America-Recycles-Day-logo

America Recycles Day

Annually, America Recycles Day® takes place on or around November 15th, as part of the government’s “Keep America Beautiful” campaign. Their goal? To educate, motivate and make recycling bigger and better.

“America Recycles Day is the only nationally-recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States,” states the website. It encourages and educates people on how to be more mindful about what they consume, where and how to properly recycle, and to pledge to recycle more on a daily basis.

According to the EPA, the current rate of recycling has increased to 32%, as compared to 7% in the 1960s.

How did America Recycles Day Begin?

In 1994, two employees of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality suggested the special day to the Nation Recycling Coalition to bring awareness of recycling. It was accepted and the first America Recycles Day was held on November 15, 1994, with 40 states involved.

Benefits of Recycling

It is important that we do our part to help keep our planet healthy. Programs like America Recycles Day and the Great American Cleanup® strive to reduce littering, improve recycling and beautify communities across the United States. The many benefits of recycling include:

  • Less delivered to landfills
  • Conservation of natural resources
  • Decrease in the burning of fossil fuels, leading to a reduction in the emission of greenhouse gasses.

Because fossil fuels are used to create single-use plastic, the process of extracting and creating these plastics emit 12.5 to 1.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses. Single-use plastics in landfills also account for 15% of methane emissions. (source: University of Colorado Boulder Environmental Center)

How You Can Recycle Year-Round

The average person can generate about 4.8 pounds of trash each day, while an avid recycler who recycles 75% of their discarded items generates just 1.12 pounds of trash each day. So you can see how recycling makes a difference.

Ways to mindfully recycle include:

  • Recycling at home, school, work or on the go
  • Purchasing products created with recycled content
  • Using re-usable items like grocery bags and water bottles
  • Repurposing items
  • Educating and encouraging friends, family, co-workers and others
  • Sending recyclable items to local recycling centers

123JUNK’s Mission of Recycling

When we started 123JUNK, we incorporated our 1-2-3-step process of Donate-Recycle-Dispose into our mission. It wasn’t that we just wanted to differentiate ourselves from other junk haulers, we had a true passion for helping our environment. We still do.

We encourage people to recycle items in two ways:

  1. Donate. If you have perfectly-good items around your house that you no longer need or want, they don’t belong in the landfill. Others may be able to use them. That’s why we hand-picked charity partners to which we deliver these items to be recycled back into the community. They are always looking for furniture, household goods, working electronics and other items that they can either provide to local families in need or sell in their stores to raise money for their causes. Check out our list of charity partners we work with.
  2. Recycle. There are items that don’t belong in a landfill because they contain metals or hazardous chemicals. That’s why your communities have local recycling centers. When 123JUNK makes a pickup at your location, we look for any items that either cannot be donated or don’t belong in the landfills and cull them out for delivery to the recycling center. Things like electronics (e-waste), refrigerators and air conditioners all can be broken down into their components and their hazardous contents handled properly. Paper, glass, metals and plastics can often also be recycled. Read our blog post on the Dangers of E-Waste.

Contact 123JUNK

On America Recycles Day—or any other day of the year—look to 123JUNK to help you fulfill your recycling goals. We’ll be glad to clear out the junk from your home or office and deliver it to its proper location. It’s our way of helping our community and our environment.

To speak with a representative, get an all-inclusive price and schedule your junk hauling in Northern Virginia, Maryland or Washington DC, contact 123JUNK at 1-800-364-5778 or fill out our online form.

three boxes lined up next to each other

11 Items to Throw Out Right Now

Whether you live in a big house or a compact condo, there are probably items you no longer need or can use. So why are they still cluttering up your home? By clearing them out, you open up space in your life for other good things to enter. Here are 11 things you need to throw out right now.

Broken Items

If an item has been broken or damaged and you think that you will fix it one day, you probably won’t—like that chipped platter or table with a splintered leg. It will sit there taking up space and reminding you that you haven’t yet completed that task. Clear it out.

Mismatched Items

Be honest. Do you have a box with single socks without a mate? Or bowl lids without a bowl? Give these items a time limit and after several days or weeks without a match, toss them.

I-May-Need-This Items

Believe it or not, you may have hundreds of items around your house that you “might need someday” but haven’t touched in 20 years. If you think you will need an item within the next 6 months, keep it. Otherwise, out they go. If you do need it, it is easily bought.

Duplicate Items

Looking through your kitchen drawers, do you have six wooden spoons and four wire whisks. How many do you really need? Sift through your belongings to uncover duplicates and donate them to a local charity where people who have none can use them.

