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Junk'N Stuff Blog

Military move
Living where we do, surrounding the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, there are a lot of people associated with the military. And that means lots of relocation.

Military families often get orders to move, sometimes within a short period of time. They have to pack up the household yet again and venture forward to their next assignment.

Winnowing down the amount of possessions they own is one way military families cope, and it is especially essential when the family is relocated overseas. Downsizing any household is never easy, which is why 123JUNK offers several ways to not only help yourself, but help others in the process.

A Few Piles, One Dial

Packing up for a move offers an ideal time to sort through items you own to decide what is essential and what you have outgrown or not used in a while. While packing, simply put items you wish to discard in piles. There is no need to sort them, 123JUNK will do that for you.


Then simply call 123JUNK to make a pickup. Our professional, uniformed staff will haul away your items in our big red trucks and do the sorting for you offsite.

Donate

Items that are reusable are donated to one of our many charitable partners, like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore or A Wider Circle. This can include furniture, household goods, fixtures, appliances, any anything else that might be of value. We will document your donation and provide you a receipt for tax deduction.

Recycle

Once we have made the first sort, we’ll go through your items again, culling out materials that can be recycled, like electronic parts and metals. Those we’ll deliver to the local recycling facility.

Dispose

Only on our third go-through do we take any remaining junk, like broken items, trash, or yard waste to the area transfer/disposal station. 

 

Thank you for your duty! If you have an upcoming military move, let 123JUNK help. Contact us today to schedule your pickup.

family on swingset

Now that the weather is warming up, families are anxious to get out into their yards again. They savor the memories of the warm sun, children’s laughter, and carefree days as the entire family looks forward to enjoying their outdoor space.


Outdoor areas, like indoor living spaces, also have their dangers. However, with a few safety precautions, your yard can become the haven of nature you want it to be.

  1. Remove yard debris. Winter may have left a trail of downed limbs and broken branches, which could be dangerous. A little yard maintenance will provide a safe environment for all
  2. Check for dangerous plants. There are a number of toxic plants, including poison ivy and poison oak, that can be hazardous. Locate and eliminate them early to prevent their spreading. If using pesticides or lawn treatments, avoid letting the children and pets play on the lawn for at least 48 hours.
  3. Repair or remove broken toys. Rusty swingsets, ripped trampolines and broken sandboxes are unsafe for children, so either repair them or call 123JUNK to remove them from your yard. Check playsets for loose bolts or railings, and inspect for insect nests.
  4. Walk the property. Review your yard for other broken items such as lawn statuary, trellises or garden boxes. Inspect the integrity of fences, walkways, patios, decks and other structures and make repairs as needed. Tighten slats and railings, and replace rotted wood.
  5. Check your pool or hot tub. Make sure your outdoor water features are in good working order, and check for punctures. Check also their safety features such as railings and gates. If your pool or hot tub have been nonfunctioning for a while, have them removed. We’ll do that.
  6. Clean the grill. Prepare the grill for outdoor cooking by cleaning it thoroughly and checking for gas or propane leaks. Ensure proper proximity away from flammable structures, like a deck or tree branches.

As part of your community, we care about the families we serve, and want to see everyone enjoying – safely – their homes and yards.

Let 123JUNK Help Clean Up Your Backyard

If you have yard debris, old swingsets, pools or hot tubs, outdoor equipment or tools that need to be removed, Call 123JUNK. We’ll be glad to give you one all-inclusive price for hauling away almost anything from your interior or exterior property in Northern Virginia, D.C. or Maryland. Let our uniformed professionals do the heavy work for you. Contact us today!

Collin headshot

When I started 123JUNK as a right-out-of college 23-year-old, I didn’t know the importance of a lot of things I do today. Like creating opportunities for employees.

Over the years, we've discovered that employees like to buy into the company they work for, and will work harder and longer if they:

1) Feel like their work is making a contribution

2) Have opportunities to grow and move up within the company.

The first concept wasn’t too difficult. We hold weekly staff meetings to talk about the jobs we do and the successes we have, and we reinforce the company goals and culture. During these meetings, we often hear stories from those on the front line: those who answer the telephones as well as on-the-truck personnel. Of course there are some gripes, but more often than not, our team members are surprised to learn just how much of a difference our little junk hauling service makes in their lives, both from our clients and the charity partners for whom we serve.

