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.

A First-Hand Look into 123JUNK Experiences

Working in the waste management industry is full of surprises—some more memorable than others. And while at first glance, a junk removal company may seem similar to the usual garbage collection and disposal workers that visit your neighborhood once a week, we have a much more thoughtful process. 

123JUNK is Washington DC’s leading junk removal company that is on a mission to donate, recycle, and properly dispose of unwanted, gently used items. While implementing this 1-2-3 process, our team of experts have encountered a variety of unique experiences while out in the field. Take a look at their personal experiences below!

The House with 10,000 Records

On my first day, I was on the trucks with Timmy, and we had finished up all of our appointments, but another team’s job took longer than expected and they were going to miss the window for their last appointment. So we get assigned to the house with 10,000 records. The job was far away, but we still went to make sure the customer’s expectations were met. 

It was an exhausting, awesome, and eye-opening experience. The client was even fine with us taking some records, but most of them were donated to a local record store. I also got a better grasp of the team mentality at 123JUNK. It really showed that no matter how your day has gone this company and its team has a mentality of always helping and going the extra mile.

– JJ Pedder, Customer Success Representative

Clearing Out A Legendary Boxer’s Home

My most memorable moment so far is probably when I got to go to the legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard’s old house. We were just clearing out some old furniture and kids’ toys when I got to see his boxing room. It had a giant, full wall mirror, a punching bag, a speed bag, and an autographed poster. I was definitely starstruck. 

– TJ Spencer, Customer Success Representative

A Successful Hot Tub Takedown

One of our client representative managers was asked by a client if we could take apart a hot tub attached to an above-ground pool. Take a standard hot tub, and then put another one next to it, and another one next to that. It was essentially all one big piece. When we got there around 11 o’clock in the morning, we were working there for most of the day, having multiple people working saws to cut it up. It’s one of the more memorable success projects that we have had. 

– Paul Atherton, Fleet Dispatch Manager

Local Junk Removal in Washington DC

Join Our Junk Removal Team in Washington DC!

As a locally-owned and operated junk removal company in the Northern VA, MD, and DC area, we are proud to help our community grow through proper waste management support and partnerships with local businesses and charities. Our passionate junk removal team continues to work hard for our customers, keeping them satisfied with the highest quality of service possible. If the above stories piqued your interest, consider learning more about joining our team! Contact our junk removal team today at (800) 362-5778 or fill out our form to schedule a service.

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.

123JUNK Partner Feature of Donna Hall

Meet Our Partner – Home Solutions by Donna

As a locally owned junk removal company, is our pleasure to help our community thrive through partnerships with local businesses. 123JUNK is a proud partner of Home Solutions by Donna, and we would love to showcase the incredible work she has done for the community. Learn more about Donna Hall and her business below!

1. Tell us about what you do and what’s your role.

I am a professional organizer and the sole proprietor of Home Solutions by Donna. I help homeowners and business owners declutter, discard, or donate unwanted items. We help them regain organization in their homes and in their lives. 

Sometimes we take on the role of ‘move managers.’ This means we work with homeowners and realtors to coordinate and organize household moves. This eliminates the stress of moving so our clients can enjoy life.

All my team members are courteous, conscientious, careful, hardworking, energetic, and friendly. We aim to make your experience a positive one.

2. How did you dive into the field of professional organization? 

I moved to Fairfax in 2013 after living overseas for four years. Prior to starting my own company, I started out with a relocation company where we helped clients who were either being moved by their companies or were being relocated to the Northern Virginia area. 

Now, I approach each [home-organization or decluttering] project with empathy. I enjoy a challenge and am thrilled when my clients can see how my work will benefit their lives. Look at hiring a professional as an investment into your overall well-being. 

Side note: All professionals have their own style about how they want to approach a project, so make sure you feel comfortable with that individual, as you will be spending time with them in your home and sharing your personal spaces. 

3. Can you tell us about your experience with 123JUNK?

My first experience with 123JUNK was in Alexandria, VA. They helped me at a home that I was hired to clear out. This home had a very difficult driveway on a busy street, and they were able to back the trucks into the driveway and up to the home and garage and removed two full trucks with ease and eagerness to please. They truly made my job so much easier.

5. What are your favorite aspects of being a professional organizer?

I love creating calm out of chaos.

6. What advice would you give to others looking to gain experience in your industry? 

Approach your prospective clients with compassion and listen to their needs.

