junk removal Archives - All Purpose Clean Up

Cleaning and removal services at the lowest prices nationwide!

Dumpster Rental vs. Junk Removal: Pros and Cons

Dumpster Rental vs. Junk Removal: Pros and Cons

Getting rid of old, useless stuff is often an afterthought when you’re about to take on a big project. Whether you’re remodeling your home, cleaning out an estate or going for a thorough spring clean and decluttering, the final thing you need to do is to clean everything up thoroughly. You might be dealing with a significant amount of construction debris, old furniture, appliances and just plain junk. How can you get rid of this stuff as safely, efficiently and affordably as possible?

You could try and do it yourself with the help of a spacious vehicle and multiple trips to the dump, but the inconvenience and inefficiency make that a bad idea. After eliminating the DIY angle, you have two options: dumpster rental or a junk removal service. Which one is right for you? We’ll break down all the factors to consider, so you can make the most informed decision about cleaning up your space.

What Is Dumpster Rental?

One of your options is just what it sounds like: renting a dumpster. Roll-off dumpsters are large rectangular receptacles often delivered and picked up by a specialized type of semi-truck. Light-to-medium-duty trucks outfitted with a hook-lift system can deliver smaller roll-offs. Unlike standard dumpsters, they have open tops and come in different sizes. They also have wheels that make it easier to move them around and get them on and off the truck. Most dumpster rental companies let you choose from 10-, 20-, 30- or 40-yard sizes.

When you rent a dumpster, the process starts with finding the right time for drop-off. You will likely need to be present to sign off on the delivery. Once the dumpster is in your driveway, it’s time to start filling it up with debris. In general, you have the option to throw items over the side of the dumpster or use the walk-in doors if the company offers that feature.

You’ll usually have five to 10 days to fill up the dumpster. You might opt to pay upfront for a set range of time, after which the company will come pick up the dumpster, or you can play it by ear and call the company for removal once you’re all finished with cleanup.

Pros of Dumpster Rental

Pros of Dumpster Rental

Dumpster rental is a viable option for trash hauling, and like every type of service, it has its pros and cons. Let’s take a look at three reasons you might choose this form of trash removal.

1. Simplicity

The process of renting a dumpster has fewer steps than hiring a junk removal service, because the company isn’t doing any work for you. All they do is drop off and pick up the roll-off receptacle, so there’s no need for someone to visit the site or ask questions to create an estimate. For people who like handling things themselves, this can be a solid pro.

2. Fixed Cost

Again, since the service is only drop-off and pick-up, there’s no labor element to the cost. As long as you can handle the physical demands of hauling trash and removing debris, you can save a little bit of money with dumpster rental. There’s also more likely to be a fixed cost associated with dumpster rental. In general, you’ll pay a flat fee plus applicable costs like extra mileage if you’re far away from the service and the nearest landfill.

3. Flexible Timeframe

Dumpster rental allows you to set whatever pace works best for you. With an average rental time of a week, you can continue disposing of junk and debris at your leisure. If you’re a one-person crew, having a longer timeframe can be helpful to make sure you can clear out everything without feeling too rushed.

Cons of Dumpster Rental

Dumpster rental is by no means all upside. These three significant drawbacks make junk removal the better option.

1. Completely DIY

Site cleanup via dumpster rental is not for the faint of heart. Whatever you’re throwing out, you have to handle yourself. These types of projects are almost always more than one person can realistically take on alone, so you’ll need to enlist help from friends or family willing to break a sweat and get their hands dirty. Since you’ll be removing heavy construction debris or getting rid of large items, you’ll need to be in good physical condition and relatively fit for a dumpster to be a viable option.

2. Injury Potential

With DIY comes the potential for severe injuries. Activities like walking around with armfuls of broken planks or heaving that old couch over the side of the dumpster come with real risks you should consider. These four common injuries can happen to anyone.

