Every cleanup does require some kind of budget. You certainly can save some money if you do it on your own. But bringing junk to dump sites with your own car isn’t that much cheaper than calling a professional service. That means you will most likely hit a wall at some point with the DIY decluttering process and require the assistance of the pros. Unlike the common belief, junk removal is not as expensive as you think as jiffyjunk.com proves.
1. Consider donating
You don’t have to hand over all of your items to a junk removal service. These services have formed partnerships with charities in most areas. Whatever they pull out from your place would be offered to them first. But you’d still have to cover the removal costs of those items. As long as you’re able to transport donations directly to charity centers, you can drop off donations yourself.
To avoid pointless tours to charities, give them a call first if they’re interested in the items you intend to give away. Also, check with them if they have regulations regarding the condition of items. As a rule of thumb, don’t offer items to charities you’d not appreciate taking either. If you’ve got larger items to donate, such as furniture, ask if they can collect them.
2. Sell your junk
What’s someone’s junk might be someone else’s treasure. Books don’t usually sell that well but you can usually still get a few dollars for those you don’t need anymore. The same goes for clothes. You’ll have much better luck at offering electronics and furniture for sale if those are still good.
There are tons of options to sell your stuff online these days. eBay is always worth a shot as well as Craigslist. Alternatively, you can try your luck at OfferUp, Kijiji, or buy and sell groups on social media. You may also want to consider organizing a garage sale. The more you can sell, the less there is to take care of.
3. Offer your junk for free
Freecycle has been a rather well-known platform to give away stuff you don’t need any longer. People who’re interested in your items come by and pick them up themselves. You can also offer stuff for free on Craigslist. Of course, you shouldn’t forget to ask friends or family if they’re interested in any of your stuff.
Should you be allowed to place stuff at your curb, you may also just put a box outside with a sign ‘for free’. There’s always someone who’d pick up your stuff and especially furniture usually doesn’t last long. In fact, if you put furniture and other clutter outside before a junk collecting service is scheduled to come around, it will already be less once they’re there. People like to browse as they walk their dogs to check if they could need any of the stuff. On the downside, some people also add their junk to your pile, and thus, your junk collecting bill rises. While this is an opportunity, be aware it might not be the most budget-friendly junk removal.
4. Ask friends for help
If you’ve got a lot of things to dispose of, but not a large enough vehicle to haul them away, a friend could help you out. There’s usually always someone with a pickup or a van who might lend it to you or drive you with your junk to disposal sites. They could also help you with bulky and heavy items. Keep in mind to give such a helpful friend some cash for gas or at least a beer case if not a bottle of bourbon as a sign of your gratitude. However, if dumping sites are quite far away, it might not be worth the effort and a junk removal service could turn out cheaper.
5. Collect estimates
Once you’ve hopefully halved your junk with selling and donating, collect estimates. Junk removal services differ with their charges and there’s always a cheaper one. For example, some companies charge by the weight of your items, others by volume. Very few services offer something like a flat fee. There always are differences in labor fees and also fees to come to your place. Moreover, fees differ according to the region you live in. The higher the living standard in your area, the higher you can expect costs for the cleanup process. But there’s still going to be one that’s more favorable for your budget. Pay close attention if the estimates contain all fees, such as disposal fees.
6. Recycle your junk
While junk removal services always attempt to recycle your junk, you can practically do it yourself and earn a few bucks with it. Check if there’s a recycling plant in your area where you can drop off electronic waste, paper, glass, or even plastic. Bring items made of metal to the scrap yard. Make sure you’ve organized recycling items and taken them apart before you drop them off.
For example, if you’ve got a glass top desk with a metal frame, remove the glass top from the recycling center and drop off the metal frame at the junkyard. Remove bottle screws from glass bottles and organize paper items into another box or bag. A professional service would take care of these steps at their site, though.
7. Make the labor as easy for junk removers as possible
You can lower the fees for your decluttering process by making the team’s work as easy as possible. Provide a clear path for the junk removers and remove any obstacles. Categorize your junk before they arrive and organize it into old furniture, construction debris, and general junk. If the stuff is ready to go, you’ll save time on the labor of junk removers. Of course, they can also pick up junk from where it’s placed, but it’ll be more labor-intensive than just load it onto the truck. Likewise, you may want to disassemble furniture so it’s easier for them to grab.