Items that Don’t Fit

Face it. You’ve been holding onto those Size 8 pants for years now, believing you will one day be able to fit into them again. Chances are, your body has changed. And so have the styles. Donate the clothes that are too small (or too big) and open the doors for getting new items when you reach your fitness goals. It will give you an incentive!

Items You Never Use, Or Never Will

How often have you taken home a freebie and tossed it into a drawer? How many pairs of shoes do you own that haven’t seen the light of day in years? How about stacks of books you haven’t gotten around to reading? These items are just taking up space—physically, visually and mentally. It’s time to recycle them to a better home!

Expired Items

You’d be surprised how many herbs, spices, medications, and other items with an expiration date are WAY past their prime. Some of these can become dangerous if ingested. Take an afternoon to sort out the past-due items and throw them out. Dispose of medications and drugs in the proper way. Don’t flush them down the toilet or put them into the trash can.

Craft Items from a Long-Abandoned Hobby

Does your spare room closet hold boxes of sewing materials, yarn, or scrapbooking supplies? When is the last time you crafted with them? If that hobby has gone by the wayside, so should the craft supplies.

Items from Another Life

Are you still storing items from childhood, a previous marriage, or your single life? Has your pet passed away, yet you still have its feeding dishes and bed? Are you now retired and no longer need a set of work clothes? It’s time to toss to make room in your life for the items that reflect your life right now.

Trash Items

If you’re like most people, you have piles of papers or receipts you’ve been meaning to shred, or junk mail or old newspapers and magazine you’ve intended to go through. Empty your wastebaskets and your space by throwing these items into the recycling bin or trash container.

Live Better With Less

Research shows that clutter is linked to higher levels of stress, and can even lead to overeating and weight gain. With less clutter, your home with be healthier and more beautiful. And you will have more time since you aren’t burdened by the emotional or physical labor of taking care of these items. Make it a habit to only purchase what you need at the moment and you’ll free up finances as well.

Throw Out Items the Easy Way with 123JUNK

Want an easy way to get rid of these must-toss items? If you’re in Northern Virginia, Maryland or Washington, DC, contact 123JUNK. Not only will be pick up and dispose of your castoffs, we’ll donate what can be reused and recycle things like metal and paper. It’s part of our 1-2-3 Process of Donate-Recycle-Dispose. It’s a win-win! You get to clear out your home and we get to help others like our charity partners succeed. We’ll even provide you with a receipt for your donations so you can claim the donation on your tax return!

Contact 123JUNK today to schedule your junk removal.

several men moving a large lawn mower onto their moving truck

Help! I have BIG Things to Get Rid Of!

We can’t tell you how often we hear this call for help! People have a lot of really big things inside or outside their homes (or offices) that they just don’t know how to get rid of. Luckily, they know enough to call 123JUNK.

Big Furniture

Today’s sofas are bigger and heavier than ever, making them more difficult to move or remove. They can be up to two or three times the size of a regular-sized piece of the same furniture. The bigger pieces can include sectional sofas, sleep sofas, oversized couches, big lounge chairs, stadium seating, chaises, recliners, and leather couches. In other rooms, you might have an oversized dining room table, hutch, or bookcases or other furniture that you’d like to donate in order to make room for the new furniture.

Big Bedroom Furniture

Massive bedframes and dressers have to have someplace to go when you’re redecorating or downsizing. Big bedroom furniture is no problem for our team at 123JUNK.

Big Mattresses

One of the most difficult things to get rid of—believe it or not—is a mattress, especially if it isn’t the greatest condition. There are limitations and restrictions on how to dispose of it, despite the fact that it’s awkward to carry and load.

(See our related post: How to Dispose of a Mattress When You Can’t Remove it Yourself)

Big Appliances

Your old or unused refrigerator, freezer, washer, dryer, stove, oven, water heater, air conditioner, dishwasher or other big appliance may also have restrictions on disposal options due to chemical contaminants like Freon. Plus, they’re heavy!

Big Entertainment Items

Are you tired of playing pool, or has ping-pong gone out of fashion in your home? You’ve been wanting to use that space for a new purpose, but your large entertainment items are in the way. How about the piano that nobody ever plays any longer, that old big-screen TV, or stereo equipment that’s gathering dust. With a quick call to 123JUNK, you can quickly and easily move these items on to new homes.

Exercise Equipment

Do you want to replace that old treadmill with the latest and greatest health equipment? No problem, with 123JUNK. We’ll gladly remove any exercise equipment, including home gyms, barbell and weight sets, weight benches, squat racks, CrossFit setups, cardio equipment, elliptical machines, rowing machines, and more.