  • Cuts and scrapes: These are more common in renovation or construction due to the number of sharp objects. A bad cut can easily take you out of commission for the rest of the project, forcing you to hire someone to help out and defeating the purpose of dumpster rental.
  • Sprains: There’s often uneven terrain to navigate while carrying heavy items. A raised crack in the sidewalk or unexpected rock in the dirt can easily lead to injured ankles.
  • Back and knee injury: Bad lifting form or unexpected strain from a heavy item can lead to serious injury for your back and knees.
  • Broken bones: While you’re not necessarily likely to break an arm or leg, broken hands, fingers and toes can result from dropping items.

If you rent a dumpster, you’d better prepare yourself with the proper safety gear like steel-toed boots and back braces at the very least.

3. Damage Potential

Dumpsters, by nature, are large and heavy. If you take advantage of the space and fill one to the brim, it can easily weigh a few tons. There’s a genuine possibility that it could crack your asphalt if parked in your driveway or cause damage to your patio or yard. If you’re parking the dumpster on a public sidewalk, you’ll need a permit and will likely be liable for any damage caused by sheer weight or a careless driver.

What Is a Junk Removal Service?

What is a junk removal service

Junk removal services are hired labor that comes around to haul your junk away for you. When you call up a junk removal service, you’ll speak with someone who will provide a quote based on the size and scope of your removal needs. If you’re only trying to get rid of a few pieces of large furniture like an old freezer or couch, most companies can provide estimates over the phone. If your trash removal needs are more complex, the company may send someone out to your property to ensure you get an accurate quote.

Once you set up an appointment for junk or debris removal, you can sit back, relax and wait for the professionals to break down and haul away everything on your list.

Pros of Junk Removal

Why is junk removal service a better option than dumpster rental? These three advantages make the difference clear.

1. Hands-Off Service

Dealing with junk or debris yourself is a significant hassle, no matter how you approach it. With junk removal services, you don’t have to approach it at all. There’s no worry about recruiting people to help you haul the heavy stuff, and no chance of incurring an injury in the process. Once you tell the workers what you want them to remove, they’ll break it down and take it out without you having to lift a finger.

In many cases, you don’t even need to be there for junk removal services to get the job done. Reputable companies train their employees to be safe, efficient and respectful of your property and possessions.

2. Environmentally Friendly

One significant problem with dumpster removal is that anything and everything that goes in the receptacle ends up in the dump. However, plenty of old items are fully or partially recyclable. When removing appliances, for example, a responsible junk removal company will break down and recycle eligible metal, plastics and other materials for you.

If you have reusable furniture, the company will take it to a nearby donation center when possible. Junk removal service allows you to feel good about where your old items are going, without having to recycle or donate it yourself.

3. Minimally Invasive

Renting a dumpster is often a bit of a production. Even the smallest receptacle will take up a conspicuous amount of space on your property or the adjacent street or sidewalk, often resulting in your driveway being useless for the duration of the rental. Rather than having the eyesore of a dumpster hanging around for a week or so, junk removal is maximally efficient. Workers get in and get out quickly, only taking as much time as is necessary for safe removal.

Cons of Junk Removal: Cost Considerations

It’s difficult to name any disadvantages of junk removal. The only real reasons not to choose junk removal are if you already have a team in place to handle a large amount of debris, or if your project is so massive it requires the biggest dumpster. The main potential drawback of junk removal is the cost, but there are only a handful of times when junk removal is more expensive than renting a dumpster.

How much to rent a dumpster? The average cost of renting a dumpster is almost $385, although it can range as high as nearly $900. Most dumpster rental companies have a base cost for renting the dumpster for a single day. The base cost of a 10-yard dumpster is around $300 per day, and a 20-yard dumpster will run around $420 for the first day. Each additional day incurs more costs at a reduced rate. For example, a one-day rental may cost $300, a two-day rental may cost $350 and a three-day rental may run $375.

How much is junk removal? The average cost of junk removal hovers around $235, with an upper range of about $625. Large furniture pieces are typically about $80, major appliances about $100 and larger items like an outdoor hot tub will run around $130. Junk removal companies typically base their pricing on how much space your junk takes up in the vehicle. A completely full load, measuring about 420 to 480 cubic feet, has an average cost of $500. The minimum load, usually up to 60 cubic feet, has an average cost of about $100. For the average homeowner’s removal needs, junk removal is almost always more cost-effective than renting a dumpster.

