RSS icon

Junk'N Stuff Blog

Earth Day 2018

Sunday, April 22, 2018 marks the celebration of Earth Day, or the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement, and 123JUNK is doing its small bit to participate.

Since April 22nd falls on a Sunday this year, we’ve scheduled our Earth Day activities on Saturday, April 21st. We’ll be setting up trucks at various locations around Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC for our annual Spring Cleaning Event.  Come out and bring us your household junk!

We’re accepting household items, small furniture, clothing, and most goods except electronics at these locations, unless otherwise noted:

Saturday, April 21 Community Donation locations together with:

Donations and Electronics Recycling Day:

  • Keller Williams Realty, 46169 Westlake Drive, #200, Potomac Falls, VA, 9 am – 12 pm

Donations Only:

  • Wicker Homes Group, Keller Williams Realty, 43004 Waxpool Road, Ashburn, VA, 9 am – 11 am
  • Realtor Thomas Doyle, Real Living at Home Real Estate Group, 4600 N. Park Ave., Chevy Chase, MD, 10 am – 12 pm
  • Realtor Tania Hosmer Neighborhood Cleanup Day, Keller Williams Realty, 7809 Grovemont Dr., McLean, VA, 12 pm – 2 pm
  • Rob and Brent Group of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty:
  • Capitol Quarter: Courtyard by 312 L St SE, Washington, DC, 10 am – 12 pm
  • Capitol Hill: SW Corner of Lincoln Park at 11st St. SE and North Carolina Ave., Washington, DC, 10 am – 12 pm
  • Logan Circle: 13th St. NW and Q St. NW, Washington, DC, 10 am – 12 pm
  • Potomac Yard: 2300 Main Line Blvd, Alexandria, VA, 10 am – 12 pm

Rebuilding Together Program:

In addition, Kevin Wheeler, Client Relationship Manager of 123JUNK, will be donating his day for the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors’ (GCAAR) Rebuilding Together program that helps renovate homes for underprivileged families.

“In reality, every day is Earth Day for us,” Wheeler said. “We are committed to environmental preservation with everything we do, from having a paperless client experience, to donating as many items as we can to our charity partners and other affiliations. What we cannot donate we first try to deliver to the local recycling facility before disposing of the trash as a final option.”

History of Earth Day

With the publication of Silent Spring in 1962, the New York Times best-selling expose, author Rachel Carson began to raise public awareness of the links between pollution, the environment and public health. But it wasn’t until 1970 that Gaylord Nelson, a US Senator from Wisconsin, created Earth Day after watching the environmental disaster of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, CA.

In the 1970s, times were troubled. War raged in Vietnam, students were protesting, and Americans weren’t aware of the damage their gas-guzzling cars and daily habits were causing to the environment. It was time to put environmental care on the front pages of the news.

Senator Nelson came up with the idea for a “national teach-in” concerning the environment and enlisted Denis Hayes as his national coordinator. Together, they built a national staff to promote events across America, selecting the date of April 22 because it conveniently fell between Spring Break and Final Exams.

On that first Earth Day, more than 20 million Americans rallied, and thousands of universities organized protests, combining forces with organizations already fighting to protect our environment, loss of wilderness and extinction of wildlife.

By the end of 1970, Earth Day had led to the creation of the Environment Protection Agency and passage of the Endangered Species, Clean Air, and Clean Water Acts.

Earth Day Goes Global

In 1990, a group of global leaders sought help in organizing a global Earth Day, and on April 22, more than 200 million people in 141 countries joined the cause. Recycling efforts expanded and a United National Earth Summit was scheduled in 1992. In 1995, President Bill Clinton awarded Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his role as the founder of Earth Day.

Please Donate on Earth Day 2018

We hope to see many of you at our Earth Day donation centers, located throughout Northern Virginia, Maryland and DC. And we thank the companies and individuals who sponsor these donation centers. Bring your unwanted items, trash and household furniture and goods. You’ll clean out your house or office while donating to a good cause.

For more information about our Earth Day activities, please contact Kevin Wheeler at 123JUNK.