The second concept involves creating growth opportunities for our team members. Growth can come from a number of avenues, and we encourage personal growth by providing ongoing education and educational opportunities. Growth can also come from experience. We've also added a third element: a growth path within the company itself.

By viewing our company org chart, which is prominently displayed in the common area of our office, our team members can clearly see how they can progress through the ranks at 123JUNK, from trainees on our truck, to a team lead, to dispatcher, to manager. And we’re finding that they are excited about joining and working within a company that is looking ahead for their future and not just its own.

Even though we’re a local business, hauling junk in Northern Virginia, Maryland and DC, we are thinking like a larger company. We encourage all local businesses to think the same way. 

Spring season

 

When we think March, we think March Madness. And we don’t just mean the NCAA basketball tournament.

We’re talking about the Real Estate Market.


Every spring, the real estate market takes off, with people wanting to buy and sell homes. In their terms, they call it the Spring Market. But no matter what we call it, it’s madness!


With all these people wanting to move at the same time, Realtors have their work cut out to help their clients organize these moves in the best ways possible. It is their—and our—busiest time of year.


That’s why they rely on 123JUNK. They know that with one phone call (we answer the phone in person), they can schedule one of our services, and mark that task off their list.

Homeowners appreciate us as well. Our polite, uniformed workers take the ultimate care in removing belongings from a home. We pad the corners and lay protection on the floors before we touch anything. We also look for little extra ways to help out when we can.

And now that we’ve expanded our fleet and our territory in Maryland, we’re available for Realtor services that much quicker.

Realtors: Make One Call to 123JUNK


We understand what Realtors need, and our goal is to make their jobs easier. If you’d like more information about the types of services 123JUNK offers to Realtors in Northern Virginia, Maryland and DC, or would like us to do a presentation at your Realtor office, please give us a call.

ReStore

Part of the 123JUNK initiative is to recycle our finds back into the community whenever we can. And this means working closely with charity partners like Habitat for Humanity ReStore Metro Maryland. Located at 1029 East Gude Drive in Rockville, this ReStore offers a shoppers’ mecca for donated furniture and household goods that is “bigger than anything I’ve seen!” exclaimed Will Freeburger, General Manager for 123JUNK’s new Rockville office.

ReStore Rockville

It was just a year ago, in February 2016, that ReStore Rockville moved into its almost 22,000-square-foot facility, literally doubling its previous space; www.Habitatmm.org.

The sole purpose of ReStore is to raise money to build affordable housing in its community by taking donated items and reselling them for a low price in their stores. Among the types of donated items are furniture, home décor, tools, hardware, and appliances (less than 10 years old). All proceeds go toward their mission.

“Each ReStore is a little different and reflects the local community’s donations, and ours seems to get a lot of furniture and home décor,” explained manager Alena Biagas. ”It may be because our area is very transient, with Government jobs and seniors who are downsizing.”

“We are also a green company, looking to be environmentally responsible,” she continued. “That is why it’s a win/win with 123JUNK. We don’t want to have to throw things away, especially if they can be reused, recycled or recreated.” When coming here to shop, be sure to bring your measurements, as the store cannot hold items for you, and items sell quickly.

“123JUNK has been very helpful in providing quality donations to us. They are very eco-conscious and ethical about making the effort not to contribute to our huge problem of landfill waste, even though it may be cheaper and easier just to take everything to the dump. And what surprises me is that they often know something about the pieces they bring us. Often the items are of far better quality than you could go out and buy today, they are sometimes even antiques. But they’re definitely not junk. In fact, I furnished my own home with items from my ReStore.”

“People sometimes think that we take items out of homes we’re rehabbing, however, what we sell is strictly from donations,” Biagas said. “Our homes are built from the ground up, and in most cases, the appliances are new from major companies who donate them to us.”

The Rockville Habitat for Humanity ReStore is open 9-6 Monday through Saturday, and 10-4 on Sundays. Donation hours open one hour later and close one hour earlier.

123JUNK Can Deliver Your Donations

If you have items to donate, please contact 123JUNK to schedule your pickup. We’ll be glad to deliver your donations and provide you with a photographic record and a receipt for your tax deductions. Call 123JUNK today.