7. What is one quick organization tip you can recommend?

When getting started on an organizing project the goal is to make yourself feel good, so start small and don’t start with something that has emotional decisions involved. Try the kitchen junk drawer or under the sink cabinet with the cleaning products. These things won’t make you think too much about keeping them around.

Ask yourself when was the last time you used something, or how you felt when you wore something. If you haven’t used something in a while, or worn a particular piece of clothing, maybe it’s time for it to go. Challenge yourself to let one thing go per season.

Where You Can Find Donna Hall – Professional Organizer at Home Solutions

Donna Hall has assisted hundreds of clients with organizing their spaces of all shapes and sizes throughout Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland. She and her team of professional organizers help clients reclaim their cluttered spaces to ensure their lives are more enjoyable and liveable. To work with Donna, you can reach out to her on Facebook, Linkedin, or on her website.

railroad-pic

Trash or Treasure?

Working at 123JUNK, we never know what we’re going to find when we get the call to haul junk from someone’s residence. Most of the time, it’s the normal items, like worn-out furniture, old appliances, or clutter. But sometimes, even we’re surprised!

Here are some of our unusual finds that we’ve come across over the years from around Northern Virginia and Maryland.

25 Loads

One of biggest jobs to date was the removal of 25 truckloads of clothing and newspapers from a residence.

No Vroom

We were called to remove nine motorcycles from a split level home that were located in the lower level. We’re not sure how the clients got the motorcycles into the home, but we had to remove them up the flight of stairs. Since they were non-functional, they were taken to the recycling facility.

If I Only Had a Brain

One client had amassed a rather large collection of animal skulls that was no longer wanted or needed.

Read All About It

Another client wanted us to remove about five thousand comic books and catalogs, hundreds of pairs of shoes, and thousands upon thousands of CDs, store-bought and mostly unopened. These were ideal items to donate.

Eek!

In some situations, as we’re removing junk, we sometimes uncover the remains of various animals, like snakes, rodents, and even cats.

Ka-ching

Our favorite find has to be the $1,500 in scattered coins that were uncovered once the clutter and trash were removed from a home. The homeowner allowed us to keep  all coins that we could find.

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere

We once did a job that consisted of 500 bottles of unopened wine. Some was bitter, but much of it was aged to perfection.

One man’s trash..

Very often items you no longer need or want can be repurposed for use with others, and we’re glad to assist to help both you and our community. As the adage goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Please call us when you need to clear out or clean up. 

123JUNK-Fleet

We’ve expanded our fleet

We’re so excited! We have new additions to the family! Not only are we rapidly growing our staff, but we’ve also expanded our fleet. This in the midst of what is considered the “slow season” in the junk removal business.

123JUNK is growing fast, and to keep up with demand, we need more and more trucks. So we’ve invested in acquiring some of the largest trucks in the junk removal industry.

 

What this means for you is even better service:

  • With the bigger trucks (560 cubic feet) we can get the job done in fewer trips, which translates to less time on site and more free time for our clients.
  • With more trucks on the road, we can service more neighbors throughout northern Virginia and Maryland.
  • We’re more available when you need us. 

The perfect time to call 123JUNK is when you need items removed from your home or commercial property. Our pickup can be as little as one item, or as big as an entire houseful.

Did You Know We Name Our Trucks?

We think of our trucks as members of the family, therefore we give them names and refer to them by their names. Our current names are “recycled” from presidential names….you may have the SS John Quincy Adams at your house… or perhaps the SS Andrew Jackson. Ask our junk removal specialist just “who” is hauling away your junk.

For presidential service in junk removal, contact 123JUNK at 703-400-7645 or through our website.

staged home

Decluttering for Home Staging

 

Do you want to sell your home faster and for a higher price? It can be as simple as decluttering, which helps set the stage to presenting your home in its best light. For your convenience, 123JUNK offers you a quick list of what to declutter, room by room.

For decluttering, you essentially have two options: stash it or trash it.

Items to Keep:

For items you want to keep, box them up and put them into storage, either onsite or offsite.

Items you Don’t Want to Keep:

For items for which you no longer have a need, donate them, recycle them, or send them to the trash. Let 123JUNK take those items off your hands for you. We’re glad to pick up any items from your home directly. We recycle what we can and trash the rest for you.

