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

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.

What to Do With Your Unwanted Household Items

If you’re like others, you have many items around your home that you just don’t need or use any more. Perhaps you’ve replaced the furniture with newer versions. Or maybe the kids have outgrown their clothes and toys. No matter what the reason, you’re ready to get rid of these items. But…they might be in too good a shape to throw away. That’s when you wonder what to do with your unwanted household items.

123JUNK has the perfect solution.

123JUNK offers a one-stop solution to clearing out your unwanted household items. We started our business and run it successfully with the philosophy of Donate-Recycle-Dispose.

Donate

If your unwanted items are in good or even great shape, or if you desire to donate items, 123JUNK can pick up these items and carry them to one of our local charity partners like A Wider Circle, Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, Passion for Community or the Montgomery County Humane Society. There, your items can be provided to a family in need, or sold in one of the retail outlets to raise money for charitable causes.

You will be provided with a receipt of your donation that you can use for a tax deduction.

Recycle

Sometimes an item isn’t in good enough shape to be repurposed back into the community, however, it may contain materials that can be recycled. It is our goal to keep as many items out of our area landfills as possible. We’ll divide out items like metals, electronics, some plastics, paper, cardboard, clothing, and other recyclables when we load our big red truck and deliver them directly to an area recycling center.

Dispose

Only after the Donate and Recycle options are depleted do we set aside the rest of the collection to deliver to area landfills.

____________________________________

Talk to Our Representative

If you’re wondering what to do with your unwanted household items, give 123JUNK a call. We don’t use automated answering systems, so you’ll reach one of our client relationship representatives (“meet” them on our blog!). Feel free to ask questions about our processes, our charity partners, our fees, and even our values structure.

Enjoy Convenient Flat Fee Pricing

Speaking of fees, you’ll enjoy 123JUNK’s flat fee pricing. It doesn’t matter how heavy the load is or how long it takes us to load and deliver it. Our rates are set based on how much space the items take on our trucks. And we have some of the the largest trucks in the industry!

Included in your price quote are the fuel costs, labor charges, disposal fees, donation delivery costs, and full damage insurance. We can give an estimate over the phone. (10% discount for curbside pickups!)

Labor Only Services

Don’t forget about 123JUNK’s labor-only services. We’ll be glad to move items around your property while we’re hauling away your unwanted household items.

Wondering What to Do With Your Unwanted Household Items? Call 123JUNK.

If you’re in Northern Virginia, Maryland or Washington DC and are wondering what to do with your unwanted household items, contact 123JUNK. We’re proud of our 1-2-3 Donate-Recycle-Dispose process, and you will be too, knowing you’ve helped the environment and perhaps other families in your own community. Learn more about the 123JUNK story.

123JUNK is the first choice for junk hauling in your neighborhood. And the easiest solution to your junk removal needs. Call us at 1-800-364-5778 to schedule your next pickup.

How Do I Donate My Old Furniture?

One of the trends that came out of the pandemic was in people wanting to remodel and refresh their living spaces. They likely were working and studying from home and spending a lot more time thinking about how to improve their surroundings. This led to a surge in remodeling for additions to provide extra space, or home offices for work and study, for example. And with a fresh, new space, people also wanted new furniture. Therefore, they began to ask, “How do I donate my old furniture and household items?”

The 123JUNK Donation Process & Philosophy

That’s where 123JUNK comes in. When we created our business, we wanted it to be more than just a junk hauling provider. We had a mission to protect and environment and to serve our local community. That’s why we developed our 1-2-3 Process of Donate-Recycle-Dispose.

Since one of our company’s Core Values is “Deep Community Ties,” we reached out to local charitable organizations like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, A Wider Circle, the Montgomery County Humane Society, and Passion for Community, to name a few to see how we could donate furniture and household items to help their causes. We set up a system that works for everyone through our Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland service area.

You can learn more about some of our partners through the Partner Spotlights we feature on our 123JUNK blog. For example, read about Amy Javaid, interim president & CEO at A Wider Circle and its mission, and how your furniture donations can help them provide furnishings to those in need or assist in raising money for their causes.