Timmy and Brian Anderson

It’s time to introduce you again to some of the awesome people we have working here at 123JUNK. This time we’re showcasing a pair of brothers who work here: Timmy Anderson and Brian Anderson.

Meet Brian and Timmy Anderson, 123JUNK Inside Sales Representatives

The first to join the 123JUNK team was Brian Anderson (on right) in May 2016. He had been working elsewhere and was seeking a new challenge. “I didn’t foresee working at 123JUNK as a career at the time. I was looking to make a little money and save up for school. I started on the trucks, as everyone does, and within six months I took an office position,” he explained.

Serving now in the position of Inside Sales and Client Account Representative, Brian talks about his favorite part of working here. “It doesn’t feel like a regular company; it feels more like a brotherhood. We are all friends and we all get along well. And some days it doesn’t even feel like I’m even going to work.”

Next to come on board was Timmy Anderson (on left) in March 2017. “I also started on the truck doing jobs in the field, then began doing part-time Inside Sales at the end of the summer, with half my time on the truck. Now I’m full time in the office as an Inside Sales Representative,” he said.

His favorite part of working here is the people, he says. “It is a good group to work with and the company itself has a great attitude. We get a lot of work done, but we have fun too.” Having worked previously doing odd jobs like tree work, patios and personal training, he had been seeking a full time job when brother Brian suggested he apply here.

What’s it like working with your brother?

“We did a lot of stuff together growing up, so it feels like when we were kids, but now we’re doing work instead of playing,” Timmy said.

“We have similar tracks with the company thus far, transitioning from the trucks into the office,” Timmy added. “The owner, Collin, saw something in us and thought we could contribute more to the company. It’s cool to have the owner have that kind of trust in us.”

Were there any issues about being brothers?

“When Timmy first started, I think people may have been a little less open with him about issues, thinking that he’d tell his brother and everyone would know,” Brian said. “But we’re all kind of like brothers here anyway.”

“Being Brian’s brother, when I came on I felt like people thought ‘Let’s see what he’s got,’” Timmy said. “But being on the truck is the ultimate equalizer.”

Brian was brought into the company by friends who worked there, and he has brought in not only his brother, but other friends as well. “You wouldn’t want to recruit your friends or sibling into a company to be miserable, but here it’s such a great place to work that you’re excited to tell others about it.” Even so, it’s not easy to get a job at 123JUNK. All potential employees are interviewed by the owner and a manager, followed by a set of "working interviews" on the truck. All prospective employees need to be green-lit by everybody they work with. “We want to make sure we find people who truly want to do this work and who fit in with our company culture of providing exceptional service.”

Personal Lives

Outside of work, Brian enjoys working out, watching TV, reading or listening to podcasts, and hanging out with friends. Timmy goes straight from work to the gym to work out and enjoys playing rugby several nights a week. The two currently live together in Manassas, and grew up in Burke. They come from a family of 8 siblings!

Brian and Timmy aren’t the first or the only pair of brothers to work at 123JUNK. The owner, Collin Wheeler, welcomed his own brother Kevin Wheeler into the business, and there have at  least a half dozen pairs of brothers throughout the years.

Want to Contact 123JUNK?

If you’re interested in a career at 123JUNK, please check out our Employment Opportunities. And if you need junk hauled from your home or office in Northern VA, MD or DC, please give Timmy or Brian a call. Now that you know them, it will be like calling a friend!

team pic 2
Do you want to know the #1 reason why the average person accumulates so much junk in their home? It’s because they just don’t know how to get rid of it! They know they can’t leave worn-out furniture or broken appliances out on the street for the garbage man to pick up. And they probably don’t have access to a giant truck to haul all of the junk off to the dump themselves. If they want to be environmentally friendly, well, how exactly do you go about recycling an old fridge? The main reason why junk and unwanted items build up is simply because it’s easier to put them in the garage or basement to be dealt with later.

Back when our founder, Collin Wheeler, worked for a DC moving company, he heard this story again and again. It inspired him to start 123JUNK, a company that gives you a stress-free and environmentally responsible way to get rid of your clutter and junk. It’s simple, you call us to book an appointment and we will show up to haul away whatever you want. And we don’t mean directly to the dump! It’s our aim to be as eco-friendly as possible so we don’t just trash your stuff, we recycle it! In fact, we recycle over 50% of the items we remove. And if you have some old appliances that still work, we can donate them to charities for you, giving them a new home while getting them out of yours.

