happy dog and cat

Pet Health and a Clean Environment


Maintaining a clean and healthy home environment is just as important for the well-being of pets as it is for humans. After all, your pets are more than just faithful and loving companions—they are full-fledged family members! 


Knowing how to keep your pets healthy and safe may not only prevent many illnesses and trips to the vet’s office, that knowledge can prolong their lives and allow you to enjoy even more wonderful years with your furry or feathered friends.

Keep the Home Clean

A big challenge pet owners face is keeping their home clean. With all the shedding and drooling, it can be difficult to maintain a spotless house, but not impossible. Groom your pet regularly to remove excess hair and dander. Use slipcovers on furniture and throw rugs that can be tossed into the washer. Better yet, train your pet to stay off the furniture. Check and clean their paws when they come inside. Vacuum and sweep often.

Your pet could suffer serious health consequences if constantly exposed to harmful germs and bacteria that develop as a result of neglected home cleanliness and hygiene. Pets can develop conditions and diseases similar to human ones, so if something is dangerous for your health, it is likely even more dangerous for your pet’s health.

Keep your Pet’s Area Clean

Cleaning your pet’s quarters, whether it is the place they sleep, eat or answer nature’s calls, is vital to preserving their health. Ensure that their bedding is fresh, regularly wash their food dishes, and pick up after they’ve “done their business” in the yard. Wash pet bedding and other washable pet-related items separately from your own laundry to keep pet hair isolated.

Eliminate Toxic Hazards

Our homes are filled with potential pet hazards. From human foods and plants to chemicals and medications, many common household items can seriously harm your beloved animals.

Properly store human foods to prevent pets from eating things they either can’t properly digest or are toxic to them. Toxic foods for dogs include chocolate, grapes, nuts, and salty snack foods. Dangerous foods for cats include fat trimmings, raw eggs or fish, milk, onions and garlic.

Similarly, store medications and home cleaning chemicals securely, as ingesting these can cause serious health problems or even death.

Indoor house plants can also provide hazards, including the asparagus fern, corn plant, lilies, heartleaf philodendron, aloe, poinsettia and mistletoe.

Clear the Clutter

Clutter isn’t just hazardous to humans, it can cause injury to your pets as well. They can run into badly-placed furniture or trip over clutter on one of their wild tears through the house and cause physical damage. Or they can become tangled in or ingest harmful items. For example, your pet might become entangled in or swallow a plastic bag and suffocate to death.

Think about the small items that become unnoticed clutter to you, but magnets to your pet, like a battery, paper clip or coin. If your pet decides to chew on or swallow one of these tiny items, they could become poisoned, choke, or incur intestinal blockage or damage.

Secure the Great Outdoors

If you let your cat or dog freely roam your yard or garden, be aware that dangers lurk there as well. Keep sheds and garages clean and clutter-free, and secure dangerous chemicals and garden tools. Look for potential tipping or falling hazards such as stacks of boxes or heavy items on upper shelves, or broken branches and dangerous brush piles. Curious pets can easily topple these and become crushed beneath them.


Check which plants might be toxic to your pet and take measures to eliminate them from your outdoor landscaping. For example, azaleas, daffodils, tulips, and sago palm are toxic plants to dogs, and amaryllis, autumn crocus and chrysanthemum are toxic to cats.

Call 123JUNK

Cleaning out clutter and maintaining a healthy environment is essential for the well-being of all your family members—both human and animal. Let 123JUNK do our part to help you clear away clutter, excess furniture and household goods, and yard waste. If you’re located in Northern Virginia, Maryland or Washington, D.C., simply contact us today to set your appointment.

Finding treasure

Treasure or Junk?

We’ve all heard about homeowners who got filthy rich after cleaning their basements or attics and finding valuable or antique items. Their stories, which are sometimes highly publicized, have inspired many people to go on their own treasure hunts, exploring the hidden secrets of their homes.

While you may not find an original Vincent Van Gogh painting in your attic as some of these people did, until you search every corner of your house, you cannot really know whether some old, seemingly-worthless item is actually worth some money. Besides, you might be surprised to find out what is regarded as valuable these days, from movie posters and cheap reproductions to old toys or furniture.

