Junk Out Is Ready for Spring-Cleaning Spree

Apr 13, 2018
Supplied Photo

It’s spring, when, as the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson told us, “a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” It’s also the time when many a woman’s heart turns to thoughts of spring cleaning, which makes it a busy time of year for Dan Flagg of Junk Out Cleanout and Removal.

“I do a lot of spring clean-outs, when the wife is on the husband’s case,” said Flagg, of Burlington County and Beach Haven West. “In fact I was doing one today that would blow your mind.”

That is especially the situation in Southern Ocean County, where owners are opening up and airing out their second homes. They open their garage doors and, hmm, there’s no room for the car. They go up to their attics looking for something, maybe a window air conditioner, and find it’s buried under a pile of old suitcases, last year’s summer clothes and last decade’s electronics. They go into their basements and … OMG! We’re not talking clutter, we’re talking a job.

It isn’t simply a matter of cleaning. More than likely you’ve got to get rid of things.

Take the aforementioned electronics: Are you really going to use a TV that’s so dated it isn’t a flat screen? Would a Commodore 64 still work?

Or maybe you’ve got a stack of old magazines that would do the Collyer brothers –  the infamous hoarders who were found dead in their Harlem brownstone in 1947 surrounded by over 140 tons of items including mazes constructed by bound newspapers and magazines – proud.

Beware of just organizing stuff; you’ll make the problem worse next spring. As the late, great George Carlin warned, “That’s what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff! Sometimes you gotta move, gotta get a bigger house. Why? No room for your stuff anymore.”

But where are you going to take it all? What is recyclable and what isn’t? Can you donate some to a worthy charity? Don’t you wish you owned a pickup truck? The job turns into a big job, a huge job!

Time to call Flagg at 877-637-JUNK.

Flagg has been in the cleanout and removal business for 10 years, so he’s familiar with the recycling and dumping rules of both Ocean County and its numerous municipalities. He’s got dumpster trailers. He’s got a crew for particularly big jobs. In other words, Flagg knows his “stuff.”

No job is too small or, more importantly, too big for Flagg. A smaller job might run you, he said, $150. A larger cleanout, such as preparing to put your home up for sale or getting rid of years of acquired junk before you actually move, could run up to $6,000!

“One lady had over 10,000 books,” said Flagg. “It took 10 guys two, three days for that job.”

That’s a ton, no, make that many tons, of books, even if not up to Collyer brothers standards – some 25,000 were removed from their home. Beware bibliophiles. Books are one of the banes of Flagg’s existence, although they’re also a godsend to his business.

“They’re heavy,” he said.

Books, unless they are signed first editions in mint condition or ancient and rare tomes, aren’t only heavy, they’re practically impossible to sell or give away. Even libraries don’t want them – librarians are busy trying to give away or charging a buck-a-bag for old books to make room on the shelves for new ones.

Storms such as Superstorm Sandy or lesser flooding events also make Flagg’s days longer.

“Water damage makes things heavy; you can end up ripping out carpet.”

Another thing that Flagg doesn’t like to run into, and which many homeowners are unaware of, is pests, or at least the evidence of pests. Junk attracts bugs and rodents.

“A big problem is mice and rat poop,” he said. “The funny thing about it is that my other business is pest control.”

Then there are stairs! Need I say more? Hey, maybe Flagg should look into another business – home elevator installation.

On the other hand, it is sometimes amazing what people want throw out.

“We’ve found coins, jewelry, a moped,” said Bragg. “One time somebody threw away a Civil War medical kit! I sold that one. But I also try to donate things, try to keep them out of the landfill.”

So, perhaps this spring is the year you can do something you’ve been thinking about for years, a thorough reaming of your attic or basement or garage or entire homestead. If you don’t, it will only get worse.

Flagg can be reached at 877-637-JUNK or 609-387-0800.

— Rick Mellerup

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