Here is exactly what you can expect when you give us a call. We will show up at your place at a time that works for you, we even offer same-day and weekend service. We will remove everything that you want from your home or storage and put it into our big red truck. You will only be charged for volume of the junk removed, not by how long the job takes or how much it weighs. After we’re done, we sweep, tidy up, and strive to leave your home cleaner than when we got there. You don’t have to do a thing, you can just leave everything to us. And once we are finished, you will suddenly have wonderful, glorious SPACE in your life again!

If you’d like to schedule a time for us to stop by, you can give us a call at 1-800-364-5778. To learn more about 123JUNK and all of our services, you can visit our website or check us out on Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Yelp. When you have us in your corner, then clearing away your junk is as simple as 1-2-3!

123JUNK 10

As junk hauling professionals, we cringe every time we hear about somebody Googling “Cheap Junk Hauling.” But it’s a fact of life we have to live with. People are always looking for a bargain.

That got us to thinking about what is really meant by the word “cheap.”

  • Is the homeowner looking for the best price?
  • Does the office manager just want a down and dirty haul-away?
  • Is the client concerned about the professionalism of the team that comes out to their property?
  • Does the client care about the concern the team has for their property?

 

Does Cheap Mean Pricing?

123JUNK considers itself fairly priced in the junk hauling marketplace. We provide what we believe is very good value for the customer who wants a professional job done right. We also do more -- the Donate - Recycle - Dispose model of which we've built our reputation is unmatched in our industry. We're more than just a junk removal company.

One thing we offer is flat rate pricing. This includes all elements of our service, like labor, gas, mileage, and any disposal costs, so our customers receive just one bill. Even though another company might offer a lower estimate on the hauling job, when the extra fees are added in, the price may jump to a level higher than expected. We don’t like unexpected surprises and we believe in transparency

Does Cheap Mean Second-Rate?

As an established business with a carefully trained team, we pride ourselves on our professionalism. First, we outfit all of our employees head to toe with clothing that shows our logo. This creates camaraderie among all of us as teammates as well as adds a level of comfort and security to our customers’ experience. We also invest in high-quality trucks and equipment, and in keeping them clean. Even though our business can be dirty, there is no reason for either our workers or our trucks to appear so.

We never, ever want to offer a second-rate or inferior experience to our customers. Each customer receives the same level of service and polite interaction, no matter what size their hauling job is. For example, when you call into 123JUNK our phones are answered by a living person, not a machine. From that first contact on, we want you to know that you are important to us. You can read more about our goal of satisfying customers in this previous blog post.

Does Cheap Mean Stingy?

Every one of our employees will bend over backwards to make sure our customers have a top-notch experience. We don’t cut corners in our service or our services. For hauling jobs like appliance or office equipment removal, we take the time to cover floors and protect doorways, furniture and corners from scuffs or damage. We also come back in to sweep-clean the area, or rake up any remaining debris from a yard waste removal.

For working with delicate situations such as hoarding, divorce or death cleanouts, our employees are trained in how to deal with customers who are undergoing a stressful situation. We’re not stingy with our time or our resources. Although we must stick to our daily scheduled appointments, it’s not unusual to find one of our haulers or telephone contacts, taking a few extra minutes to help a customer talk through the situation or helping to relocate a heavy piece of furniture from one room to another. Just that little extra can really make the difference in somebody’s life.

So What Does Cheap Junk Hauling Really Mean?

So what does a person really mean when they enter “Cheap Junk Hauling” into the search bar? Certainly they don’t want what seems like cheap pricing only to receive an inflated after-the-work bill, or have an unscrupulous-looking company show up at their doorstep. After all, you’re inviting these people into your private spaces, whether it is your home or office. And you surely don’t want second-rate service or miserly interactions.

What you really want when you say “Cheap Junk Hauling” is great service at an affordable price. And that is just what 123JUNK offers.

Give us a chance and let us bid on your next home or office junk hauling project in Northern Virginia, Maryland or Washington, D.C. Contact us today.

