Organizing a home

Top 5 Books for Organizing Your 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 You 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

“This is Us” TV Show Resembles Reality


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. 


Things That Don’t Break Down in Landfills


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, 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.


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.