Styled, Staged & Sold

Bringing you the latest home design and staging trends. From REALTOR® Magazine.

Need Help Climbing Out of That Clutter?

By Erica Christoffer, Contributing Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

Every day I learn something new from the folks I follow on Twitter. Today I learned that Nov. 15 is National Declutter Day. Who knew?

The occasion, which was started last year by (@KijijiUS), eBay's free online classifieds site, is a great way to get sellers motivated to prepare their home for showings.

Plus, we could all use a little decluttering in our lives, couldn’t we?

In honor of the occasion, I’ve scoured the Internet for some resources you can pass on to your clients. What I’ve come up with are three handy Web sites and one clutter-busting San Carlos, Calif.-based business that can clear out a room in minutes. Intrigued? Read on.

This Web site is all about organization, plain and simple. Organizing your life; organizing your home; organizing your office. The Washington, D.C.–based author Erin Doland is a recovering pack-rat who once “held on to objects like her third grade math assignments and every note she passed in high school.” Her book Unclutter Your Life in One Week, which went on sale this week, is a testament to her reformed, uncluttered lifestyle, and a helpful tool for anyone looking to declutter their home.

Jeri Dansky of Half Moon Bay, Calif., has been a professional organizer for seven years and her blog is filled with fun, whimsical, and aesthetically pleasing ideas that are also all about decluttering. If you are looking for great storage ideas, book recommendations, and organizing trends you’ve never thought of, check out her site.

Zen Habits is a site that takes decluttering to the next level. Author Leo Babauta describes it as “finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives.” Some of the best nuggets of advice I found on this site are the 72 Ideas to Simplify Your Life and 18 Five-Minute Decluttering Tips to Start Conquering Your Mess. But all the posts were inspiring with the mantra that less is not only more, less is also healthy.

Junk King

Childhood friends, Mike Andreacchi and Brian Reardon met on the soccer field at the age of 9. Little did they know that roughly 20 years later they’d be starting a business together. In 2005, Andreacchi and Reardon founded Junk King in the San Francisco Bay area. The basic premise is this: You have stuff you don’t want, and they can take care of it for you.

Junk King will collect and either recycle or dispose of basically all non-hazardous “junk” from homes and businesses. We’re talking stuff like furniture, wood, appliances, concrete, construction and building materials, yard refuse, and plain old garbage. No paints or solvents allowed, though.

“We help prepare the home to put back on the market,” Reardon says, tackling jobs like attics, kitchen cabinets, garages, and yards. “And if the owners or the REALTOR® can’t afford to pay for our service up front, we’ll wait to collect after the property has gone through escrow. It’s a win-win.”

Junk King prices by volume, and takes jobs that range from one item up to multiple truckloads. Special rates are offered to real estate practitioners.

What started out as one truck out of their garage has grown into a fleet of six trucks with 15 employees, which saves many items from ending up in a landfill, says Andreacchi.

Junk King Recycling Facts:

  • Junk King recycles up to 60 percent of the materials it picks up, and estimates that more than 908 tons have been saved from landfills.
  • Since January 2009, Junk King has recycled approximately 450,000 pounds, or 225 tons, of scrap metal.
  • In total, Junk King has collected 2,450,000 pounds of copper, aluminum, wiring, and other metals; 840,000 pounds of plastic, paper, and recyclables; 590,000 pounds of computer equipment; and 685,000 pounds of miscellaneous junk.

Andreacchi and Reardon are beginning to franchise their business, which now consists of three corporate-owned locations and nine franchisee-owned covering the San Francisco Bay area and, starting in January, Atlanta. Looking to the future, Andreacchi and Reardon hope to see Junk King grow into a nationwide service.

“We want to be the Coca-Cola of the junk business,” Reardon says.


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