Old TVWe noticed recently that a local charity had posted a sign near the drop-off entrance that stated they no longer accepted CRT and DLP TVs or rear-projection flat screen HDTVs. But still there were several people wanting to donate their old television set, and they were subsequently turned away to haul their big, heavy TV back to the garage…or worse.


Rather than lug their old TV home again, you unfortunately find that people leave their outdated television nearby or dump it in a non-dump area. Those are not viable options. Storing it inside the home isn’t a pleasant thought either, but it happens. In fact, according to the Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse study, in 2015, Americans were storing about five billion pounds of CRT televisions in their homes.

123JUNK Wants Your Old TV

There’s a better solution. Instead of having to figure out how to get your oversized television into your family car, then gathering the family to help lift it. Call 123JUNK. We’re experts at hauling and lifting, and you never have to leave the couch…except to open the front door, of course, once we arrive.

What’s great about 123JUNK is that we have plenty of charitable partners who would love to have your old television. We partner with organizations who furnish refugees from other countries with household goods, and others who sell items to raise money to build housing for our local residents. To them, your old TV is like gold.

Old TVs Contain Toxic Materials

Another reason to call 123JUNK is to prevent your old TV from going into the landfill. Televisions, computer monitors and other electrical equipment contain non-recyclable and hazardous materials that can infect our soil and water with toxins. It is not unusual to find toxic substances including mercury, lead, beryllium and cadmium within an electronic device. Older CRT, or cathode ray tube, TVs contain lead in their glass tubes—up to six pounds of it. LED and Plasma TVs do not contain lead.

If your old TV is working, we’ll deliver it to whatever charity can use it. If not, we’ll take it to the recycling center where it can be stripped for re-usable materials and disposed of properly.

Watch 123JUNK Work

Don’t strain your back or your brain trying to figure out how to dispose of your old TV. Call 123JUNK. We serve families and businesses throughout Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Call us today from the comfort of your favorite TV-watching chair and watch us get to work. We can be there as soon as tomorrow in many cases. Contact us today.

Garbage in middle ages

What did cavemen do with their garbage? That’s probably not a question you ask yourself too often. But what people do with their trash is a Number One Priority here at 123JUNK and it’s always on the tops of our minds.

So we had to ponder—where would the world be today if it weren’t for garbage men and junk haulers?

Well, first off, the world would probably be disgusting. Mounds of trash would be everywhere. And it would smell bad. Luckily, we’re here to call so this doesn’t happen.

Way back when, people didn’t own much, and what they did own, they kept for a long while, repurposing items as they became older. Anything unusable, they commonly burned or buried. These trash piles are treasure troves for archaeologists!

As cities grew and populations expanded, there were more people making trash and less land available. So it started to build up. This brought on vermin and disease. Remember the Black Plague of the 1300s? More than 25 million people died of this disease within five years. The pandemic urged sanitation changes, and resulted in the introduction in London of the first garbagemen. Their job? The weekly raking up of trash into carts for disposal outside the city limits.

In the later 1300s, the British Parliament stepped in and decided to implement regulations. First, they mandated that people must keep their front lawns clean. Second, they banned the dumping of waste into public waterways and ditches. In 1407, they passed a law stating that all waste must be kept indoors until the garbagemen arrived. So it piled up.

With the onset of the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s, the concept of trash bins became popular in Britain to deter scavengers. People were charged for them whether they used them or not. Britain then created giant “destructor” plants to burn trash and generate electricity from the steam.

The History of Garbage in America

Here in the United States, Benjamin Franklin started up a street cleaning service in 1757, and encouraged people to dig pits to bury their waste.

In the mid-1800s, residents of Washington, D.C. were freely dumping their garbage and slop into the streets where rats, cockroaches and other unpleasants created infestations—even in the White House. In 1894, residents of Alexandria, Virginia were so disgusted by the sight and smell of trash barges on the Potomac River coming from Washington, D.C. that they began sinking them upriver. In 1885, New York City developed the first system for garbage management.