Your Furniture Donation Helps You Too

When you donate your old furniture through our furniture removal and donation services, 123JUNK will provide you with a receipt and you can claim your donation as a tax deduction. Plus, you know that the furniture your family has enjoyed throughout the years will go to help another family in your own community rather than into the landfill. We also understand there is a certain sentimentality attached to your furniture and our team will treat your items with respect as we collect them and load them onto our big red truck.

Furniture Removal & Donation

Once you decide which furniture items you’d like to donate, just let our 123JUNK team members know where they are as they arrive to your home or office. We’ll remove them from the various rooms; there’s no need for you to gather them together. We take great effort to protect your floors, walls and other belongings as we remove furniture items. We don’t want scuffs or damage any more than you do!

When we load your furniture onto our truck, we have a process there too. We separate furniture and household donations from other hauls like recycling in order to deliver them in the best condition to our charitable partners.

How Can You Donate Your Old Furniture? Call 123JUNK.

There’s no need for you to load your old furniture into your own vehicle to haul it to one of the area’s donation centers. Or to bug your neighbors to help you drag out the sectional couch or massive office desk. Let 123JUNK do the heavy hauling for you.

123JUNK makes it easy to donate your old furniture, whether it’s home furniture or office furniture.  Simply contact us at 1-800-364-5778. You’ll reach one of our associates who can walk you through our process and schedule your pick-up date. For your convenience, we’ll contact you shortly before we arrive on that date to let you know we’re on the way.

Partner Spotlight: Office Liquidation Solutions

Scott Cornblatt, President, OLS Office Liquidation Solutions

Meet Our Partner – Scott Cornblatt, President at OLS Office Liquidation Solutions

We love it when we make solid connections with other business owners who, like us, are interested in protecting our environment while helping others in need. In this post, we’d like to introduce you to Scott Cornblatt, president and owner of Office Liquidation Solutions, or OLS, a company providing office liquidation and decommission services.

What is your role at OLS?

I am the president and creative box maker. I work on business development and building strategic relationships, and serve as the creative branch of the company. The reason I am a creative box maker is this: in our business, we don’t get to make the rules. We have to work inside the box. I am good at making that box any shape it needs to be to get a client’s job done.

How did you get into this business?

I was born into the furniture business. This business was started by my father, Arnold Cornblatt, some 30+ years ago, and I’ve been involved since the beginning. I purchased the company in 2010.

What is your background?

I’ve always owned and run a business since I was 12. My first was a used book store. I put out flyers in the neighborhood to collect books and then I’d put out flyers asking people to buy used books.

I went to college as a sociology major at Adelphi University because I was too arrogant and thought I knew everything about business. I graduated with a BS in sociology on the 16th and started working at OLS on the 17th. However, I’ve learned along the way that life lessons sometimes cost more than college.

Who are your clients?

We have basically two groups of clients: 1) national Fortune 1000-and-above companies that we help with liquidation and decommissioning nationally as well as locally, and 2) our local clients who may also be in that same caliber, but most of which are local and regional businesses.  We are national liquidators and regional decommissioners. Most of the time we’re engage with our clients for their end of lease liquidation and decommission to prepare them for turning over the space per the lease agreement. We are a 100% one-stop shop. We’ll remove furniture, fixtures and equipment, personal property, generators, cabling and more. We’ll even patch and paint so our clients are ready to hand over the keys with no fear of hold-over rent.

Every office building you see turns over every 8-10 years. But we see only a small percentage of what goes on in this area. That means that up to 70-80% of what’s in these buildings is thrown away. I want to increase the percentage of product being diverted from landfills, but we need everyone’s help. We ask people that if they know anyone who is a mover, new furniture dealer or project/building manager to tell them that OLS is here and can help. It just takes a phone call and we might be able to divert 100 trucks from the landfill. We also pay substantial referral fees to show our appreciation!

How did you come to partner with 123JUNK?

I met 123JUNK through the Capital Chapter of IFMA, the International Facility Managers Association. I loved 123JUNK’s commitment to the environment and their willingness to step outside their comfort zone to look at what other opportunities might exist. Our goals are similar in that aspect.

