landfills, but it equals 70 percent of overall toxic waste. The extreme amount of lead in electronics alone causes damage in the central and peripheral nervous systems, the blood and the kidneys.
3. 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed worldwide every year.
4. Cell phones and other electronic items contain high amounts of precious metals like gold or silver. Americans dump phones containing over $60 million in gold/silver every year.
5. Only 12.5 percent of e-waste is currently recycled.
6. For every 1 million cell phones that are recycled, 35,274 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.
7. Recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year.
8. E-waste is still the fastest growing municipal waste stream in America, according to the EPA.
9. A large number of what is labeled as “e-waste” is actually not waste at all, but rather whole electronic equipment or parts that are readily marketable for reuse or can be recycled for materials recovery.
10. It takes 539 pounds of fossil fuel, 48 pounds of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor
11. Electronic items that are considered to be hazardous include, but are not limited to:
• Televisions and computer monitors that contain cathode ray tubes
• LCD desktop monitors
• Laptop computers with LCD displays
• LCD televisions
• Plasma televisions
• Portable DVD players with LCD screens.

Imagine how much better we’d all be if all haulers met Junk King’s standard of 100% landfree.

Thanks to Terry Whearley, CMIT Solutions of Fairfax; www.cmitsolutions.com
for sending us this link to DoSomrthing.org

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.

Those old refrigerators are expensive!

That old refrigerator in the basement isn’t free. These old machines were built to last, but they also use used a lot more energy–5 times more than today’s equivalent refrigerators! For example, an old 19.0 cubic feet (average size), side-by-side refrigerator uses $243.20 of energy each year. (The equivalent new Energy Star machines use only $58 per year to run.)

Run your own calculation to see how much you can save.

Then call Junk King today to get rid of your old energy hog and start saving.

Customer Service is Key

Only 5% of Angie's List vendors earn the Super Service Award

Junk King earned Angie’s List Super Service Star for 2011, with 50+ reviews with an A average.

The junk and debris removal business is all about service: making the customer’s life easier and better. We help people reclaim their valuable space by removing all kinds of unwanted items: old furniture, appliances, mattresses, trash, yard debris, construction debris, tires, and such. We provide all the labor to remove those unwanted items so the customer can save his or her back. For example, we demo sheds and hot tubs—all those jobs that the County garbage service won’t do.
We know all the proper ways to dispose of the unwanted items. We sort the items at our warehouse. Then, we recycle, repurpose, and donate 100% of everything we haul. That’s right—100%! Nothing goes into a landfill. We are the greenest full-service junk removal service in the Washington DC Area.
We protect our clients. All our employees are carefully vetted and trained. We do not use casual or day labor. We are insured and bonded, too. Many other junk haulers cut corners in these important areas.
In addition, we provide the lowest price of any full-service junk removal service. Our trucks are bigger. Our crews are more efficient. Our recycling cuts down on dumping fees. We pass all these savings to our clients.
We are determined to keep our A Average with Angie’s List and earn their Super Service Star for 2012.

Junk King Fairfax is 100% Landfill Free!

Junk King Fairfax is now 100% landfill free. We set that goal last year. We reached 95% landfill free by June, and now in November, we’ve finally made it to 100%!

And the news gets better—we achieved our 100% landfill free goal without sacrificing any service or convenience to our clients. Moreover, we achieved our 100% landfill free goal without adding one penny of cost to our clients.
We are still full service: we haul everything but hazardous material.

Therefore, we had to find a end use for concrete, tile, porcelain, dry wall, treated lumber, dirt, paper, trash, yard debris, used furniture, e-waste, TV monitors, mattresses, tires, metal, glass, and other materials. We donate, recycle, or purpose 100% of everything we haul. Even the debris to be burned becomes electricity for Fairfax County homes.
Our 100% landfill free achievement is practical because our trained crews know how to separate debris at the job site, and further separate the debris at our warehouse. Then, we take the separated debris to the most cost efficient disposal sites where we have excellent working relationships. These end-users know that our debris is well sorted which saves them time and money. All this good will and value come back to our clients.
Therefore, we can offer our clients the greenest junk removal service and still offer King-size service with King-size savings.

Neighborhood Cleanup Day!

Would you like to nominate your neighborhood for a Neighborhood Cleanup day?
Junk King Fairfax is sponsoring a series of Neighborhood cleanup days. These Saturday events provide huge savings and convenience to consumers.
On Neighborhood Cleanup Saturday, you can get rid of those items the trash company won’t take in the normal pick-up: old grills, basketball hoops, rusted bicycles, construction debris, furniture, appliances, TV monitors, e-waste, mattresses, tires, batteries . . . everything but hazardous waste.
The convenience is huge. Our strong crew carries all the heavy stuff. You point, we carry. We want our friends and neighbors to save their backs.
The savings are huge. The Neighborhood Cleanup discount puts your price below the trash company’s charge for special pick-ups.
Junk King is the greenest full-service junk removal company in Northern Virginia. We are 95% landfill free.
We have more than 3,000 neighborhoods in Northern Virginia, but only 52 Saturday’s each year. If you wish, you can nominate your neighborhood for a Neighborhood Cleanup Saturday, and we’ll give your neighborhood priority. Call me, Alex Powers, at (703) 455-3861 or send me an email at alexp@junk-king.com.

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.