Outdoor Fun

What do you do with your big outdoor living things when they’re no longer fun? Call 123JUNK! We’ll send our professional junk hauling team out to remove your hot tub, above-ground pool, grills, outdoor kitchen, playground set, jungle gym, swings, trampoline, fire pit, lawn furniture, statuary and landscaping items.

Lawn Equipment

Downsizing or moving into a condo, or upgrading to newer models? Then you no longer need all that old lawn equipment. We’ll gladly take off your hands your lawn tractor, mower, trimmers, blowers, snow blower, edger, spreader, sprayer, trailer, ladder and put them to good use somewhere else. We’ll even remove the shed, fence and lawn debris!

Related: HGTV’s 6 Tips for Downsizing

Let 123JUNK Do the Heavy Lifting to Get Rid of Big Things Around Your House

Don’t break your back trying to carry out big things. And don’t guilt your friends or neighbors into spending an afternoon loading them onto their pickup. That’s what 123JUNK is here for. Our professional junk haulers are trained in safety protocols when lifting and hauling big things. We don’t want them—or you—to become injured from lifting a heavy object the wrong way.

Our team is also trained in how to protect your home and property when removing big items. We’ll lay down floor covers, protect corners and doorways—whatever we have to do to ensure a clean and efficient removal.

After almost 15 years in business, we’d like to say we’ve seen it all. Yet we’re still surprised when someone contacts us to haul away a big item we haven’t handled before—like a motorcycle from a basement!

If you have big things to get rid of in Maryland, Washington DC or Northern Virginia, give 123JUNK a call at 1-800-364-5778.

living room with a lit fireplace

Designer Secrets for Home Staging

Thinking of selling your home? Now is a great time! To get top dollar for your home sale, professionals suggest staging it, either by doing it yourself, or hiring a professional staging company. Here are some of the designer secrets for home staging.

The top selling point for a home is, of course, location, location, location. Next in line though, is “curb appeal.” This is not only the first impression when the potential home buyer drives up, it is also the first impressions they receive inside your home. That’s why physical or virtual home staging is so important for both an unoccupied and a currently occupied home.

Things that home buyers love include:

  • Spotlessly clean; clean above, below and around items
  • Light and bright; sunlit; welcoming light colors
  • Large rooms (or the look of being large)
  • Well maintained; buyers don’t want to have to put a lot of work into their home purchase
  • Fresh and current look and feel

Six Designer Secrets for Home Staging

There are six steps to staging your home, according to Karen Prince, an award-winning New York staging professional and author of Secrets of Home Staging (2021). They include:

Repair

Repair any visible and known defects both inside and outside the home.

  • Pro tip: Get a pre-inspection by a qualified home inspector before listing the home. This proves to buyers that the home is in good repair, and outlines selling points like upgrades.

Update

If you have been in your home a while, it probably needs upgrades. Spend a little on cosmetic updates like color, flooring or hardware changes, or remodel for more drastic effect. Key rooms to update are the kitchen and bathrooms.

  • Pro tip: Take down drapes & valances; remove wallpaper; remove wall-to-wall carpet; paint in light neutrals; update lighting; update tiles; change cabinet hardware.

Depersonalize

You must begin thinking of your home as a product to sell, and make it appealing to a broad audience. This mean removing personal items from both the interior and exterior of your home. Pack them for your move and store them off premises if possible.

  • Pro tip: Emotionally disconnect yourself from the home to enable buyers to visualize their own lives in the house.

Remove and store:

  • Personal photos
  • Items with your name on them like college degrees, trophies, awards, etc.
  • Collections from travels, crafts, hobbies, sports, etc.
  • Religious & political items
  • Decorations – front door and exterior; inspirational sayings; statues; decorative items, etc.

Declutter

Your home stager is looking to create clean, neutral lines throughout your home that make it show better in photographs and in person. This means removing all clutter and extra items from rooms, surfaces, shelves, windows, closets, garages and storage areas that could distract a buyer. Box these items up and store them for your move. And don’t forget the lawn items! The decluttering process will also make it easier to live in the home while it’s up for sale.

  • Pro tip: When decluttering, it’s a great time to get rid of items you no longer need or want to take to your new home. Make several piles designated as keep/donate/dispose. For items you want to keep, box them up. For those to donate or dispose of, contact 123JUNK. We’ll be glad to deliver your donations to area donation center, recycle things like paper and electronics, and dispose of unusable items or trash for you.