Come the early 1900s, people were still dumping trash everywhere, filling up the waterways and byways, despite the installation of incinerators. It wasn’t until 1934 that the Supreme Court banned people from dumping municipal waste into the oceans, and by 1945, sanitary landfills were in full use. The very first sanitary landfill opened in Fresno, California in 1937 using trenching, compacting and the daily covering of waste with soil. Burning of waste was prohibited in most areas by the Clean Air Act of the 1950s.

Modern Trash Hauling

In 1965, the Solid Waste Disposal Act was established, and once President Nixon created the Environmental Protection Act in 1970, recycling and environmental concerns came to the forefront.

1991 marked the EPA standards for landfill groundwater protection, and the beginning of hazardous waste programs.

And probably the most significant date—at least in our lives—was the founding of 123JUNK in 2008. We’re celebrating 10 years!

In a report by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, every American produces 16.5 pounds of trash per day. And with more than 315 million people, that is more than 5 billion pounds of trash every day that needs to go somewhere. Two of the world’s largest landfills are right here in the United States: in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, with each processing more than 10,500 pound of trash daily!

Trash Hauling is Our Life at 123JUNK

We hope you enjoyed this brief journey through the history of trash. When you need your own junk and trash hauling, please think of 123JUNK. Your trash creates our history. Contact us today to schedule a pickup.

iIlegal dumping

 

Environmental damage can begin right in our own neighborhoods when people illegally dump items where they do not belong. As defined, illegal dumping it is the abandonment of waste in places other than authorized sites. It can include dumping of your trash into someone else’s container, abandoning items along a public roadway, or leaving them in an open field or vacant lot, or any other unacceptable location.

The effect can become cumulative. Where one item is dumped, often many items can begin to accumulate, either tossed by one individual or as the effect of others viewing this location as an easy dump site. When noticeable quantities of junk build up, the site becomes an open dump.

People toss all kinds of items with some of the more common dumped items including trash and garbage, old tires, mattresses, household appliances and furniture, yard waste, paints, fuels and chemicals. Other dumped items include construction materials left over from a residential job. Even leaving household goods on the curb with a “FREE” sign can be considered illegal dumping.

Serious Consequences of Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping is a significant problem with serious consequences. Chemicals and pesticides that are dumped on the ground or into storm drains or waterways can pollute the soil or leach into the water or air supply, creating serious health hazards for plants, wildlife and humans alike.

Jurisdictions are taking the issue seriously as well since illegal dumping it is considered a criminal offense. In Manassas, Virginia, residents who are moving or remodeling and who leave large quantities of trash at the curb can face fines up to $2,500, jail time, and removal charges of up to $400.

 

In Washington, DC, the Police Department’s Environmental Crime Unit is hard at work cleaning up the district using illegal dumping signage and high-tech surveillance cameras to catch illegal dumpers in action. If caught, a perpetrator’s fines can run as high as $40,000.

Maryland, too, is cracking down on illegal dumping with signs on MD highways posting maximum fine amounts in highly-visible numbers. Illegal dumping here can result in a five-year prison sentence for a higher penalty or a 30-day jail sentence and a $1,500 fine for lesser charges.

Why Do People Illegally Dump?

The most common reason for illegal dumping is laziness. People can’t be bothered to take items to the landfill or appropriate dumping location. Or they falsely believe that if one person dumps their items in a location that it must be okay to add to the pile. Another reason is cost; fees are sometimes incurred with disposal.

123JUNK Provides Illegal Dumping Removal

The easiest and simplest way to remove items from your home or business is to call 123JUNK. Our professional team members can handle any size job, and know how and where to dispose of items both legally and responsibly. We even clean up illegal dumping sites when contracted for the job.

Don’t let illegal dumping or piles of unwanted items or garbage destroy our environment, or ruin your aesthetic views. If you are in Maryland, Northern Virginia or Washington DC, all it takes is a call to 123JUNK. Contact us today at 1-800-364-5778 to set your pickup appointment.

all hands meeting

 

At 123JUNK, we believe it is important to outfit all of our workers with branded clothing, and we go the full mile to ensure that everyone who works here gets full head-to-toe gear. We offer a variety of clothing options, including short-sleeved and long-sleeved polo shirts, pants, jackets, baseball caps, beanies for winter, and even boots to our employees.