Habitat Resore Drop

When owner Collin Wheeler founded 123JUNK, he did so with a mission in mind. Not only did he establish his three-step disposal process as the heart of his business, he created a three-fold company philosophy of Core Values that is its soul.

  1. The first Core Value is the Culture of Excellence where every employee is trained to provide a “wow” experience for clients.
  2. Second is the Environmental Stewardship mission that encompasses the Donate – Recycle – Dispose initiative.
  3. The third Core Value is 123JUNK’s Deep Community Ties commitment.

Deep Community Ties are Important

One way to create deep communities ties is by giving. You will often see 123JUNK present at community events, or volunteering its trucks and manpower to support area organizations like nonprofits or local Chamber of Commerce events. “Our involvement not only shapes the personality of our business, in return, we hope to shape the success of our community,” Collin said.

123JUNK also includes a model to try to benefit as many people in the community as possible. By donating household goods, furniture, clothing and other reusable items from pickup jobs to local charities rather than sending it all to the landfill, they are able to help these organizations raise money and distribute items to those who need them.

“We choose the charities we work with very carefully in order to work with those who better our own community,” Collin explained. The main charities 123JUNK works with include A Wider Circle, Pender ReGift Thrift Store and Habitat for Humanity ReStores, among others. These charities raise money through the sale of donated items that is used to help those in need, or sometimes provide items free of charge for qualifying families located within the community.

Getting Employees on Board

“Our challenge is how to communicate our vision to every member of our staff,” Collin said. “I believe that if you don’t see the end game, you can sometimes lose touch with why you are doing what you’re doing in the first place.”

Just enter the 123JUNK offices and you will see the company’s Core Values mounted for all to see on a daily basis. It is a philosophy under which the company was born, and through which it profits both 123JUNK and its deep community ties.

Create Your Own Deep Community Ties

When you use 123JUNK, you also create your own deep community ties, as items which no longer hold value for you now become a lifeline for someone in need.

As you can tell, we’re passionate about what we do. Our involvement not only shapes the personality of our business, in return, we hope to shape the success of our community – one load at a time.

When you need junk removal for your home or office in Maryland, DC or Northern Virginia, call 123JUNK.

kevin wheeler

(Kevin Wheeler poses in front of truck, 2008)

Meet Kevin Wheeler, 123JUNK Client Relationship Manager

Kevin Wheeler was just a 16-year-old high school student when his junkman career began. “When my brother Collin started 123JUNK, he didn’t give me much of a choice,” he explained. “He needed help and my friends and I were looking for jobs so he hired us. It was well paying, a good workout, I got to work with my friends, and it was a way I could help my big brother.”

Kevin worked afternoons, weekends and summer breaks, even through his college years. Then after obtaining his degree in Business Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from Radford University, he took a Federal government job working in the human resources department for Fish and Wildlife Services.

“I quickly realized that line of work didn’t suit my personality; I’m much more a people person, and more sales driven,” he said. “Meanwhile, Collin had mentioned he was looking to hire someone with my personality type, so I ended up taking the position to help expand 123JUNK into Maryland and DC.” That was in November 2014.

Kevin’s territory expanded, to cover Virginia as well, and then his position morphed into more strictly business development. And like other employees, Kevin still jumps in where he is needed. He might be driving the truck or hauling junk one day and making connections with a new charity partner the next.

“My dream is to keep moving up within the company. I’m proud to see the continued expansion, now with a devoted fleet of trucks for Maryland and a new office there, and it’s gratifying to know I played an important role in that expansion,” he explained. “The company is growing fast!”

Making a Difference

Outside of work and volunteering, Kevin loves his sports teams, including the Nationals, Wizards and Redskins, and enjoys playing golf and basketball.

Kevin was raised in a family that valued volunteerism, and uses his spare time to coach fifth grade basketball and mentor a little brother through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, and enjoy interacting with his own close family. During college he also participated in at least one mission trip each summer, and even had a pen pal since the second grade that he got to visit in Sierra Leone twice on these trips.