Treasure vs. Junk

Treasure can be defined as an item featuring a historical, financial or sentimental value—or all of the above. However it’s difficult to find an item that has all three elements at the same time. For example, old family photos or documents can have historical and sentimental value, but in some cases, but probably not a lot of financial value unless they are rare photographs of a famous relative. Or an item may have purely sentimental value, like a favorite childhood toy. When sentimental, items hold significance and therefore can be considered valuable, but only within the family.

Junk, on the other hand, has no value for the owner. It can be an obsolete or broken item or just something you will neither ever use nor miss if you part with it.

Where Do I Start My Mini Treasure Hunt?

For many people, the very thought of cleaning out their overly cluttered attics, basements, garages, or unused rooms can be considered a nightmare. However, with the “trash or treasure” mentality, it could be a lot of fun as opposed to a boring, time-consuming chore. Get the entire family involved!

Pick one area to concentrate on at a time, like the attic or garage. Quickly sort through items into separate bins or boxes marked “treasure,” “trash,” “donate” and “keep.” Don’t pause to reminisce over them as you sort—the point is to get moving and tossing.

Treasure Box

The treasure box should contain items that potentially have real value. After you’re finished sorting and cleaning up, look up items in this box online to see if they are either collected or sold. With some online research, you will get an idea of its resale value. You may even want to have a professional appraisal if you think an item is actually worth something. If it is, you can then sell it online yourself, sell it to a dealer or collector, or put it up for auction.

If the treasure is a family keepsake or heirloom, please check first within the family to see if anyone would like to have it before selling or donating it out of the family. Many broken hearts can be saved with this simple step.

Trash Box

The trash box should contain items that are broken, stained, and essentially unusable, like newspapers, old magazines, broken glass, non-working appliances or yard tools, etc.

Donate Box

Items that you no longer use or want, but are in perfectly good condition, should go into the donate box. These items can be delivered to area charity and thrift stores for recycling back into the community, while at the same time, helping out those in need. This box might include household items, clothing, toys, books, etc.

Keep Box

Hopefully, you’ve filled the other three boxes so that there isn’t much left in the keep box. Sort through these items and find permanent homes for them within your house. Do not leave them in the keep box and stick the box on a shelf. If the item was important enough to keep, like family photographs, sentimental items or truly useful ones, house them nearby where they will be accessed most easily.

How Do I Determine What to Keep?

Ask yourself these questions if you’re having trouble deciding whether to get rid of items:

  • When was the last time I used it?
  • Does it hold any value for me?
  • Will I be sorry if I throw it away?
  • Is it worth the storage space?

Let 123JUNK Do the Hauling

Now that you’ve created boxes or piles for disposal, call 123JUNK. We’ll gladly come in and take everything you don’t want and either donate, recycle or dispose of it for you. You’ll even get a receipt and a visual record for all items donated. All you need to do is point us to the piles to go.

If you live in the Northern Virginia, Maryland or Washington, D.C. area, call 123JUNK today to schedule your pickup appointment.

Green Movement

Growth of the Green Movement in America

Did you know that the Washington D.C. metropolitan area is the third greenest area in the United States? It’s a fact that we at 123JUNK are extremely proud of…we like to think we’re doing our part to make it so.

While things in our community have drastically improved, they are still are far from ideal. We live in a consumer society where people are continually purchasing new products and throwing away old ones, and that junk and waste disposal can pose a serious threat to the environment and human health.

The History of the Green Movement

While the Green Movement has European roots, it probably wouldn’t be as strong as it is today without the U.S. influence. Medieval Europeans realized that some sustainable practices were important for the prosperity and well-being of people. However, it wasn’t until after America was colonized that humans started valuing nature in itself, and not just because it was useful to people.

This celebration of nature didn’t last long, though. As the Industrial Revolution rose, people focused on its benefits and began neglecting the impact to our world. At the same time the Industrial Revolution took its toll on human health (not to mention pollution of big cities), environmentalism was born. One of the first and most important measures America took to preserve nature was establishing Yellowstone National Park in 1872 as a place where the exploitation of nature was strictly forbidden.

Not much changed at the beginning of the 20th century, with events like the Great Depression and World Wars I and II overshadowing any conservation efforts. Following World War II, however, more and more people began to understand the negative effects post-war industrialization had on the environment. Something had to be done.

The 1960s were a turning point for the Green Movement, with nationwide conservation efforts ultimately resulting in establishing Earth Day to celebrate our planet and help keep it healthy and beautiful. The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970.