Not every piece of our branded wear looks the same, however. There are different colors and styles available to allow our workers to still showcase their own personal styles while supporting the 123JUNK brand.

Why is outfitting our employees in uniform gear important?

Consistent Brand

Having a professionally-uniformed staff reinforces the 123JUNK brand through its colors, its logos and its commitment to company-set standards. The brand begins inside our company, and then translates our quality outside to our community partners, our charitable organizations, and of course, our clients, and everyone who sees our brand throughout the day.

Equal Playing Field

Since everyone at 123JUNK is dressed similarly, it blurs the lines between management and staff. Uniforms create an equality among workers and foster camaraderie and solidarity. It is not unusual for anyone who works at 123JUNK to jump in to help others at a moment’s notice. You might even find Collin working a truck alongside the latest hire.

Belonging

Our workers are proud to wear the 123JUNK brand because it creates a team spirit, a sense of belonging among everyone. It really feels like a family when you look around the room during a staff meeting and notice how everyone takes pride in wearing the brand.

Trust

With our work, we are invited into people’s homes and businesses, sometimes into the most intimate rooms of a client’s home. When our workers show up looking uniform, it helps to reinforce the fact that we are an established, quality company that can be trusted, and offers security to our clients. They can feel safe opening up their homes and lives to us.

Professionalism

We did a post previously on how it was important to us to present shiny clean trucks. It’s the same with our uniformed staff. It all goes back to our commitment to professionalism. We want to be the best junk hauling company, bar none. And, of course, we want to make a good impression.

Employee Benefit

Providing uniforms is a great employee benefit that saves money for our workers and wear and tear on their own clothing. They don’t have to worry about staining or damaging their own clothes, so they feel freer to “dig in” to a job.

We not only see the benefits of wearing branded uniforms within our company, we are sure these benefits reflect as well to the public. We are professionals within the junk hauling business, and it shows.

MD, VA, DC Junk Hauling

123JUNK is pleased to serve the homeowners and business owners in Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, DC. You might see our big red trucks or our uniformed workers throughout this region. If you need junk hauling, want to have large items like appliances, office equipment or mattresses removed, or have debris or yard waste that needs to go, contact 123JUNK today to set your pickup appointment.

Organizing a home

 

Go to any bookstore or library and you’re faced with shelves of books offering helpful hints and systems for organizing your home. Here are some of the best-selling books on the subject:

Organizing Your Home Book Recommendations

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo

As a professional organizer, Marie Kondo created her own method for organizing. She suggests taking everything and putting it into one pile, then seriously sorting items to only keep the ones that you truly love. Even sentimental items can be culled, although she recommends taking time to accept closure in order to move on from those items. With fewer belongings and less clutter, Kondo claims that her KonMari method will “magically transform your life.” This #1 Best Seller was followed by Kondo’s second book, Spark Joy.

“We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.” --Marie Kondo


Make Room For What Your Love, by Melissa Michaels

Melissa Michaels focuses on why you develop clutter in the first place, and defines how to make decisions about belongings and organize them in a way that offers a new perspective and makes them special. Like Kondo, she encourages readers to keep only the things they love right now, disposing of things from the past. Michaels’s blog, The Inspired Room, is a Better Homes & Gardens favorite. She is also the author of Love the Home You Have.

“The home that is supposed to be our sanctuary, our haven from the chaos outside, is full-to-overflowing with things that drown out the peace we are craving.” –Melissa Michaels

 

How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing with Your House’s Dirty Little Secrets, by Dana K. White

While most organization advice comes from organized people, self-confessed slob Dana K. White chronicles her failures and successes with her self-described “deslobification process,” ideas she has developed, tested and proven in her own home. With humor, she explains that cleaning is a series of ongoing pre-made decisions. White is also the author of Decluttering at the Speed of Life. Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff that helps readers end their paralyzing emotional attachments to stuff and make real decluttering decisions.