As for 123JUNK, “I never realized the magnitude to which our services free up peace of mind with our clients. You’d never think that hauling stuff from someone’s garage would make a difference, but it does,” Kevin said. “We hear this from our charity partners too; they are so grateful for the service we provide them. Being so involved, I get to see and hear the feedback firsthand.”

“Those measures we take to go above and beyond is what makes 123JUNK different,” he continued. “It starts with our hiring process, followed by consistent training. Our employees buy into our philosophy and our message and believe in the company’s culture and core values.”

Contact 123JUNK

If you live or work in Northern Virginia, Maryland or Washington, D.C., let 123JUNK make a difference in your life. Call today to schedule your appointment for junk, furniture and appliance removal, or yard waste and debris cleanup from your home or office.

Organized closet

We’ve had an untimely spring here on the East Coast that has caused many people to dig deep in their winter closets for their summer clothing. Although we’re enjoying the warm weather, we may not be enjoying the unkempt closet.

Maybe it’s time to reorganize your closet!

Organizing your closet can have many benefits. First, you will be able to find what you need in an instant—no more digging. In addition, there are a number of mental and physical health benefits as well. Here are some of those benefits you may not have considered:

Clean Closet = Clean Mind

Living with clutter inhibits our creativity and our productivity. It can distract us from the things we need to focus on, or cause procrastination. According to professional organizer Regina Leeds, author of One Year to an Organized Life, “Clutter creates a ‘brain dance,’ and agitation and inability to think amidst the stuff. Clutter makes noise, keeping us upset and churned." If you feel frenzied, try organizing your environment.

Lessen Emotional and Physical Stress

Messy spaces can take a toll on your physical and emotional health. Citing a Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin study, women were more likely to feel fatigued and depressed when they described their living spaces as “cluttered” or “full” than women who described their spaces as “restorative” and “restful.” They also indicated higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

You’ll Feel Better About Yourself

Don’t you feel your best when you look your best? When you clean out your closet, keep only the outfits that make you feel good and donate the rest. You’ll have fewer clothes to choose from, but you’ll find joy in every combination.

You’ll Save Time and Energy

Having fewer outfits to choose from allows you to make speedier selections and get dressed much more quickly in the morning’s rush. You know everything fits, is in good condition, and is still in style.

You’ll Reduce Allergens

Piles of clutter in a closed-off environment create a breeding ground for allergens, as well as dust, mold or mildew. Let your closet breathe by creating space.

123JUNK can help with removal and donations

Once you’ve winnowed out those items you no longer use or need, simply pile and dial. There is no need to divide your items; one big pile will do. Then dial us to schedule your pickup. Our professional, uniformed crew will take away your items and sort through them for you, donating reusable pieces to our charity partners and sending you a receipt for your taxes. That way someone else will be glad to find the clothing items you no longer need.

For expert junk removal in Northern Virginia, Maryland or DC, call 123JUNK.

Filled garageYour poor car. There it is, sitting in the driveway facing your garage door. It’s cold, it’s rainy, and there’s a chance of snow. But for your car, there is no home inside…

Because your garage is too filled with junk!

Many people use their garages as storage areas, and over the years, more and more stuff accumulates there. There’s the lawn chair that just needs a new strap, the old lawnmower that can still be usable if it gets fixed, the bedroom dresser that just didn’t fit with the twin beds, or the boxes of construction materials or old car parts. Piles of sports equipment, boxes of holiday decorations, outdated electronics, and broken bicycles have commandeered your space.

Ask yourself, “Am I really going to use this junk?” Or fix it? The answer is “Probably not.” Likely it will just sit there, taking up valuable space while your car shivers in the driveway.

123JUNK to the Rescue

Face it; you’re never going to get around to fixing the items you’ve so lovingly stored in your garage. That’s why you need to contact 123JUNK!

We’ll haul away unwanted items and we’ll even sweep out your garage afterwards, preparing it for its new (and intended) life as a vehicle shelter.

Even better, after 123JUNK hauls away your stuff, we’ll run it through our three-step process of Donate – Recycle – Dispose. We’ll donate any usable items to our local charities, recycle metals, electronics and other reusable materials, and only then, we’ll dispose of whatever cannot be salvaged. No other junk removal company in our service region of Northern Virginia, DC or Maryland does this.