Deep Clean

A home that looks and smells clean will offer maximum appeal to a potential buyer. You may not notice the dirt in areas you’ve overlooked, but the buyers will! Hire a professional cleaning company, power wash the exterior and deck, and remove or mask odors.

  • Pro tip: Don’t forget to clean the doors, light switches and fixtures, ceiling fans and vents.

Add Style

A professional home stager may relocate your furniture and belongings to create wow-worthy vignettes and a room’s focal point. Many stagers have storerooms of items they can use to stage an unoccupied home. Stick to a neutral palette, but items of color and whimsy are allowed in order to add contrast; an all-beige room is boring. You’ll also want to make each room look larger, and increase the flow by using fewer items. Another reason to declutter!

  • Pro tip: Establish just one purpose for each room, and try to refer to the room’s original intention. For example, if you’re using a child’s room as a home office, revert it back to a child’s room.

To Stage Your Home Beautifully, Get Rid of Unused Goods and Furniture with 123JUNK

For convenient pick-up in MD, NOVA or DC of all those items to donate and trash when you’re ready to stage your home, call 123JUNK. We’ll divide out the perfectly-good items and donate them to our charity partners. We’ll recycle electronics and materials like paper to the local recycling center. And we’ll take only what’s left to the area landfill. It’s our 1-2-3 commitment to Donate-Recycle-Dispose and to protecting our environment.

We work with designers, home stagers, Realtors and homeowners to help remove items from the home. After all, statistics prove that a beautifully-staged home sells faster and for more money.

Contact 123JUNK today to speak with a live representative. We’ll find out more about your junk hauling needs, give you a one-price all-inclusive quote, and schedule your pick-up date.

people moving furniture out of an office

Commercial Office Cleanout Services NOVA, DC, MD

Has your office staff come back to the office, or have you decided that your team can continue working from home and that you no longer need to rent expensive office space? Virtual and remote offices are a new reality! However, the termination of office space leaves you with the question of what to do with all that office furniture, equipment and supplies.

“The impetus for working from home has shifted considerably since 2020,” states a Pew Research Center study. “Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, roughly six-in-ten U.S. workers who say their jobs can mainly be done from home (59%) are working from home all or most of the time. The vast majority (83%) say they were working from home even before the omicron variant started to spread in the United States.” Their workplace was either closed or unavailable or they simply choose not to work from the workplace, and many relocated away from the area where they used to work and are teleworking.

Commercial Office Furniture Cleanout

Clearing out an office can be a big task. Commercial offices are filled with all types of furniture: desks, chairs, sofas, conference tables, side tables, bookcases, shelving, credenzas, file cabinets, whiteboards, decorative pieces and more. You could go through the trouble of selling these items, either one by one or as a lot; there are plenty of people looking for office furniture bargains. But this takes a lot of time to advertise and arrange.

An alternative is to donate your office furniture. Nonprofit organizations in your community are always in need of furnishings for their own offices, but more importantly, they can put these items into their showrooms for sale to raise money for community-support programs. Your donation will solve the problem of disposing of office furniture and will benefit the community that supports your business.

123JUNK’s commercial office cleanout services can empty your offices in as little as one day. Whether you need to be out quickly after a lease termination, or have a week or even a month to clear out, we can schedule a pickup to help you out. Perhaps you’ve sold some of your office furniture, but have items left over. Consider donating those. We’ll pick them up, deliver them to the charity partners on your behalf, and provide you with a receipt for tax deduction.

Commercial Office Equipment Cleanout

In addition to office furniture, offices have a ton of electronic equipment as well: copy machines, computers and computer accessories, monitors and monitor stands, printers and printer ink, scanners, TVs, fax machines, shredders, routers, telephones, camera equipment, and even kitchen small and large appliances.

The same route of advertising and selling can be taken with office equipment, however, the disposal of these items can be different. Since they contain chemicals and hazardous materials like lead, mercury or beryllium, they cannot be sent to a landfill. If they are not incorporated into another office, they must be either donated to a charity or delivered to an authorized recycling center. (See our post on E-Waste Removal and Disposal.)

Again, 123JUNK is available to assist with the commercial office cleanout services. Whether you have broken items that we can haul to the electronics recycling center, or pieces to donate to your local charity, we make the job easy. Our professional team will load and haul away any office equipment items you no longer want.