“My attention span and my available time and caring “whatsoever about this mess” are not guaranteed to exist in Later Land, so I can’t go there.” -- Dana K. White


 

The Complete Book of Home Organization, by Tony Hammersley

“Less is more,” says Tony Hammersley in her #1 Best Seller. This book is pretty enough to display on a coffee table and pick up time and time again for quick-reading methods and tips on how to organize every space in your home. She offers a yearly 14-week challenge to help others conquer clutter and is the author of the popular blog A Bowl Full of Lemons that offers a variety of printable organizational tools.

“Clutter happens when we have too much stuff to realistically manage.” – Tony Hammersley


Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism, by Fumio Sasaki

Fumio Sasaki was a regular guy who eliminated stress by saying goodbye to everything he didn’t absolutely need, with remarkable results. He gained true freedom and focus, and felt a sense of gratitude for all that was around him. He shares his minimalist experience with tips on how you can reduce your belongings and enrich your life.

“Why do we own so many things when we don’t need them?” --Fumio Sasaki

Organize Your Home with 123JUNK

These books offer great advice on how to declutter and streamline your home for a happier and more fulfilling life. So what do you do with all the stuff you’re getting rid of? Call 123JUNK. We make it our business to make it easy for you to donate, dispose, or recycle items you no longer need or want. Like Marie Kondo says, “Just make piles.” Our uniformed team members will take your entire lot so you don’t have to go through the trouble of sorting out items again. We make it our job to sort through each pickup to pull out items that our charitable partners can use or sell to raise money, cull out recyclable items like electronics and metals and take them to the recycling center, and take only what is truly unusable to the landfill.

Organizing a home is never easy, but we’re trying our bit to make it a less challenging task. Call 123JUNK today to make your pickup appointment.

This Is Us crock pot episode 2018

 

In the opening scenes on a recent episode of the hit drama This is Us, an elderly couple mulls over their overstuffed garage, lamenting the fact that they are overwhelmed with junk and can’t move on with their lives because of it.

“What a mess,” she says.

“Why throw it out, why not have a yard sale,” he retorts.

“Nobody wants this stuff, George.”

“This junk is the stuff of our lives,” he said sadly.

“The house has been on the market for three months and we haven’t even had a nibble,” she answers.

[Watch here]

The couple pulls out a crock pot that has “hardly been used” and ends up donating it to the Pearson family. Unfortunately [SPOILER ALERT], that crock pot has a short in the switch that ends up causing the devastating fire that shocks fans of the popular nighttime drama.

This is Us hits close to home on many accounts, which is probably why it has become so positively reviewed and nominated for Best Television Series.

But let’s get back to why we noticed this particular segment. At 123JUNK, we run into this situation quite often. We meet couples, especially older couples who have had decades to accumulate “the stuff of their lives,” who want or need to sell their home. But they can’t seem to let go of the old.

There is no way that all their possessions will fit into their new, probably smaller, home. And there is really no reason they need to take with them items like the crock pot they never use, the toys from their children’s youth, or the skis they haven’t touched in 20 years. But as the couple in This is Us references, these are the reminders—the touchstones—of their lives together.

Nobody can go into this home and tell the owners that they need to toss out all of their stuff in order to move, although that may be what needs to be done ultimately. No, it is much more delicate than that.

We train our staff to be sensitive to situations just like this. From the first conversation on the initial call to the uniformed team members who arrive at the home, the caring people at 123JUNK know how to listen and help our clients.

Sometimes it is the couple themselves who call us, however, we also work with Realtors, or a staging or organizing professionals who are helping the couple prepare for putting their home on the market for sale.

Donation Makes Downsizing Easier


The 123JUNK three-pronged approach to junk removal (Donate—Recycle—Dispose) often helps these couples with their culling process. They like that we have a donation aspect and will take perfectly good household goods, furniture and other items to our local charity partners like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore or A Wider Circle who offer these items back to the community. This can make it easier to “let go” of items that have a particular sentimental value.

Having too much stuff can be immobilizing even if you’re not planning to move. This particular couple on This is Us obviously has not been able to use their garage as anything but a storage area for many years.

Believe it or not, we actually function better in less cluttered spaces. In a 2011 study by researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute, it was reported that in a cluttered environment, the chaos restricts one’s ability to focus and process information. It creates distraction and competes for your attention, wearing down your mental resources.