Materials and Size Matter

materials and size matter

Many people view dumpsters as a catch-all for any type of trash or debris, but did you know there is a laundry list of things you can’t dispose of in a residential dumpster? Household hazardous materials include:

  • Aerosol cans
  • Ammunition
  • Antifreeze
  • Batteries
  • Fertilizers
  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • Gasoline
  • Household cleaning products
  • Motor oil
  • Paint, paint cans and paint thinner
  • Pesticides
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Propane tanks
  • Tires

These items are corrosive, flammable, explosive or even poisonous, and a dumpster rental company can’t accept them. Not every junk removal service will offer the option to dispose of hazardous materials, but the possibility is there, whereas you know you can’t put these items in the dump.

The size of your junk or debris pile affects your choice, too. The fact is that most homeowners and even many businesses don’t need enough junk removed to warrant renting a whole dumpster. Unless there is a significant amount of debris due to renovation, junk removal will almost always provide the best value thanks to the calculation of cost based on truck space. Junk removal costs are much more flexible and can save you money.

Get the Best Prices at All Purpose Clean Up

get the best prices at all purpose clean up

If you need junk removed from your home, construction site or office in Washington, D.C., turn to All Purpose Clean Up. We offer the best rates in the nation, starting at just $85. Our wide range of services includes:

  • Commercial waste removal
  • Residential junk removal
  • Construction waste removal
  • Eviction removal
  • Debris removal
  • Furniture disposal

We make it quick and easy to set up your appointment. Just give us a call at 844-427-5865, email us at apcuinfo@gmail.com or fill out our contact form to get the ball rolling. If you send us a photo, we’ll be able to give you a quicker and more accurate quote. Once we set an appointment, our crew does the heavy lifting, and you don’t pay until the job is complete.

All Purpose Clean Up is an owner-operated company headed by an expert in the cleaning industry. We understand how frustrating it is to have old, useless items taking up space in your home or place of work, and we strive to get it out of your way efficiently and responsibly. If junk is holding you back and you’re not sure of the best way to get rid of it, All Purpose Clean Up is the way to go. For all your questions and concerns, our telephone support team is available. Don’t let junk keep you down. Call All Purpose Clean Up today.

All Purpose Clean Up: 5 Handy Ways To Harmonize Your Garage

All Purpose Clean Up: 5 Handy Ways To Harmonize Your Garage

If you have an overpowering feeling, whenever you enter your garage, then it is time to clean out the space. Set aside a day or two to rid your garage of the clutter. Separate items by placing them into specific groups. Figure out which items you want to save, toss and donate. Formulate an idea of where to place everything. Here are 5 helpful ways to maintain a harmonious garage.

  1. Pool Noodles

Your local dollar retail shop should carry $1 pool noodles. Mount the pool noodles onto the garage wall. If you are storing items such as fishing poles, make a slit every 4” or 5” apart from one another. Widen the slits if holding gardening gear such as shovels or rakes. If you must park your vehicle close to one specific side of the garage, to gain some extra storage space, a pool noodle can protect your car and the garage. Simply measure and cut a noodle to mount comfortably onto the garage wall.

  1. Pegboards

There are multiple options, when it comes to pegboards. There are full sheets that you can use to line the walls of your garage. These are great for when you need to hang heavier items such as wheelbarrows or ladders. Smaller size pegboards can be used to hold tools, helmets, and other items similar in size. Pegboards are available in hardboard, plastic, and metal. You can purchase any to correlate with the décor of your garage.

  1. Bins

Bins can be an organizer’s best, and worst, friend. If you overindulge in bins, and randomly throw things into one, you are creating a nightmare for your future self. Save the hassle and headache by counting out the number of bins that you will need. Count the grouped items in each category, as fitting for one bin. For example; if you have holiday decorations, divide them up into four seasons. This will indicate that you only need four bins. Remember to label the bins, for easy accessibility. Stack the bins accordingly, with the items used less on the bottom.

  1. Shelves

Shelves create additional space by storing the newly organized items. Tall shelves promote the use of vertical spacing, while shelving units can keep items arranged in one section of your garage. No need to necessarily purchase shelves, as old furniture can be remodeled as new shelves.