In the years following this important milestone, environmental consciousness continued to rise among governmental bodies, companies, institutions and individuals. In recent years, the Green Movement solidified itself as one of the most significant movements of our time, with science and research leading the way to a new, more eco-friendly era.

123JUNK is Making a Difference in Your Community

123JUNK is dedicated to doing our part by recycling and repurposing as much junk as possible to keep it out of the landfills and by raising awareness about the importance of safe and responsible waste disposal. We try to be as eco-friendly as possible with the thinking that together we all can make our world a better place.

If you are located in Maryland, Washington, D.C. or Northern Virginia and have junk you’d like us to haul off, schedule your appointment today.

123 Junk staff pic

The 123JUNK Hiring Process

It’s hard to get a job at 123JUNK.

We don’t allow just anybody to work for us. In fact, we put all candidates through a series of interviews before we hire—no matter what job they’re applying for.

After our phone interview, a minimum of two managers do the initial interviews. If the candidate passes those interviews, they are then put onto our trucks to work three paid shifts side by side with our employees. It is kind of a working interview to see how they do in the job, and how they mesh with our other workers, our corporate culture and our values. Each candidate must get the green light from everyone with whom they come into contact before moving to the next stage of the interview process.

Sometimes candidates don’t feel they are a fit, and sometimes we don’t see them fitting in. In that case we part ways early. But we all find that this process works well for building a strong team.

Growing with 123JUNK

Once approved by all, new employees go through intensive training in the office for a week, then are put onto the trucks to start their career. Almost all of our employees start from the trucks and move up through the ranks to higher positions. Most of our current managers and sales staff started on the trucks. This enables them to learn all sides of our business, from the basic junk hauling to customer contact, to our sorting and recycling processes while on the job.

Our whole challenge is to find employees who are willing to stay with us and grow with us for the long term, and those who are both willing to go through this process and also make it through the interviews are those who have a stronger desire to actually have the job.

We treat our employees well, and even offer solid career paths within our company, so we have a fantastic track record of long-term satisfaction. We’re proud that we defy the industry standards of high turnover. And their satisfaction shows in our work with our clients.

This commitment to quality shines through our entire culture. We’ll even turn down jobs if we get too busy rather than dilute the level of customer service we are known for (fortunately, an issue that we don’t have to deal with often).

At the heart of 123JUNK are our people. They are the face, the brawn, the brains, and the “because” behind why we are growing so quickly throughout the Washington DC area. We always said “We are more than just a junk hauling company,” and now you know why.

Interested in Working for 123JUNK?

We are always looking for good candidates. Please contact us and let us know you’re interested in working with 123JUNK.

For Expert Junk Hauling, Call 123JUNK

If you have a junk hauling job, and want to work with the nicest and most professional people, please give 123JUNK a call. You’ll get to speak with one of our cheerful employees who will answer the phone enthusiastically.

Moving Company

Insider Tips from a Moving Company

Jason Cober, General Manager of Bookstore Movers, was kind enough to share some advice on how to get the most out of your moving company. Here are some tips you can use on your next move:

  1. Shop around. Compare quotes from several moving companies to evaluate not only pricing, but services offered.
  2. Give an accurate representation. Movers charge by the amount of items to move as well as by the hour. In an online quote, not accurately letting them know how much stuff you have will slow down the job, incur extra charges, and possibly require multiple trips.
  3. Check online reviews. Look at the social media review sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and the Better Business Bureau to see what people are saying about the moving company. “This will give a good overview based on other people’s experiences,” Cober said. Also, ask for recommendations from friends, family and co-workers.
  4. Look at communication. Did the moving company respond quickly to your inquiry or emails? Did they answer all of your questions? Do you get to speak with a real person? A company’s customer service may reflect on the type of service you may get from the mover the day of the move.
  5. Ask for referrals to other services. If you have a number of items to donate, or things to be taken to the dump, ask the moving company for a referral to a good junk removal company—like 123JUNK—who can work in conjunction with the moving company. Use their resources for other related services as well.
  6. Be ready for the movers. Make sure everything is boxed up and taped closed and ready to go out the door once the movers arrive. Use the correct size box for the items packed; dense items should be packed in small boxes, for example. Locating the boxes in a central location also helps the move go more quickly. “The better prepared for you move you are, the better the move will be, Cober advised.”
  7. Pack an “Open First” box. Put items you will immediately need in a special box and label it clearly. Include your moving company rental agreement and other paperwork, cleaning supplies, snacks, toiletries, etc.
  8. Use a moving company’s packing services. If you cannot or don’t want to pack items yourself, use the moving company’s packing service. They charge by time and materials used, like for boxes and packing materials. “Often, we’ll pack up a house one day and move it the next.”
  9. Reserve space for the moving truck. Arrange with the city or county if permits are needed to secure parking near your entrance. Place “No Parking” signs. Reserve elevators and loading docks for your moving day.
  10. Know where you want things to go in your new home. Prepare an overview of where furniture, boxes and other items should go in your new home. Label boxes according to your room chart.
  11. Move or dispose of hazardous materials yourself. Most moving companies cannot haul hazardous or explosive materials including propane tanks, paint cans, gasoline, turpentine, etc.