One of our first jobs together was a logistically-challenging one with the USGBC, the US Green Building Council. It was surgical in its approach and had a zero-landfill requirement. We sat down with 123JUNK and created a strategy. Once the project started, they were easy to work with and willing to make whatever changes were necessary to make the job a success. It was all about planning in advance on the front end and flexibility on the back end. We liked that their mentality was all about getting it done.

How do you support the local community?

We have wonderful relationships with area school systems and groups like Habitat for Humanity and their ReStores, as well as computer refurbishers like the Phoenix Group. We donate school supplies, furniture, and things people might need on an ongoing basis. We also keep a check list of specific items charities need. We just donated, with one of our clients, 2,500 chairs to Habitat for Humanity, for example.

We also have in-house programs. For example, every six months, each employee gets $250 to give to any organization, as long as it’s not benefitting themselves. Two to three times a year, we do something out of the office as a group. In the past we have worked in a soup kitchen all day and built a jungle gym in a low-income community with other organizations.

Tell us about your Good to Go Green Program

The Good to Go Green Program is really the essence of OLS. It’s a way to make handling assets a priority by offering sustainable options. Our goal is (unless otherwise indicated by clients) to sell, donate, and give assets away. Then we’ll recycle. If we can’t recycle we go to waste to energy (where items are burned and the energy provides power, and gasses are scrubbed), and only as the last resort, do we utilize the landfill.

All of this is wrapped up in the OLS Sustainability Scorecard that demonstrates how many tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) were diverted from the atmosphere by reuse, recycling and waste to energy. We then translate that data into easily-digestible information, such as the number of average American homes that create the equivalent amount of CO2 for a year, and how many acres of forests were protected from having to absorb that CO2. Our ultimate goals are to 1) minimize or mitigate landfill contribution through 90-95% repurposing of assets, and 2) provide our clients with a clear way to tell their environmental impact story.

Do you have favorite aspect of the business?

It may sound corny, but my favorite part of the business is when I see the people who work for me succeed. I feel personal pride when they can buy a new home because we were the conduit to give them that opportunity. I love seeing them take great vacations—and they are not allowed to work on vacation. We want the people who work here to be able to live an enjoyable and fruitful life.

What would you like people to remember?

I hope that when people are planning a move that will create a lot of unused assets that they will look around and wonder, “Is there somebody else who might like this even though I’m replacing it?” rather than just throwing items away. Learn more about OLS and its services and how you can help or make a referral.

safety first

Safety First with Junk Removal

Around here, it’s always “safety first.” From the first moments on any appointment, safety is the number one priority for our clients, their property, and our team members.

Client Safety

Safety first always applies to the safety of our clients and their property. Our team members are trained in safety measures regarding lifting and transporting items to help our client avoid physical injury from doing it themselves. That’s why they call us here at 123JUNK! And although you may want to help us, there’s no need. It’s our job to clear away the junk you no longer want or need.  One of the reasons to call 123JUNK to help haul away a heavy load is to prevent injury to yourself, your family or friends. Since we’re trained in the proper procedures, let us do the heavy work for you.

We also pay attention to the safety of your home or office, and your belongings. We take great care to avoid damaging your walls and floors, paying especial attention to corners. We pad surfaces to avoid scratches and bumps. We also respect the items you are donating and take care to safely load and transport them to our donation partners where they can be re-introduced into the community

Team Safety from Physical Injury

The teams on our trucks are required to lift heavy objects, a task that could be hazardous to their physical safety if not done correctly. That’s where training in proper lifting techniques comes into play. We teach our team members to prepare for heavy loads, asking them to think about how best to lift and maneuver objects like pianos, sofas and refrigerators. We look ahead to the pathway to clear any obstacles, prepare for steps up or down, and talk about proper body position. Lifting, carrying, and even setting down a heavy load can tax the body in different ways. Working together with their teammates is the best way to avoid physical injury from heavy loads.

Safety First from Biohazards

Biohazards are any biological material that can cause a risk to human or animal health. Some of the biohazards we could potentially come into contact with at 123JUNK include blood and bodily fluids, human or animal waste, mold and fungus spores, and industrial chemicals. Biohazards can also include viruses, toxins or things like E.coli, HIV and tuberculosis.