123JUNK Commercial Office Cleanout Services in Northern VA, Maryland and Washington DC

When it comes to clearing out commercial spaces, there is a lot to do, often within a short period of time. If this is your situation and your office is located within our service areas of Northern VA, MD and DC, Contact 123JUNK. We’re sure to have a solution to help you!

emotaional-clutter

How to Clear Emotional Clutter

Physical clutter we all understand. It is the accumulation of too much stuff that we can see and feel. Emotional clutter is something altogether different, yet, similar in its own way. It is the accumulation of persistent negative thoughts or thought loops that can clutter our mind and drain our energy. Although you can’t call a junk hauling company (like 123JUNK) to haul it away, the good news is that there are ways to clear emotional clutter.

What is Emotional Clutter?

Emotional clutter is negative thoughts that are deep-seated beliefs about yourself, like “Nobody really loves me,” “I am terribly awkward talking with people,” “I’m not deserving,” or “I can’t do it.” Unfortunately, the more you let them clutter your mind, the deeper these thoughts seat themselves, like a bad habit, or grooves on a record that that plays over and over again.

How to Clear Emotional Clutter

The brain is an amazing instrument that can be reprogrammed. In scientific terms, this is called neuroplasticity, or “the brain’s ability to modify, change and adapt both structure and function throughout life and in response to experience,” according to a Frontiers in Psychology article.

Step One: Identify the Negative Thoughts

Each time you have a negative thought, acknowledge it. Write it down. Notice and record how often it appears. Think to yourself, “Is this really true?”

Step Two: Slowly Make Changes

You can’t just swing your thought to the opposite end of the spectrum. It won’t work. You have to take baby steps and look at the reality of the situation. If your thought is “Nobody really loves me,” take a count of all the people that really do care about you and create a new script like “My spouse and children love me, and I am lovable.” It is OK to also include yourself in those who love you, as in “I love who I am.” Work on one negative thought at a time.

Step Three: Create New Grooves

Every time you have a repeating negative thought, replace it with the new thought. The more you retrain your brain, the fewer times the negative thought will reappear. Consciously repeat the new thought, even when the negative thought isn’t appearing. Say it out loud, and repeat it often, like when you’re taking a walk, driving or in front of the mirror.

Step Four: Be Kind to Yourself

It takes time to reprogram negative thoughts, so be compassionate to yourself and remember your own worth. Create a strong support system of people who can reiterate and reinforce your new, positive thoughts.

Once you are able to clear negative thoughts, you will feel lighter and more freedom than ever before. These thoughts are not facts. They are merely thoughts. Visualize a path to a new outcome and repeat that image until it becomes the new reality. As you clear emotional clutter, you are able to make better decisions about everything, leading to a more joyful and fulfilling life.

Want to know more? Here are several books designed to help clear emotional clutter:

Clearing Emotional Clutter: Mindfulness Practices for Letting Go of What’s Blocking Your Fulfillment and Transformation, by Donald Altman, 2016.

Emotional clutter—the equivalent of a jam-packed closet in your mind—has been proven to block success in professional and personal lives. It can results from hidden pains and traumas and creates toxic patterns. The author helps you identify what you’re holding on to and how to cleanse, heal or accept old wounds, mistakes and disappointments.

Clutter Busting Your Life: Clearing Physical and Emotional Clutter to Reconnect with Yourself and Others, by Brooks Palmer, 2012.

Keeping things you no longer need can keep you from experiencing the joy of connection. The author discusses how we use clutter to protect ourselves, control others and cling to the past, and how to not only clear clutter but enjoy deeper, more authentic relationships.

Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui: Free Yourself from Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Clutter Forever, by Karen Kingston, 2016.

This author claims that clutter is stuck energy that has far-reaching effects beyond the stuff, and causing effects to the body, mind, emotions and spirit. She covers why people keep clutter, how it stagnates your life, and how to clear it quickly and effectively.

Clear Clutter in MD, DC and Northern VA with 123JUNK

Did you know that emotional clutter can lead to physical clutter? When you’re ready to clear the clutter out of your home or office, contact 123JUNK. We’ll be glad to remove junk, furniture, appliances, household goods and use our 1-2-3 process to Donate-Recycle-Dispose of them in the best and most eco-friendly ways possible. We’ll also do a complete cleanout of your property if needed.

For junk hauling in Maryland, Washington DC or Northern Virginia, contact 123JUNK.

collectibles-worth

What Are My Collectibles Worth?

For generations, people have collected items that were considered to be “collectibles,” with plans that they would become more valuable with age. The homes of Baby Boomers are filled with them. As people are now trying to cash in on their collectives, they are finding their value has not increased as expected, leaving them to wonder, “What are my collectibles worth?”

