There is a difference between clutter, hoarding, and junk. Clutter and hoarding can be items that you want to keep, whereas junk is usually just unwanted items or trash. Clutter and junk can both be found in the same locations and building up to unmanageable sizes. They key difference is how each is handled when you want to remove it.
Types of Junk
- Yard debris
- Construction or project debris
- Damaged clutter
- Sentimental clutter
- Unwanted clutter
- Unmanaged trash heaps
- Unfinished projects
- Old or broken furniture
- Old or broken appliances or equipment
The easy way to identify whether its junk is when you think about removing it. If when you want to remove clutter, your first thoughts are on what you might want to keep it probably has some value to you even if it’s just sentimental and would probably be clutter or a mix of clutter and junk. However, if you aren’t concerned with keeping anything in a pile or container, you can label that junk and should either take note of how much junk you have or where it should be stored before disposal. Even if it’s junk you don’t want to leave it exposed to weather as to not attract creatures, vermin, or bugs to it as well as potential mold growth.
If you are having trouble identifying a particular pile of clutter, go through our “trash or treasure” guide on each item you have a question about. If you find yourself having a hard time finding value in the objects but are still having a hard time letting them go, you may have a hoarding issue. Hoarding is a recognized condition where you find trouble in letting things go regardless of monetary or sentimental value. Collecting can be different from hoarding and one of the ways to distinguish a collecting habit from hoarding is the organization, condition, and displaying of a collection. If the collection is scattered and hidden away or possibly lost, the collection is more likely to be clutter or junk and the habit of collecting the items closer to a hoarding or compulsive hoarding condition than traditional collecting habit.
When to call the professionals
When you are unable to handle the junk removal or junk hauling yourself, you should contact a professional cleaning company. This could be a smaller job such as just cleaning down the dust, vacuuming, and a light cleaning after a larger item removal project, which should be handled by a general cleaning company or maid service. If the project is larger in scope such as all the boxes removed from a basement or garage, you may need a junk removal company if the items are all just junk. There are junk removal or junk hauler companies who will only stop by and pickup items or containers that are already outside or piled up and remove them, however they won’t sort through items for you or wait for you to do so. If you need a more personal or custom job, you will probably need a company like “Address Our Mess” which offers custom large cleaning projects and will help you sort items for removal or donating.
How Much Does It Cost to Remove Junk?
That can depend on the company's rates, ease of access to the junk, and the amount of junk. This can vary widely and it's better to call each company to get a quote. Renting a dumpster to do it yourself may or may not be cheaper as some dumpster rental companies require a minimum of a few days rental and charge you a disposal fee. If you need to remove the junk due to legal reasons such as a code enforcement violation, there are a few loan companies willing to issue loans for cleaning projects such as "Lending Point".
Do they throw away everything?
It depends on the company and if that is what you want. Some companies will go through your junk for valuables to sell, use, or refurbish in order to get extra value from junk removal services. Some may have lower cost due to this method, however most will not. Some companies such as Address Our Mess will offer to donate any items you want to donate in your name so you will receive any tax incentives if there are any.
How can Address Our Mess help with Junk Removal
Address Our Mess offers junk removal services, but also offers custom cleaning. If you aren’t sure if all the items in storage are junk, you can have a custom cleaning where they will help sort items you want to keep or donate and remove the unwanted items. They handle larger jobs such as hoarding cleanup, so there is no limit to the amount of clutter they will clean.