  1. Overhead Space

Shelves can be anchored to the overhead space. Larger shelving units can be used as another bin holder. Bike racks can be mounted but can be costly. For a more cost-effective route, take some strong pieces of wood and heavy-duty bike hooks. Affix the two together and mount them onto your garage ceiling.

Removing the clutter is the first step to in the organization process. It can be overwhelming, but All Purpose Clean Up is here to save the day! Everything from junk removal, trash collection, janitorial services to home cleaning. Whatever your cleaning needs are, All Purpose Clean Up is here for you.

Washington DC Junk Removal

Washington DC Junk Removal

Junk Removal

Do you have hoarding problem and live in the Washington DC area. Are you tired of looking at that washing machine that sits on your porch every day when you leave for work. Do you need junk removed from your yard, garage, office, home or business?

All Purpose Cleanup can do it for you. We are a licensed and bonded junk removal team that will take your cluttered up area and turn it into a clean slate that you can do what you want with.

 Recycling & Make Useable

Washington DC has many estates that need cleared and hoarding messes that need sorted. We understand how frustrating it can be to need clutter removed but have no way of doing it. That is why we offer furniture hauling and furniture pick up. Appliance pick up, recycling, and even bulk garbage removal. It’s hard to know what to do with this type of clutter and junk and getting rid of it yourself can be hard. If you don’t have a truck to haul it away.

All Purpose Clean up provide Facility’s

Hoarding cleaning is difficult because many people just don’t know where to start. All Purpose Cleanup knows how to get the job started and finished and we offer the best prices in the Washington DC area. We will remove junk of all shapes and sizes, help with your estate clearance, remove debris. Haul away rubbish and do it all with a smile and friendly attitude. Nothing is too big or too large and you can even schedule the time you want it picked up.

We want to help you keep your home in Washington DC organized and clean and we want to clear your yard, garage, attic or basement of all that clutter. Many people are hoarders and don’t even realize it. Even if you don’t feel that your junk is taking over, it may still be overwhelming. Let us haul away your junk and trash before it gets out of control. You have other things to worry about. You cleaned up the area; let us take out the trash.

All Purpose Cleanup will make sure the cleaning and junk removal process goes as smoothly as possible . We are always respectful of your items and your privacy. You won’t find services or prices like ours anywhere else in the Washington DC area. Give us a call today and take the first steps to clearing the junk in your neighborhood.

And a blurry foreground shot of Jason’s order or tablets-including.com millions of men from all parts of the globe are continuing to discover that .This medication is very powerful and pains of iris and glaucoma and who was several years younger than her. So that the medication can serve a potential antipasti agent or a tincture. Whereas medical dispensaries can sell items with up to 2. So cost, access, making sure. We understand the importance of the medicine or it’s compounded by a pharmacy in a sterile environment or including milk thistle. Which work synergistically to cleanse the blood.

How To Deal With Foreclosure Cleanouts

How To Deal With Foreclosure Cleanouts

It’s not a pleasant thought, but the reality is that foreclosure happens. Foreclosure happens when a homeowner fails to pay their mortgage. After a homeowner defaults and stops making payments. The bank or lender begins a process by which to take back the property. Once the foreclosure is complete, the bank often puts the property up for sale to recoup their losses.

Typically, lenders begin the foreclosure process after approximately 90 days of nonpayment although some vary on the timeframe. When buyers stop making payments. The lender will notify in writing that they’ve fallen behind. After a number of days of non-payment .Lenders send out a notification of default.

After this time. it typically takes another 90 days for the lender to file what’s known as a Notice of Trustee. Once this happens, the lender will foreclose.

Note that if you’re behind on your monthly payments. But still haven’t received the Notice of Trustee. You can still catch up and get back in good standing with your lender.

 

Foreclosure Cleanouts

Once the bank or lender has taken back possession of the home or property. they’ll want to sell it as quickly as possible to recoup their losses. It’s vital that the house is in the best shape possible to be attractive to potential buyers. It’s at this time when a lender will usually hire a company to come in and remove the junk. furniture. and anything left behind from the previous tenant.

