Archive for the ‘junk removal’ Category

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Many seniors choose to downsize their home before they retire. Some do it for financial reasons, but others do it simply because they don’t want to have to clean and maintain a large home during retirement.

Whatever your reason for wanting to downsize, you’ll have to get rid of quite a bit of your junk to make the new arrangement work. Here are some tips to help you determine what to keep and the best way to get rid of stuff you’ll no longer need.

How to determine what to keep…

A lot of people who downsize rent storage units to keep their extra stuff in. This is a great idea if you’re planning on downsizing temporarily, but if you’re downsizing permanently, there’s no reason to hold on to junk you know you won’t need any time soon.

What you plan on keeping will depend on your new living location. For example, if you’re moving from a house to an apartment, you’ll probably have to get rid of a lot of furniture, but if you’re just moving from a house to a smaller house, you’ll probably just have to get rid of the junk you no longer use.

When decluttering, pay special attention to the stuff in your garage, attic and basement. These are the parts of the house that we tend to throw our junk in and you’re likely to find things here that you need to just get rid of.

Get rid of anything in the house that you haven’t used in a year or anything that you have multiples of. Anything broken should also go! If in doubt, throw it out!

What to do with the stuff…

If you don’t want to mess with getting rid of all your old junk, you can always call an Austin junk removal contractor like Dirty Work to help you out. We’ll make sure your old junk gets donated and/or recycled as opposed to just tossed in a landfill. You can find us on Facebook or Twitter.

If you have the time, however, you can make some money off your old junk! The easiest way to sell your old stuff is to have a garage sale, but you’ll make a lot more money if you take the time to sell the items online. Craigslist, Amazon and Ebay are the most obvious choices, but you can also try out the dozens of local Facebook groups designed for people looking to get rid of their junk.

Did you downsize? What did you do with all your extra stuff? Let us know in the comments!

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Austin junk hauling

Did you know that the average American family doesn’t even use their garage to park their car? They use it to store their junk!

When the average family has so much junk, they can’t even use their garage, we have a problem. Fortunately, there are several simple New Year’s resolutions you can make this year to take back your home and get the clutter under control!

#1 – One Item In, One Item Out

The easiest way to prevent your house from becoming more cluttered this year is to follow the one item in, one item out rule. Every time you bring home a new item, another item must go. Bought a new pair of shoes? Donate one pair to the Goodwill.

#2 – Donate One Bag to Charity Each Month

If you have a bunch of stuff lying around that you don’t need anymore, but the idea of cleaning out your entire house overwhelms you, consider donating one trash bag full of stuff each month. On the first day of the month, place a new trash bag in the kitchen where you’ll constantly see it. Every day, try to find one item you no longer need and place it in the bag. At the end of the month, donate the bag to a local charity.

#3 – Declutter Monthly

If you’d rather do all your decluttering at once, spend a day this January getting rid of all your old junk. Then throughout the rest of the year, spend a couple of hours during the last weekend of each month, running through the house and getting rid of any unneeded junk that has accumulated.

By following one of these three resolutions, you can easily keep your entire home decluttered this year. And if you need the services of an Austin junk hauling company to assist you with your decluttering, you can find Dirty Work on Facebook or Twitter!

Austin junk hauling

Did you know that the average cost of a move is $3,300? That’s a lot of cash to spend on getting your stuff to a new place!

A great way to cut down on the cost is to only move items you absolutely need. Before you move, take a weekend to deep clean your house, throwing away all the junk you don’t need.

To get started, get three trash bags – one for trash, one for items that can be recycled and one for items that should be donated. Start de-cluttering the smallest room of your house first. Save the attic and garage, the rooms with the most junk, for last.

If you’re unsure about what items can be recycled, check the website of your local recycling center to see what they take. You can also call your local Goodwill or Salvation Army to see which items can be donated.

If you don’t want to go through all the trouble of sorting items out, look for a junk removal  that will do it for you. When our clients call us, we sort the items for them, making sure the recyclables get recycled, the donate-able items get donated and the trash is responsibly disposed of. If you’re considering hiring a junk removal company, ask them if they can do the same thing.

And if you’re considering hiring a junk removal company, check out our other blog posts: “How to Find a Junk Hauling Company That Meets Your Needs,”5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Junk Removal Company” and “Things That Should Send You Running for a Junk Removal Company.”

gifts

Every Christmas, most people end up with a gift or two that they have no use for. Most people stick these gifts in a closet or under the bed where they remain, unused and taking up space, until next year or the year after that or whenever the recipient finally decides to clean out the closet or under the bed.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do with your unwanted presents to keep them from going to waste.

Return it!

Of course, the most obvious thing to do with an unwanted present is to return it. However, if you don’t know where the gift came from you can do the following…

Re-gift it!

That sweater that wasn’t your color may be perfect for your friend. That movie you already have may be perfect for your sister. If you can’t use a gift and think someone you know would enjoy it, pass it along. Simply be honest and tell them that you received the gift and didn’t need it, but thought they would enjoy it.

Or if you’re really picky with presents and have a ton of gifts you would like to get rid of, consider creating a gift closet or shelf. Store all your unwanted gifts there and run to it first when there’s a gift giving occasion.

Donate it!

