Decluttering for Back-to-School

August 30, 2019

As summer regretfully comes to a close, it’s time for students to start getting ready to head off to school. Make sure they’ve cleaned up all the junk that’s been accumulating all season though!

Having a clean and decluttered home can lead to a more conducive environment for the school year and has been linked to reduced anxiety and stress. Not only will you know exactly where your personal items are, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your space is not filled with unnecessary junk.

Decluttering Tips

Pat Hastings, the director of operations and business development at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, recommends going room by room. This is helpful for people who are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff to go through. By breaking the process down, it will make it easier to sift through their possessions. Mark Harrington, the owner of The Junkluggers of Gainesville VA, also recommends sorting by category within the room, so making a pile for clothing, another for furniture and so on.

For college students, make sure to pack up items that they are planning to take with them to school and separate it from the rest of their belongings. Hastings tells students and parents, “to be cautious about their junk pile because once it is taken away, they will not see it again.”

For clothing, it is suggested to sort it out by season so college students will know what to bring during the Fall semester versus the Spring semester. This will make it easier to transition from dorm to home and vice versa between semesters.

How to Get Rid of Junk

Many companies will try to donate most of the items collected to charities or donation centers. Harrington says that their “biggest mission is landfill diversion. We try to donate as much as we can and if donation centers won’t take it, we take it back to our warehouse and try to upcycle it.” They will then sell it at their Remix Market and donate a portion of the proceeds to charity. He estimates that only 20% to 30% of what they collect ends up in a landfill.

Rick Galliher, the Franchise Owner of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? mentioned that they work with certified recyclers for paper and metal, as well as with various charities for sporting equipment, clothing, shoes and more. Galliher says they track their landfill diversion rate by the ton and measures it to be around 90%.

Harrington noted that there are certain items that donation centers will not take such as “big, bulky items, like pianos or pool tables.” However, The Junkluggers will have a strategy ahead of time as long as they are aware of the items that need to be cleared out. Keep in mind that each company will be partnered with different charities, so call ahead to see what types of items are acceptable for donation.

From junk clearing to remodeling, our Home Service Connections partners provide a wide variety of services for all your home needs.