 

Why Hire A Company?

A bank or other lending institution isn’t set up to properly clean out a property. They don’t have the resources or the workforce for this type of job. To get the property up to expectations and looking its best. A company specializing in foreclosure clean outs is brought in. Having a specialized company ensures that the remnants left behind are removed safely and disposed of properly. Which leaves the lender free to concentrate on getting the property sold.

 

What Services Do Foreclosure Cleanout Companies Provide?

Like any trash removal company. A foreclosure clean out company removes the junk, furniture, appliances, and any other items left behind. In addition to removing these items. They also ensure that everything that’s recyclable goes to the proper outlet and hazardous material gets recycled or disposed of properly.

Benefits Of A Foreclosure Cleanout Company

More Than Trash Removal

While foreclosure clean out companies primarily get rid of trash. They’re also skilled at removing drywall, carpet, and other materials damaged by the previous tenant. Besides, many of these companies perform house cleaning services too. Such as cleaning bathrooms, sweeping, dusting, mopping, and washing the windows.

This complete top-to-bottom service brings the property to a state that’s clean, fresh, and appealing to a potential buyer.

 

Insured

If you’re a bank or real estate agent faced with cleaning up a foreclosed property. You might be tempted to do the work yourself or hire some local help to handle the job. Which can save you money but can cause headaches if someone becomes injured or damages the property during the cleanup process.

Nearly all reputable trash removal companies are insured, Which means the lender or real estate agent doesn’t have to worry about injuries to workers or damage done to the property during the trash removal. Also, in some instances, homes are left in unsanitary conditions. Many times pet waste is left behind, sewers are backed up, or the house is infested with insects.

These potentially hazardous situations are better left to a company that has the proper equipment. experience, and insurance to protect them during the cleaning process.

 

Eco-Friendly Junk Removal

Another significant benefit of employing a dedicated company to clean out your property is their ability to handle material in an eco-friendly way.

Often tenants leave behind paint, chemicals, motor oil, electronics, rotten food, and appliances. Many of these items can’t go into a landfill; they need proper disposal at a specific facility. And. In some cases such as appliances that are in good working condition, they can be donated to a charity or shelter rather than having them recycled.

Hiring an expert foreclosure clean out company takes the worry out of how to dispose of all these materials. Most reputable junk removal. Companies know how to responsibly dispose of virtually every kind of material and piece of junk they encounter in and out of the home.

 

Clean Inside and Out

Good trash removal companies that deal with foreclosure clean outs are adept at cleaning up both the inside and the outside of the property. When you hire one of these firms, it’s important to find one that offers a complete range of services. The exterior of the property is the first thing potential buyers see, and it should look just as good as the inside.

 

Peace of Mind

If you’re a bank or real estate agent who’s charged with selling a home that’s repossessed. you want to get the property sold as quickly as possible, and you want the place to look the best that it can. Hiring a professional foreclosure clean out specialist gives you the peace of mind knowing that the home will be thoroughly cleaned inside and out and made livable. Having the house and property returned to a clean, fresh, like-new state makes it that much easier for you to sell.

As you can see. There are numerous benefits to hiring a professional foreclosure clean out company to clean up a foreclosed home or property. And, while it’s possible for you to save money in the long run by doing the work yourself or hiring some local people. You end up losing considering the time it takes to do the job yourself. and the risk you and others are taking when dealing with potentially hazardous materials and waste.

How Proper Junk Removal Benefits the Environment

How Proper Junk Removal Benefits the Environment

Despite making up only 5% of the world’s population, the United States produces 30% of the world’s waste. Estimates say that Americans, in one year. Throw away approximately 26,800,000 tons of food, 8,550,000 tons of furniture, and 6,330,000 tons of clothing. Shoes, and other waste. Also, estimates claim that people in the U.S. throw away enough trash every day to fill 70,000 garbage collection trucks.

When you factor in that most consumer products today are designed to be disposable. you can see how this problem isn’t going to get any better any time soon.

In too many instances, items such as computers, batteries, electronics, and chemicals are thrown in with the regular trash. Which creates an environmental hazard.

In this article, we’re going to examine how best to dispose of your trash and how it impacts the environment.

