Cleaning Out A House Full Of Stuff? 5 Steps To Success

14 February 2022
 Categories: , Blog


Whether it's a deceased relative's home, a fixer-upper real estate purchase, or a tenant's abandoned rental unit, a house filled with junk is a challenge on many levels. There's often an emotional component, there is usually a lot of physical labor, and there is uncertainty about what to do with everything. If you face this difficulty, here are five steps to having a successful cleanout. 

1. Designate a Removal Staging Area 

If you are doing much of the sorting work yourself, start by clearing and designating a spot to put everything that will be taken by the junk removal service. This saves time and money since it calls for less labor by the service. But, more importantly for family homes, it prevents potentially valuable or sentimental items from being accidentally taken.

2. Post the Rules

Talk with the junk service before starting to find out what they can and cannot take. For example, most services cannot accept hazardous materials or chemicals, including things like open paint cans, solvents, pesticides, fertilizer, antifreeze, gas, medical waste, or ammunition. Ask the service what special requirements they have for recyclable items or donations, as well. Then, post these rules for all your helpers to consult. 

3. Include Storage for Banned Items

Get a large container or containers to store goods found in the house that cannot go to the junk service. Many things that junk services won't handle also cannot simply be thrown into the local landfill. But if you don't make other arrangements, you or your helpers may have little choice but to either waste time trying to find solutions or simply ignore the rules and throw things out anyway. 

4. Create a 'Maybe' Pile

No matter how unwanted you believe the stuff to be, don't discount the possibility that something may be important or valuable. One of the most common examples when working in a deceased person's home is documents and paperwork. It may be useless notes or grocery lists, but it could be old insurance policies or a love letter. Don't feel that you must sort through everything that may have some value right now. Instead, set it aside and go through the 'maybe' pile when the bulk of the work is done. 

5. Consider Multiple Pickups

Many people find it valuable to schedule more than one junk pick-up. A second-round allows for wiggle room if the project takes longer than intended. It can also include things from the 'maybe' pile that turned out to be nothing. It can also include items that you tried to sell but didn't end up getting rid of. Prearranging another junk run reduces the stress of what you'll do with whatever is left. 

Where to Start

Want more tips for having a successful and low-stress house cleanout? Contact a company like New Age Junk Removal and Hauling.