Look out your window. If your car is sitting in the driveway because your garage is too full, it’s time to call 123JUNK. We’ll answer the phone personally, give you an all-inclusive quote so there are no surprises, and schedule your pickup.

You -- and your car -- will be glad you called.

we are green

Once 123JUNK hauls away items from our clients’ homes and offices, we sort through and remove any metals that can be recycled, and deliver them to our local recycling center. But what happens to those metals after that?

A majority of the materials recycled are scrap metals, and once they are delivered to the recycling center, the metals must be separated. Using large, heavy-duty magnets, the center can divide metals from each other. Then, the particular metals are sent to different processors.

Steel and iron, which are called “prime scrap,” can be melted down at a foundry or mill, and that new product is sold to another foundry or mill to create new steel, generally in the form of pipes, sheets, or beams.

Other metals are shredded into tiny pieces and shipped to a foundry or mill where it is melted in a furnace at high temperatures. It can then be molded into new uses, such as cans.

Recycling Metals Saves Energy and the Environment

When you recycle metal, you are not only helping to save our environment by keeping these metals out of area landfills, you are also supporting the businesses involved in the scrap metal industry, as well as 123JUNK.

What you may not know is that metal is a natural, non-renewing material. Recycling it helps curb destructive mining practices and aids in reducing the energy consumption connected with processing the raw material. Plus, if we don’t keep recycling it, we could end up depleting our supply!

123JUNK Sorts Metals For You

When you call 123JUNK to make a pickup in Northern Virginia, DC or Maryland, you don’t have to sort anything—just point to what you want removed and we’ll do the rest, separating items for reuse or recycling. It’s part of our three-pronged Donate - Recycle – Dispose disposal process.

Got junk? Call 123JUNK today.

Will Freburger 123JUNK

At 123JUNK we don’t just provide junk hauling services. We also provide careers for the dedicated people who work for us. Many of our employees are on the front line, dealing every day with clients. Others work in our two offices, supplying the many leadership and back-office services we need to run our business. We thought you’d like to meet some of them and get to know them.

Meet Will Freburger, General Manager, 123JUNK's Maryland Office

Will Freburger is General Manager in the new Maryland office, but he is not new to 123JUNK. Here is his story.

For five years prior to joining 123JUNK, Will was running his own business, doing legal videography for attorneys’ and doctors’ offices throughout the area where he spent his days listening to testimony and recording depositions.

“One day, I reached the end of my rope with that type of business and began looking for something that better suited my personality,” he explained. “I’m not necessarily a formal, legal-professional type of guy.”

A while back, Will was introduced to 123JUNK owner Collin Wheeler and they hit it off. Unfortunately, Collin had no job for Will at the time. Since Will lived in Maryland, Collin assumed he wanted to work there too. “I annoyed Collin for a month until he realized I wanted to work in Virginia to prove my value.”

“I told Collin I’d be happy working on the trucks to get experience, so fourteen months ago, I began driving a truck for 123JUNK,” he added. “That experience added to my perspective on the business and helped me make the transition to inside sales, appointment scheduling and estimating.” Estimating over the phone was much easier now that Will had been able to see the types of items people needed to have removed. He became the “in-between” guy between the clients and the truck crews.

Over a period of 10 months, Will gradually transitioned to the sales side of the business, then moved into a backup role to Collin. In December 2016, he took over the role of General Manager of the new Maryland office.

“When the phone rings at the office, it gets answered—no matter what," Will said. “It’s part of my ongoing responsibility to make sure every call gets picked up and every client gets serviced. I also show up at jobs in Maryland and Washington, D.C. to make sure things are going well, and provide ongoing training for my staff. It’s my way of putting my stamp on things.” He also noted that the entire Maryland office was furnished with found items. “It is our way of living our 123JUNK mantra of Repurpose-Recycle-Dispose by repurposing unwanted items for our own office.”

Personally, Will Freburger grew up in Silver Spring and is very connected to the area that he considers home. He is an Orioles and Ravens fan and enjoys spending time with his wife Maddie, their daughter and their dogs.

We hope you will get the opportunity to meet Will as well. If you have a need for junk hauling, or yard waste removal, contact 123JUNK. Maybe Will himself will answer the phone.