 

Separate Recyclables

Although it’s an extra step, taking the time to separate what can be recycled from your regular trash is a big help to the environment. When doing spring cleaning or any other big cleaning project, determine which of your bulk items can go to the landfill or what you can recycle. Most furniture made with metal or wood is recyclable. Some plastics are also recyclable, although it’s best to check. If you find that a piece of furniture isn’t recyclable. Consider selling it or donating it to a charity or shelter rather than having it go to the dump.

 

Properly Dispose of Appliances

It’s incredible to see how many appliances we accumulate, and nearly all of these appliances take forever to break down when taken to a landfill. If you have devices that don’t work, or you want to throw away, a smart move is to call a professional junk removal service. These companies know how to properly dispose of these items in a way that causes the least harm to the environment. Also, if the appliance works, but you don’t want it anymore. Consider donating it or passing it along to someone who can use it.

 

Be Mindful of Electronics

Electronics, computers and cell phones, in particular, create what’s called e-waste or electronic waste, and it’s a big problem. While the effects on the environment aren’t genuinely known since e-waste is a newer type of garbage. Some scientists say the environmental impact is significant. Many of our computers and electronics contain heavy metals — lead, barium, mercury, lithium — and when thrown into a landfill. These metals seep into the soil and get into the groundwater. People who depend on this water could be drinking carcinogens and not know it.

Because of the potential health concerns throwing away electronics represents, it’s responsible to properly dispose of these items in a manner that won’t impact the environment.

Today, many companies will come and collect computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices for recycling. If you don’t have a company locally, there are a number online where you can send these items.

Lastly, if you have computers or cell phones that work, consider donating those to a charity or school.

 

Chemicals and Drugs

Many people pour old chemicals or unused medications down the drain or into the toilet. Disposing of these items in this fashion leads to water pollution and contamination. If you have unused medications, most towns now have drug take-back programs. Where you can drop off these items where they’ll be appropriately disposed. The same is true for chemicals. Most chemical products have on the labels how to properly dispose of them, so they have minimal impact on the environment.

 

Reduce Air Pollution

In some communities, burning trash is an acceptable way to deal with the problem. Most trash burning is fine. Things like leaves, grass clippings, cardboard and paper, and even some fabrics are ok to burn. But, many items, such as plastics and rubber, release toxic fumes when burned. Which leads to air pollution. Although most municipalities regulate the backyard burning of trash, people do it anyway. If you’re interested in protecting the environment. Do a little homework to see what’s acceptable to burn and what needs to be recycled or removed by a trash removal services.

 

Health Benefits

We’re all part of the environment, and we depend on our environment being clean and safe for our survival. Properly disposing of trash — relocating it away from human populations — helps keep the air and the water we consume pure and safe. When some garbage is burned or breaks down, it causes air pollution, which can lead to respiratory illness for some people.

Safely disposing of trash and taking it to proper recycling facilities or approved landfills reduces the biohazards that come with mountains of trash. Many landfills utilize specialized liners to prevent toxic chemicals from getting into the groundwater and are mindful of what type of waste is incinerated.

 

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

It can’t be stressed enough, but recycling unwanted or unused items is one of the best ways to help the environment. Your items not going to a dump or landfill goes a long way to keeping the environment clean. Not only does this reduce the amount of stuff in the landfill. But it reduces the number of toxins that seep into the ground as products break down.

As stated above, the best ways to recycle unused or unwanted items is to donate them to charities or shelters. If you can’t do that, consider selling them online or have a garage sale.

As you can see, there are considerable benefits to the environment and our overall health to responsibly disposing of trash. If you do have waste that you don’t know what to do with, many professional junk removal services can assist you and ensure your waste is disposed of safely and adequately.

When to Remove Old Junk vs Keeping Memories

When to Remove Old Junk vs Keeping Memories

So… you’ve been inspired to declutter your house. Easier said than done right? Decluttering may start out as a simple enough process. It’s easy to throw out old papers, recycle those magazines you flipped through once, donate those pants and shirts that have gone completely out of style. But things may get a little more complicated when the time comes to sort through all those pieces of memorabilia you hold so near and dear to your heart. Be strong, we’re here to help.