Want a Better Rate?

While moving companies generally don’t bargain on their prices, they often provide lower rates during non-peak times, like between October and March. They may also offer coupons on Yelp or other social media sites. With Bookstore Movers, moves are priced by the size of the truck, the number of men required on the job, and the time.

Bookstore Movers

Bookstore Movers doesn’t just move bookstores. Their name came about from owner Matt Wixon’s love of the company’s nearby Capitol Hill Books independent bookstore with the thought that the moving company could raise enough money that Wixon could eventually buy the bookstore. Bookstore Movers is a full-service residential and commercial moving company serving the Washington, D.C. Metro area. Awarded “Best D.C. Movers” by the Washington City Paper for the past 8 years.

Need to Clear Out Before Your Move? Call 123JUNK.

Call 123JUNK to haul away unwanted items before your moving truck arrives, or when you are preparing your home to sell. We’ll help you donate perfectly good furniture, appliances and household goods to our charitable partners, and haul trash, yard debris and other non-usable items to the dump for you. We can also provide labor-only services when you need some heavy lifting. Contact us today.

E-Waste Removal and Disposal

With the rapid rise of technology in all spheres of our lives, what to do with old electronics is becoming a serious issue. Known as e-waste, electronic waste includes a myriad of electronic products and devices that are obsolete, broken or just no longer wanted, including:

  • Computers
  • TVs
  • Cell phones
  • Monitors
  • CD players
  • VCRs
  • Printers
  • Fax Machines

Since technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate, most of these devices are used for just a couple of years – often only until the next model hits the shelves. And to make matters worse, entire categories of electronic devices are being replaced with newer, more modern products –remember Betamax and VCRs?

The Dangers of E-Waste

In the United States alone, an unprecedented 3 million tons of electronic waste is thrown away each year. More than 100 million computers alone are discarded yearly, with more than 80 percent improperly tossed away.

Progress in technology will only continue accelerating, therefore e-waste will create grave consequences on both human health and the environment in the near future if we don’t watch it. Some countries, such as India and China, are already faced with this issue.

The biggest problem with putting e-waste in landfills, however, is the fact that most electronic devices contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury or beryllium. Each discarded device may only contain a minute amount of these hazardous elements, but dumping millions of electronic products in the same place can have a significant impact on the environment. These harmful elements end up in soil, water, and air as a result, affect plants, animals, and ultimately, humans.

Old devices such as cell phones and computers can also contain sensitive user information such as credit card and bank account numbers.

And keep in mind that just because you’ve upgraded to the latest model of something, doesn’t mean your old version has reached the end of its useful life. There are unethical companies who acquire unwanted electronics to ship to third-world countries where they are either sold or dumped improperly.

Recycling E-Waste

Doing our part, instead of disposing of electronics, 123JUNK looks to recycle materials such as glass, metals or plastic. When we make a pickup we sort through the items, culling out items like furniture and household goods that can be repurposed into one lot, and items to recycle, like electronics, into another. We then deliver recyclables to the local recycling center.

Various communities hold e-waste recycling days, where carloads of materials are accepted. But getting up early and waiting in line for turn may not be as convenient as simply calling 123JUNK. We can not only remove your electronic waste, we’ll help you clear the junk out from your house, attic, garage, shed or storage unit while we’re there.

Call 123JUNK

Just like we already know that recycling paper and plastic bottles can help our environment, we should also make recycling e-waste the norm. If you need to dispose of old electronics or e-waste, or just need junk hauling, and are located in Northern Virginia, Maryland or Washington, D.C., give us a call.