If we encounter a biohazard that we are not equipped to deal with, we may refuse the job. The safety of our workers is too important to us to expose them. We may need to recommend another professional to handle the job of cleaning or clearing a home or items that present a biohazard.

Safety First from Infestations

Animal and insect infestations can post another safety threat for the 123JUNK team. In addition to the biohazards of animal waste and dead carcasses, insects like bedbugs can create an unsafe haul. We don’t want to carry insects back to our offices or team members’ homes, nor do we want to introduce them into client homes or our donation partners’ facilities. (Read our blog post on Bedbugs and Junk Hauling). There are proper ways to dispose of items exposed to infestations, and we may again refuse the pickup and recommend other professionals who can help with your particular issue.

Safety First from Hazardous Materials

There are certain items that we cannot take in a general junk haul; items that need to be handled individually to prevent biohazards. We don’t want these chemicals to spill into our trucks to contaminate other items, and potentially spill out onto roadways. Nor do we want to expose our team members to environmental hazards. Items like paint, kerosene, gasoline, fertilizer, pool chemicals, ammonia, bleach, antifreeze, mercury-containing fluorescent light bults, freon coolant and just some of the items we must avoid. 123JUNK is even prevented by law from hauling many hazardous materials. These items must be disposed of at appropriate waste collection stations. (Learn more in our blog post What’s on the Hazardous Materials List?)

Safety is something we’re not willing to take a risk with, and we apologize in advance to any customers for any inconvenience. It only happens rarely because we prepare our clients and our team members so well. We just want you to get the best service possible, with the safety of all in mind.

Ready to Schedule Junk Removal with 123JUNK?

When you’re ready to schedule your junk removal in Northern Virginia, Washington DC or Maryland, contact 123JUNK.

local-junk-removal

Why It’s Important to Support a Local Junk Removal Business

The year 2020 taught us many lessons. One of the most important lessons was that without your local support, your local businesses won’t survive. Here’s why supporting your local junk removal business is so important.

Local Businesses Create Jobs

Small businesses create approximately 1.9 million jobs annually, according to the Small Business Administration, and they account for almost all the net new job creation. In addition, small businesses—those with fewer than 500 employees—comprise 99.9% of all the companies in the United States, and employ about half of all U.S. employees.

Related: How Many Small Business are in the U.S.

Local Businesses Support Your Neighborhoods

On average, 67 cents of every dollar you spend at a local small business stays in the local community. In addition, the small business reinvests 23 cents of each dollar into other local businesses, reports SCORE.

Local Business Owners Support Your Community

Local businesses are run by people who live in your community, and help to make impactful decisions concerning your community. Their influence has a direct effect on your quality of life.

You Receive Personal Service

Local business owners are dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. We have to in order to compete with the national brands. Because we know and understand our local customers, we can tailor our services to what they want and need. For example, at 123JUNK, we actually pick up the phone and talk to customers rather than have them go through an automated process. It’s those little touches that make us different and provide you with a better overall experience.

You Support Entrepreneurship

It’s the entrepreneurs who fuel innovation and the economy. Our owner started in 2008 at age 23 by buying a small landscaping truck to help people move items they no longer wanted to keep. Today, 123JUNK employs dozens of people and maintains a sizeable fleet of trucks—some of the largest in the industry!

123JUNK Supports Your Local Charities

We have developed charity partners including Habitat for Humanity, the Humane Society, Passion for Community and A Wider Circle who rely on our donations to fund their programs. When you schedule a pickup from 123JUNK, we’ll sort through your items for things to donate, like household goods and furniture. People enjoy helping others, and you’ll get a real feeling of connection by helping to make the world a better place with your donations.

123JUNK is a Local Junk Removal Business

We sometimes hear that our clients are surprised when they find out 123JUNK is locally owned and operated. They think we’re much larger than we are. No, in fact, we’re a small business covering just Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. We worked hard during the pandemic to make sure that we kept our employees working and our customers satisfied, and your support helped us to survive.

For Local Junk Removal in VA, MD and DC, Contact 123JUNK

We make it a point to serve and support our clients and communities where we live. When you need local junk removal, appliance or furniture removal, or cleanout services, contact 123JUNK.