123JUNK’s Quick Guide to Decluttering for Home Staging

Decluttering Public Rooms

Kitchen

  • Clear counters of all small appliances and decorative items
  • Keep towels and potholders in drawers
  • Place sponges and cleaning products under the sink
  • Pack up rarely used cooking items, utensils to clear out drawers and cabinets
  • Remove rarely used or highly-aromatic spices and foods in drawers, cabinets and pantry
  • Remove any bug deterrents from the home
  • Remove pet feeding bowls

Living, Dining and Family Rooms

  • Clear away all or most books, magazines and hobby materials
  • Pack up personal photographs, knick-knacks and memorabilia from surfaces and mantel
  • Remove most artwork, especially personal art
  • Leave only a few accent pillows
  • Secure or remove throw rugs
  • Hide television remote controls
  • Limit toys or children’s items. Collect them into a basket or box
  • Remove extra furniture to make the rooms look airy and larger
  • Pack up out-of-season items from closets and hanging hooks from hallways
  • Clear off tops of surfaces, leaving only one or two decorative items for staging
  • Remove all pet items

If you need help in removing items from your home, please give 123JUNK a call at 800-364-5778. We serve Northern Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

decluttering-your-home-for-sale-123JUNK

Decluttering for Home Staging, Part I

Do you want to sell your home faster and for a higher price? It can be as simple as decluttering, which helps set the stage to presenting your home in its best light. For your convenience, 123JUNK offers you a quick list of what to declutter, room by room.

For decluttering, you essentially have two options: stash it or trash it.

Items to Keep:

For items you want to keep, box them up and put them into storage, either onsite or offsite.

Items you Don’t Want to Keep:

For items for which you no longer have a need, donate them, recycle them, or send them to the trash. Let 123JUNK take those items off your hands for you. We’re glad to pick up any items from your home directly. We recycle what we can and trash the rest for you.

123Junk’s Quick Guide to Decluttering for Home Staging

Decluttering Public Rooms

Kitchen

  • Clear counters of all small appliances and decorative items
  • Keep towels and potholders in drawers
  • Place sponges and cleaning products under the sink
  • Pack up rarely used cooking items, utensils to clear out drawers and cabinets
  • Remove rarely used or highly-aromatic spices and foods in drawers, cabinets and pantry
  • Remove any bug deterrents from the home
  • Remove pet feeding bowls

Living, Dining and Family Rooms

  • Clear away all or most books, magazines and hobby materials
  • Pack up personal photographs, knick-knacks and memorabilia from surfaces and mantel
  • Remove most artwork, especially personal art
  • Leave only a few accent pillows
  • Secure or remove throw rugs
  • Hide television remote controls
  • Limit toys or children’s items. Collect them into a basket or box
  • Remove extra furniture to make the rooms look airy and larger
  • Pack up out-of-season items from closets and hanging hooks from hallways
  • Clear off tops of surfaces, leaving only one or two decorative items for staging
  • Remove all pet items

Be sure to read our second post in our series on decluttering. And if you need help in removing items from your home, please give 123JUNK a call at 800-364-5778. We serve northern Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Seventy Months and Counting

123JUNK is entering its 70th month in business. What’s the relevancy of 70 months? There is none… except for the fact that it means we’ve made nearly every mistake a start-up company can make. We’ve done everything wrong at least once, and from that, we’ve learned and improved considerably. We’ve improved our brand, the quality of our services and our position in the market. We’ve refined our hiring process and we’ve put together a first-rate team whose members are all in alignment and know what we stand for. We’ve re-designed our website, our marketing material and even our trucks. We’ve positioned ourselves as the BMW of Junk Removal, in terms of quality and not in terms of pricing.

We take pride in the fact that we’re small, but our larger competitors still consider us thought leaders in our industry. We’ve denied inquires from folks in other areas of the country who have reached out to us asking about franchise opportunities in their cities. We were founded in the Washington DC area, and we feel that we’ve only scratched the surface of our potential here locally. We’ve fought off urges to install an 800 telephone number onto the side of our trucks. We want the community to know that we’re the local guys… the underdogs. But don’t be fooled, we bring to the client experience, no less integrity or professionalism than any of our West Coast or Canadian based national competitors.

We’ve only just begun!

We take pride in how far we’ve come, but we’re humbled by the fact that we still have a long road ahead of us. Please share with us any suggestions for how we may be able to improve our brand, our services or our message. We realize that if we’re not relentless in our pursuit to be the very best that we can, then we’re simply stale and unremarkable. Thank you for those of you who have supported us either directly or by referral. We’re blessed to have a strong base of cheerleaders that serve as an extension of our own sales force.

If we don’t have the opportunity to talk before 2014, enjoy your holiday season and God Bless!