Time was, creating collections would have been a good plan. However, today’s younger generations are going more minimalist, and have little to no interest in them. That means the collectibles’ worth is much lower than expected. In some cases, there may not be anything but sentimental value left.

Here are some of the more common collectibles markets and their current worth:

Figurines

Hummel figurines were immensely popular at the end of World War II, as the soldiers stationed in West Germany began sending them home as gifts and souvenirs, and after the figures began to be sold by the Army PX system. In addition to the traditional M.I. Hummel figurines, special limited editions also became popular for collecting. Once sold at a handsome price—often hundreds of dollars—they can be worth far less. The same fate has befallen the once-popular Precious Moments figurines. Other than the “Original 21” that are considered to be “vintage,” they are also greatly discounted.

China Patterns

Owning a set of fine china was once a status symbol among families, and acquiring a full set was quite the investment. Some of the more popular china patterns included Wedgwood, Lenox and Royal Copenhagen. Now, you can find full china sets at thrift stores and estate sales for as little as $200 typically. Other than for family nostalgia, they are often unwanted by modern generations.

Longaberger Baskets

Collecting Longaberger baskets was once the rage, but after sales declined, the company closed its doors in 2018. In 2019, the company was acquired by Xcel Brands and the brand was relaunched, but without the provenance it formerly had. Once sold at more than $100, Longaberger baskets are often sold for $10 or less at thrift stores and yard sales.

Miscellaneous Collectibles

You still can see advertisements from companies like the Bradford Exchange and Franklin Mint selling commemoratives and coins. Yet, like the other collectible markets, the value of these items has not increased as originally forecast.

There are Still Collectibles with Great Worth

Yet with collectibles markets down, there are still treasures to be found. You’ve certainly seen them revealed—often to the surprise of the owner—on TV shows like Antiques Roadshow. Rare items and specific characteristics can certainly add to an item’s value. Before disposing of an item, check its label, name and identification marks. What your collectibles are worth still may be high, depending upon market demand.

Your Collectibles are Worth Sharing With Others. Please Donate.

At 123JUNK, we collect more than junk. Homeowners throughout Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland often entrust us with their high-end furnishings and collectibles like unused sets of china to donate them to places where their value can be put to good use. It’s part of our Donate-Recycle-Dispose process.

When you have items that you know have worth and are in good condition, but you no longer want or need them, consider donating them to one of our charitable partners. There, they will be issued to families in need or sold to raise funds for local charity programs.

Many families don’t want to deal with the hassle of an estate or yard sale, the time and effort of delivering items themselves to a charity, or the convolutions of selling these items online, so they call 123JUNK.

We carefully load your donated items into our big red truck and safely deliver them to the charity partners with which we are affiliated. We also provide you with a receipt of your donation for tax purposes.

Even though your family’s collectibles’ worth may not be what is was expected when originally purchased, these items still have great value in your local community. Consider donating them through 123JUNK.

For donations and other junk removal, contact 123JUNK.

hoarding-disorder

Telltale Signs Your Loved One May be Suffering from Hoarding

Everyone has stuff. And between home offices, kids, hobbies and collections of favorite items, you know how stuff can build up. Is it normal or is it hoarding? What is the difference? Here are some of the telltale signs your loved one may be suffering from hoarding that may help you differentiate.

Accumulation of Clutter

One of the first signs of a hoarding disorder is a gradual buildup of clutter in living spaces of items for which there is no immediate need or space. Your loved one might think, “I could use this someday,” or “It’s on sale, so I had better grab several of them.”

They Can’t Throw Things Away

Another sign is their difficulty in discarding items. People suffering from hoarding may keep the packaging from items purchased, pile up newspapers, thinking they’ll read them later, or salvage found items that they can potentially fix—but never do. These problems develop gradually over time, and are often hidden until the buildup becomes significant.

What are some of the other telltale signs that your loved one may have hoarding tendencies or be suffering from hoarding?

Certain Parts of the Home are Off Limits

People with hoarding disorder may try to limit access to rooms in their home to hide the problem. Look for closed doors or excuses why you can’t enter a room. Your loved one might prevent you from entering the house altogether and may become uncomfortable having any visitors at all.

Decluttering is Stalled or Stopped

Your loved one may start decluttering a room, then get waylaid and never complete the task. Sometimes there are just too many decisions to be made and even the smallest organizational task can be overwhelming. They soon stop trying and the clutter builds up even more.

They Can’t Find Things

Is your loved one constantly misplacing their keys, their purse, or other needed items? When there is too much clutter and no organizational system, these items can easily get lost. The person may often be late because they can’t find what they need in order to get out the door.