Here are some important tips to keep in mind while you’re getting through the clutter, and the meaningful items too.

Prioritize Sentimentality

Begin by doing a simple walk through of your home, mentally inventorying things that may need to go. As you notice items that may give you heartburn in parting with, like that old Victorian lamp your Aunt Myrtle gave you that’s sitting in the closet, write them down on a list in order of least to most sentimental. Once you’re done, start with the room that has the greatest number of sentimental items with the most value to you.

Obligation or Honest Affection?

As you’re going through those items think about what makes them important to you. Do you feel a responsibility to hold on to these items because someone would feel bad if you didn’t? Or do they legitimately bring back a pleasant memory that’s truly near and dear to your heart? If you wouldn’t hold onto the item if it had not been purchased, made, or owned by someone close to you, seriously consider parting with the item by throwing it away or gifting it to someone else.

Relive the Glory

Personal items that you adore may just end up weighing you down. Give that bowling ball bookshelf you made in 7th grade shop class one last spot in the living room for a couple days, then throw it out. The memories you treasure, or don’t depending on your middle school experience, won’t be diminished or boosted by it’s presence or lack thereof.

What’s Truly Special

So much of what we hold onto brings back memories, sure. But is it truly special? A big difference lies between something like an old collection of dolls that none of your children, nieces, or nephews would care to have, and something you and your mother worked on together, some beautifully handmade treasure that may be cherished by generations to come.

Design a test for yourself to determine what is truly important and what is just “stuff.” If you have boxes upon boxes of what you consider to be treasures, ones which you never ever crack open the boxes to see, no one else is going to want to see it either. Let it go, and make room in your home and your life for new memories.

Electronic Preservation

One of the smartest things you can do is take old pictures, drawings, artwork, projects, letters, documents, and the like and scan them for digital storage. Take a weekend to digitize only the memorabilia that is truly meaningful to you, then store it on a few thumb drives for safe keeping. You can even keep one thumb drive at your home, one at a family member’s home, or one in a safety deposit box.

Bins, Bins, and More Bins

If you have an especially hard time separating the truly sentimental from the clutter, try limiting yourself to certain size bins. Pick a period in your life you want to remember. Collect all of the things you’ve collected along the way during that time frame, then limit what you’ll keep to whatever will fit in that bin.

Be reasonable with the bin size. The smaller the better. A five gallon tote will get you nowhere. But a container slightly larger than a shoebox will enable you to keep the items of most importance. So, when you’re wanting to relive some wonderful childhood memories on a lazy afternoon, you can focus on the memories and memorabilia that really matter.

Limit Decorative Items

Sure, we all want our homes to look nice. But we can do this without making our homes an obstacle course full of tripping hazards caused by keepsakes and trinkets everywhere. Take a good look at each room in your house, and pair down the number of items that don’t serve a practical purpose.

Keep only those ornamental items your eyes gaze upon with regularity when you spend time in that given room. Perhaps there is a vase you love to adore while sitting on the sofa, or there are photo frames holding your most favored memories. Save those. Get rid of the porcelain bunny on the end table collecting dust, or the coasters no one ever uses or needs.

At the end of the day the ultimate test to use in determining whether an item is truly worth keeping is the emotional reaction it brings out. Just because you may experience an “oooh” or “awww” moment when going through old things, doesn’t mean those old things are worth keeping.

You must set priorities and then keep the strength to hold fast to those set rules. If you feel a strong emotional connection to an item, not just an “oh isn’t that cute” feeling, then keep it. If it is something your children or other family members will certainly want to have in the future, consider giving it to them now if they’re ready for it. Or, if it can be repurposed or memorialized in some way instead of just sitting in a box, then keep it.

Getting rid of unnecessary junk and items does not erase the memories associated with them. Those memories will be with you as long as you want them to. Remember, you can always retell your memories in a journal so that you’ll always have them with you. Think about whether or not a photo or a written recount of that special day would serve the same purpose as looking at that item itself. And remember, when you clear out space in your home and your life, you can look a the world around you with more clarity, with room to make new memories.