Clutter can also pose a physical hazard as well, especially for older individuals who may be more likely to trip and fall.

With the 123JUNK system, there is no need to separate items for donation, recycling or trash. To make it easier on our clients, these items can all be accumulated together. We’ll do the work for you. We’ll load our big red trucks accordingly, separate out items, and deliver them to our charity partners, the local recycling center, or the landfill, as appropriate.

Contact 123JUNK for Junk Removal


If you are looking to clear out a space, prepare your home for sale, or have a client that needs junk removal in Maryland, Northern Virginia or Washington DC, call 123JUNK today. 

Landfill

 

We don’t think about the items we toss into the trash can or recycling bin. We figure someone else will haul them away, never to be seen again. But many of those used-once, non-biodegradable items can linger in our landfills, not breaking down for hundreds or even thousands of years…if ever.

As professional junk haulers, 123JUNK must be knowledgeable about Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, the types of items we haul, and their impact on our ecosystem and environment. We don’t just take everything to the landfill and dump it off. We make a conscious effort with each pickup to cull through and remove items that can—and should—be recycled and deliver them to the proper recycling centers located throughout our region.

More harmful items that don't break down in landfills:

Plastic Bottles

Because plastic bottles are designed to hold liquids, they also are designed to keep other elements out, which can prevent them from being broken down by the very microorganisms that facilitate decomposition. Eventually, say in about 500 years, they may break up into smaller pieces, but they will never break down.

Glass Bottles

Similarly, glass bottles are also designed to resist penetration by liquids or organisms. Since they are made of up silica, just like sand, they are resistant to breaking down. Some say they could take up to a million years to biodegrade, but nobody’s been around long enough to measure.

Plastic Bags

Grocery bags and sandwich bags that end up in the landfill can take up to 1,000 years to break down. An even larger problem is the issue they post with wildlife. Birds and animals are attracted to food or odors left by foods in the bags and chew into or swallow the plastic bags, which wreaks havoc with their digestive systems and can prove fatal. Washing out and reusing plastic bags is one way to help recycle.

Aluminum Cans

Even aluminum can take between 80 and 200 years to break down in a landfill. Metals, like tin cans, will eventually rust and flake apart, but are not biodegradable because microorganisms do not feed on metal.

Styrofoam

Styrofoam, or polystyrene foam, was actually designed not to break down, it is toxic to burn, and normally cannot be reused. It will retain its shape for thousands of years. And since it is light enough to float, it can end up in polluting our waterways.

Disposable Diapers

Disposable diapers are made up of a number of layers: plastic, absorbent, paper. And in addition to taking up to 500 years to decompose, disposable diapers carry biohazards in the human excrement that can cause bacteria and diseases to flourish. Don’t even think about putting disposable diapers into your recycling bin.

Electronics

Most electronic appliances and devices contain heavy metals like lead, cadmium, mercury and beryllium, and hazardous elements including hexavalent chromium, arsenic, brominated flame retardants, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC plastic) that can leech into the soil and pollute our ecosystem. Some are extremely toxic, even in very low concentrations. A modern cell phone can contain 500 to 1,000 elements.

Printer Ink Cartridges

Printing ink contains harmful chemicals like alcohol, fungicides, ethylene glycol and toxic metals that although they are not toxic to humans, can release toxins into the environment. Their contents can also be flammable, reactive or corrosive, and make take 500-1,000 years to break down.

Fluorescent Light Bulbs

CFL, or compact fluorescent lamp bulbs, contain mercury phosphorous and yttrium that, if broken, could contaminate local ecosystems. LED bulbs contain aluminum. Both of these types of light bulbs are much more damaging to the environment than the older-style incandescent bulbs.

123JUNK Knows Its Stuff

As you can see, we in the junk hauling business have to “know our stuff” to do our jobs right. There’s more to it than just hauling junk to the landfill. Yet sadly, not all companies consider the environmental impact when operating their business.

Schedule a Junk Pickup with 124JUNK

If you need to make a junk pickup in Northern Virginia, Maryland or Washington DC, call 123JUNK. We were the thought leaders in our donate—recycle—dispose philosophy that is the heart of our business. Contact us today and talk live to one of our friendly representatives.