They Don’t Want to Put Things Away

People with hoarding tendencies like to see their things, and may be resistant to putting them away in closets, cabinets or boxes. Their items are likely stacked everywhere, and cover most horizontal surfaces. If you try to help organize or put things away, or even move items in order to sit in a chair, you may be scolded. Your loved one does not like to have his or her things touched.

Read our post: The Fire Dangers of Hoarding

Storage Areas are Overflowing

Take a quick look at the closets and garage. Likely, they are filled to the brim. And often, your loved one may have one or more storage facilities outside of the home, like a shed, outbuilding or a paid storage unit.

They Continue to Buy

Your loved one may be in debt, even without your knowing it, because of their compulsive need to buy. They’ll have good reasons why they needed to make a purchase, like a need to buy gifts for upcoming birthday or holiday celebration. But look outside of these gift purchases. Are the pantry and refrigerator overflowing with out-of-date foods? Are there stacks of unread books? Or unopened packages? Debt can also accumulate from the fees paid to outside storage facilities.

Related: The ICD Clutter-Hoarding Scale

What is Hoarding?

“Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them,” reports the Mayo Clinic. “A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items and excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.”

Cases may range from mild to severe, and can have from little to huge impact on someone’s life, or even affect day-to-day functioning. If you suspect that your loved one may be a hoarder, there may not be much you can do personally. Since hoarding disorder may stem from a mental or physiological condition, it could be time to get a trained behavioral or medical professional involved.

See our post: Hoarding is a Bigger Problem than Clearing Out Junk

Let 123JUNK Help With Junk Removal

When it’s time to clear out a home or donate items, 123JUNK can help. We understand the difficulties you can have with loved ones suffering from a hoarding disorder and truly care about assisting you. Give us a call and let’s talk about how we can help create a healthy and happy home environment for your loved one. To schedule your junk removal or cleanout services in Maryland, Washington, DC or Northern Virginia, contact 123JUNK at 1-800-364-5778.

–photo from The Mayo Clinic

recycling bin sitting on desk in an office

Does Your Company Have an Office Recycling Program?

April’s Earth Day reminds us of one of the reasons we started 123JUNK: to keep as much out of the local landfills as possible. One of the ways you can do this in your company (other than using us) is to implement an office recycling program.

Tips for Creating an Effective Office Recycling Program

Go Paperless

  • Instead of printing hard copies of documents, get into the habit of saving them to your hard drive. Email documents when possible.
  • Do your banking online and share documents via e-billing and online document sharing software.

Save Resources

  • Save paper by printing two-sided documents when you need a hard copy.
  • Save ink by using a small font on documents. Set the printer for its “draft” ink savings setting.
  • Reuse file folders
  • Use the backs of discarded papers as note pads

Purchase Recycled Materials

There are a number of items composed of recycled content you can purchase for your office use: 

  • Reams of paper (look for 100% post-consumer recycled content)
  • Clipboards in 100% recycled wood (hardboard) or 60% post-consumer recycled plastic
  • Pens & Pencils, some are made from recycled cardboard, wood, newspaper or even old money
  • Dry erase and white boards, with refillable 100% aluminum markers
  • Post-It notes
  • Manilla mailing envelopes
  • Clear tape made from 100% recycled content
  • Recycled paper clips (use paper clips instead of staples)
  • Office furniture and protective floor mats can also be purchased with recycled content

Create Recycling Bins

Business materials that can be recycled, according to the EPA, include plastic, steel, paper, corrugated paper, solid fiber boxes, and industrial paperboard.

  • Set up paper recycling bins near office desk clusters and next to copy machines
  • Create a recycling center in the company’s kitchen or break area for food packaging, metals and acceptable plastics

Train Your Employees

Even though you have an office recycling program in place, are your employees utilizing it? Make it easy for them to participate, and show the benefits of recycling.

  • Educate employees on your office recycling program
  • Create a “green team”
  • Make a list of what types of items can be recycled. If you don’t know whether an item can be recycled, use a “recyclepedia.”
  • Place your recycling bins and signage in prominent locations
  • Group bins and have separate bins for each material type
  • Create a “recyclable” supply room in your office where employees can place items they no longer need or use, and pick up items they need

Hold a Recycling Challenge

  • Create recycling contests with rewards
  • Develop a monthly recycling goal; change the goal each month
  • Offer recognition levels for recycling achievements
  • Have employees participate in or volunteer for an offsite recycling event

Special Considerations

Almost everything in the office can be included in your office recycling program, however many of these items cannot be tossed into your recycling bin. They must be delivered to an e-waste recycling center, or in some cases, returned to the manufacturer.