If you want the item out of your home, you can always donate it to a charity. Lots of Austin area churches have donation boxes outside for shoes and clothes that they donate to either needy Austin families or homeless shelters. Goodwill and Salvation Army both accept electronics, household goods, children toys and many other things.

Sell it!

There are dozens of easy ways to sell your unwanted gifts. You could go the traditional route and have a garage sale or use a consignment shop or you could go the more modern way and sell the items online. Ebay or Craigslist is the obvious choice for online selling, but recently Facebook consignment groups have also taken off.

Upcycle it!

As our loyal blog readers know, we love upcycling here and there are tons of old gifts that can be turned into upcycled crafts. Check out our Pinterest boards for some ideas!

And for more information on Austin junk removal, find Dirty Work on Facebook or Twitter!

christmaspresents

As an Austin junk removal company, we’re kind of passionate about junk. That’s why we make it a point to stay up to date on all the latest junk trends. Most of them aren’t things that would interest our readers, so we don’t share them. But we’ve recently stumbled upon one really cool, totally Austin, junk trend that’s worth sharing….a junk-free Christmas!

So what’s a junk-free Christmas?

The idea of a junk-free Christmas has been making the rounds on social media sites like Tumblr. Basically, the idea is that people simply have too much junk to begin with and that buying them more junk for Christmas is wasteful. So instead of buying material items, the junk-free Christmas participants have pledged to gift experiences.

So for example, you could buy a gift card to a restaurant for your sister, a month pass to a local gymnastics studio for your niece, a weekend getaway for the in-laws, etc.

Sounds pretty cool to us! What do you think?

Tell us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Junk hauling may seem like a pretty straight forward industry, but just like every industry, we have a few secrets up our sleeves…

For example, did you know that….

We’re Striving to Be as Green as Possible…

Most respectable junk hauling companies have made considerable strides in becoming more environmentally-friendly over the past few years. At Dirty Work, we haul all our client’s old furniture, household items, clothes and reusable junk to Goodwill. After we donate everything that can be reused, we’ll sort through what’s left to see what can be recycled. It’s our goal to send the absolute least amount of trash to the landfill as possible!

But Some Companies Just Don’t Care.

The most serious problem facing the junk hauling industry today is unprofessional and unethical junk hauling companies. You can find these companies on Craigslist and other online classified sections. Usually the ads say something like “Will Haul Junk for Cheap.” Unfortunately, a lot of these companies simply dump the junk in an illegal dumping ground. To find out more about the consequences of illegal dumping, read “The Consequences of Illegal Dumping.

We’re Willing to Negotiate With You…

If you have concerns about pricing or scheduling, let us know. Often, we’ll ask you to send us a picture of your job, so we can give you the most accurate quote possible. Most junk hauling companies charge by the truckload and it’s very difficult for people to estimate how much room their junk will take up in a truck. Sending a photo circumnavigates this. Also, if you work 8-5 Monday-Friday, we can work around your schedule. Simply let us know!

To a Certain Extent.

Dropping junk off at a recycling facility or the local dump costs money. For this reason, there is a baseline price for legitimate junk hauling services. If you find a company that offers you a rate 50% cheaper than all of their competitors, you should question whether or not the company is legitimate. They might be the illegal dumpers we mentioned above.

 We Aren’t Always Required to Be Licensed…

Austin requires that junk hauling companies have a license and you can find a list of licensed junk haulers online at the city’s website. However, not all places require junk haulers to have a license. If your city doesn’t require licensing, check out online reviews of the company and its BBB rating.

Or Insured.

Some places don’t require junk hauling companies to have insurance either. But if you hire an uninsured company and anything goes wrong, you’ll be on the hook for it financially.

For more information on a licensed, insured Austin junk hauling company, you can find Dirty Work on Facebook or Twitter

areyouahoarder

If you’ve ever watched Hoarders, you may have been surprised at how many of the hoarders don’t realize they have a problem. Many think they’re “packrats” or “eccentrics.” So where’s the line? When does your love of junk become a problem?

If you’re concerned you may be a hoarder, answer these questions:

1. Does thinking about throwing away items cause you anxiety?

2. Do you keep items that you know others wouldn’t see the value in?

3. Do you keep items that should have been placed in the trash?

4. Do you avoid having friends and family over because you don’t want them to see the condition of your home?

5. Are you ashamed of your living conditions?

6. Do you feel a sense of loss when your items are thrown away?

7. Do you feel angry that your friends and family can’t see how valuable your possessions are?

8. Has your love of items caused stress in your interpersonal relationships?

9. Do you fear throwing items away because you may need them some day?

10. Do you frequently acquire new items that you don’t need?

11. Has the mess made your home unlivable?

12. Are your bed, kitchen counters, dining room table and other commonly used areas so full of junk, you can’t use them?

13. Do you have to clear a path through the junk to walk through your house?

14. Are your children embarrassed to have friends see their home?

15. Has the mess gotten so bad that you wouldn’t be able to clean it up on your own now even if you wanted to?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have hoarding tendencies. Contact a local mental health professional who specializes in hoarding disorder.

If you just want more information on hoarding disorder, find Austin junk hauling contractor Dirty Work on FacebookTwitter or Google+.