Spring is fast approaching and if you are like most people, you probably accumulated some “stuff” over the last year. It is again time to begin preparing for the great American tradition of the Spring Cleanout. There are many versions of this American classic. There is the “give it to my family and friends” cleanout, the yard sale cleanout, and finally, the “just get rid of it” cleanout!
What sometimes seems like a simple idea, can turn into quite a project if you are not prepared! Today, I will discuss 4 tips for planning and executing a successful spring cleanup. By following these simple steps, you can avoid many problems you might never have even considered.
Let’s start with identifying some of the problems you might not consider. When considering your job, pay particular attention to large and heavy items you may want to dispose of. These items require special attention such as how many people will it take to carry the item, does it need to be carried up or down stairs, does it need to be disassembled prior to moving?
Other problems may include the types of items you wish to dispose of. Can they be put in a trash dumpster or do they need to be source separated and taken to a different disposal site? These are all questions that can make a difference in whether your cleanup goes smoothly or is a rough ride.
1) The first tip to having a successful spring cleanup is to estimate how much stuff you want to get rid of. This requires you to give yourself a realistic look at your project. Look carefully through your items and really decide on everything you want to get rid of. You don’t want to get a 20 yd container delivered to you and realize you don’t have enough dumpster space because you added items to your disposal list and you needed a 30 yd container. Remember that getting rid of junk is liberating and you may be inclined to “add” things to the list in your excitement. So go through your items carefully and really decide what stays and what goes. Once you do this, you can estimate how large a container you need to get the job done. Once you know what you will be saying goodbye to, you want to make sure you have enough dumpster space. You may find that you might need more than one container. If you haven’t gotten rid of things in a long while, you would be surprised at how much stuff we accumulate! If you need more than one dumpster, coordination with your hauling company will be crucial to your success.
2) Once you know what you are getting rid of and how many dumpsters you will need, you need to figure out how many people you will need to get the job done. Are you going to do it by yourself or are you going to have help? If by yourself, pay particular to the heavy and bulky items you are letting go of. They may require help. Knowing how many people you will need will depend on a couple of factors also. The first factor is how long you are planning for the job to last from start to finish. If you want to get it done in one day, of course you will need more people. If you are planning it to take place over a week, you would obviously need fewer people. These are all factors that should be considered prior to starting the project.
3) Ok, so once you have figured out how many dumpsters (and what size) you will need and how many people you will need to finish the job, it is time to take a closer look at exactly what you are throwing out. You may have items that require special handling such as televisions, paint, tires and other items that can’t be thrown out in a trash dumpster. The last thing you want to see happen is for your cleanout to be stopped because there are things inside a dumpster that aren’t supposed to be in there. Most haulers can tell you what items can’t be put into a dumpster. We have a list of items that are not permitted in our dumpsters here in our Learning Center. You will want to make arrangements to dispose of those items separately. This will save you time and in the long run, money! If you have items that can’t be put into a trash dumpster, ask your hauler how to properly dispose of these items. Most haulers know how and where you can get rid of most items and we are always happy to advise you on these things. We lose time when there are problems, and a little pre-planning goes a long way.
4) Now we have already touched on the third tip for a smooth spring cleanup above. You need to estimate how long the job will take. If you are planning on doing it in one day and you need more than one dumpster, you will want to make sure your hauler knows that in advance. Oftentimes, people will call us back asking for an empty dumpster only a few hours after their first one was delivered. This isn’t always accomodatible when it isn’t planned. Knowing what you need beforehand and preparing for it will make all the difference!
5) My final tip for making your project run smoothly is to coordinate, coordinate, coordinate!!! Once you know how many people and how many dumpsters and what size dumpsters you will need, you simply need to pick dates, contact your hauler and let them know exactly what your plan is and what you will need. Ask them if they can accommodate you for a dumpster swap when you will need it. Ask them how much lead time they will need to get you that second dumpster. Once you have all the facts, you can map out your project and make sure it flows smoothly from start to finish!