  • Electronics. Pretty much anything with a cord or a plug, including computers, printers, copiers, tablets, telephones, external hard drives, USB cords, monitors, etc. can be recycled through an e-waste center or donated.
  • Toner cartridges and printer ribbons. Most often, these can be returned to the manufacturer for recycling or refill.
  • Cell phones. When a phone becomes outdated, it still has value. Cell phones can be returned to the manufacturer via a mail-in recycling program or donated to an organization as part of a fund-raising drive. Otherwise, it can go to an e-waste recycling center.
  • Batteries. Batteries contain metals that can be recycled, however, they also contain chemicals that can harm the environment.
  • CDs and DVDs. Since we’re using the cloud most often nowadays for our documents, CDs and DVDs are no longer popular. As they contain #7 polycarbonate plastic, and can release toxic gases if burned, these cannot be tossed in the trash or recycle bin.
  • Fluorescent bulbs. Because they contain mercury, fluorescent bulbs should not be throw into the trash.

Why Recycle?

  • To reduce landfill waste
  • To help the environment
  • To create jobs
  • To save energy, water, trees and other resources
  • To save money in office expenses

Office Recycling Through 123JUNK

Now that you’re collecting all these great office items for recycling, it’s time to contact 123JUNK. We’ll be glad to pick up these items in our big red trucks and deliver them to the appropriate recycling or donation centers. It’s part of our 1-2-3 Donate-Recycle-Dispose process.

And if you have items that can be recycled back into the community, like office desks, chairs or partitions, we’ll pick those up too and donate them on your behalf to our charity partners who resell these items to raise money for their causes like preventing homelessness. We’ll provide you with a receipt for tax purposes. Do this and you’ll not only get rid of items you don’t want, you’ll help both the community and the environment. Add that to your company challenge!

When you’re ready, contact 123JUNK. You’ll love our all-inclusive pricing and our stellar customer experience.

Professional property cleanout services in Chantilly VA

Do I Need to Be There for My Junk Removal?

When 123JUNK schedules a junk removal pickup with a homeowner or business client, we prefer that the client is going to be on site when we arrive. However, “Do I need to be there for my junk removal” is one of the questions we sometimes get from prospective clients. Let’s look at why you need to be present.

Here are some reasons why you need to be there for your junk removal:

To Enable Interior Access

When you have junk, furniture or household goods that need to be removed from inside your home, garage or yard, our team members will require access. Someone needs to be there to let them in and walk them to the areas where our team will get to work. We’ll also need to see the floors, stairs, walls and any property we’ll need to work around so we can protect them during your junk removal.

To Identify Items for Removal

You know exactly which items need to be hauled, and you may have already gathered them into a pile. But if you have furniture, appliances or other large items, they cannot be piled. To ensure we take the correct items—and get everything you want removed, we ask that you be there to help to point them out to our team.

To Make Sure We Can Take It

There are certain items, like chemicals or hazardous waste, that are prohibited by law for 123JUNK to haul. And sometimes our clients have questions on whether we can take an item or not. You need to be there to show us the items, and it’s OK if you ask if we can haul or recycle things you’re not sure about. We do ask that you not put questionable items into boxes where they cannot be identified by sight. You can also check our FAQs for a listing of items we can and cannot take.

Related: EPA–Household Hazardous Waste

To Ensure the Job is Complete

When you are there for your junk removal, we want you to make sure that we complete the job to your full satisfaction—that we’ve taken all of the items you want us to and swept the area where they were located to leave it tidy.

To Set Expectations About What Can Be Donated.

In order to provide a better service experience to our clients, it is best that we have a discussion about your items and our professional opinion about what our charity partners will be interested in accepting from your property.

Are There Times When I Don’t Need to Be There for My Junk Removal?

We truly prefer that you are on site when we arrive for your junk removal, and in 99.9% of the time, we’ll require it. It helps us to avoid confusion, offer you a smoother and more enjoyable transaction, and ensure that the job is done right and to your satisfaction.

On rare occasions, we have scheduled a curbside pickup where the client does not have to be there. Whether we can provide that service to your situation is something we determine on a case-by-case basis.

Schedule Your Junk Removal in DC, MD and No. VA with 123JUNK

When you schedule your junk removal with 123JUNK, we’ll walk you through what to expect and provide you with convenient, all-inclusive pricing up front. If you need junk removal from your home—or commercial or office spaces—in Northern Virginia, Maryland or Washington, DC, contact 123JUNK at 1-800-364-5778.