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What you Need to be Aware of Before Hiring a Junk Hauler
When it’s time to have that old sofa removed or the junk hauled out of your basement, you may think that there’s really nothing to worry about. After all, the old junk is just going to the landfill, so you’re not concerned about it being damaged. However, there are still plenty of things that can (and sometimes do) go wrong. 

To Store it or Toss it – How to Make the Decision
Storage sheds are a great solution when you want to reclaim your garage without surrendering your treasures. However, all the stuff you have in the basement or garage probably doesn’t need to go into a paid storage unit. 

The Disturbing Truth About Storage Sheds

While storage sheds are a great way to keep stuff that doesn't fit in your home, there are some items that should not be left in these units.

How to Reclaim the Forgotten Storage Areas in Your Home 
It’s so peaceful to have a nice, clean house. Unfortunately, getting there can be a major challenge for busy families.  (march 15, 2017)

Out of the Basement and Attic!
As you look around your home for more storage, the most obvious spots are the basement and the attic. You’re probably not using the attic for extra living space, and the basement has all those handy corners where you can stack bins and store the holiday decorations.

Get Organized in the New Year

It’s a new year, the Cleveland weather is typical for January, and that makes it a great time to start organizing the house. The great thing about getting organized JDog style is that you don’t necessarily have to go out and spend a lot of money.  

Get Ready for the Influx of Christmas Gifts

With the holidays right around the corner, this is a great time to declutter your home. When you eliminate the things you no longer really use or want, you'll have more open space for the new treasures that are on their way.

The Joy of Finding Lost Treasures 
We were called for an estimate on cleaning out the basement and garage of an estate home. The main house was very tidy, so we weren’t quite sure what to expect when the woman led us to the basement. What we found was a mountain of clothes and household items that consumed the middle of the room. Shelves and dusty cardboard boxes lined the walls with just a narrow walkway around the pile that dominated the floor. We took note of the measurements, pointed out some furnishings that they might want to keep, and started calculating the quote. We asked if they were looking for anything in the pile that we should keep an eye out for.

“As a matter of fact…..” the woman said. “My grandmother’s crystal punch bowl is in here somewhere.”

Seriously? A crystal punch bowl?  That’s just….. awesome. “No problem,” we told her. “That shouldn’t be too hard to spot. We’ll let you know if we find it.”

But wait – there’s more. She pointed to a steamer trunk in the back corner. “We think there’s a gun in that trunk.”  Okay. This is something of an unusual request, but we can handle it. However, it’s generally good to know what type of gun we’re looking for. It turned out that her grandfather was a physician, and he once accepted a pistol as payment for medical services. The rest of the story was that the gun originally hailed from a gangster. What an amazing background and piece of family history! The problem is that a gun is a lot smaller than a punch bowl, but we promised that we’d keep an eye out for it.

We delivered the quote and went on our way. We were hired shortly after, and the job was booked for a month later. When we returned on the day of the project, the woman added something to the search list. “My mom has dementia,” she explained. “She’s been stressing about the basement being cleaned out, and she’s been thinking of other items that are down there. We just found out my grandmother’s wedding dress is somewhere in that basement. It’s still in the preservation box.” 

We updated the crew and got to work. As we bagged the clothes and rifled through boxes, we were constantly on the lookout for the gown, bowl, gun, and other items the family might want. Boxes of china, family photo albums, and jewelry were hauled upstairs and put on a table for the two sisters to sort. My crew member handed me a preservation box with something white inside. We all got excited, until the sisters announced that it was just the slip for the wedding dress. It was still important, but not the actual gown. We found another preservation box, but it had been filled with old yearbooks.

And so the work continued. I unburied a cardboard box against the wall and peeked inside. It was filled with china wrapped in decades-old newspapers. I lifted it up and handed it to Matt. “Carry it by the bottom,” I warned him. “The box is breaking.” Matt carefully hauled it upstairs and set it down on the table. He came back to keep sorting, and about five minutes later, we heard the women exclaim that they’d found the punch bowl.

I rushed upstairs to see this vintage bowl and admire it for myself. I was also very relieved that we had caught the weak bottom on that box. We all joked that it would have been terrible to find the punch bowl when it slipped out of a box and hit the floor, but that is why we were treating every new box we found like it might contain something irreplaceable.

As they went through the other boxes, they also found the matching ladle and cups. It’s truly a gorgeous set, and I’m sure they’re looking forward to using it. Apparently, Grandmother loved to entertain, and it’s so nice to know that the family will be able to use that gorgeous piece of crystal again.

The project kept moving; we unburied the steamer trunk and got it upstairs. It took a little while for the ladies to get over to it, but they did find the wedding dress inside - still in its preservation box. They also found her matching shoes and accessories! We cheered over finding the dress, but we were running out of spots where the gun might be. I apologized to them for not finding the third item yet.

“It’s okay,” the one sister said. “Dad had Alzheimer’s toward the end. We’re not sure what he did with it. The gun may not even be down there.”

As we cleaned, we also uncovered a beautiful cedar chest in excellent condition. It was stored right next to the steamer trunk, but it had been buried by clothes. The sisters had never seen it before and didn’t know it existed until we mentioned that we’d found another chest. We took it upstairs for the women to sort through the contents and see what was inside. Just a few minutes later we heard them yelling and celebrating.

The gun was wrapped up in linens in the bottom of the cedar chest. Does it work? Probably not. Can it be restored? Possibly. Is it an amazing piece of their family history? Yes. It certainly is, and we were so happy that we could help them reclaim it.

We also found vintage toys, letters from past generations, pictures from the 1800’s, and plenty of scrapbooks that the family had never seen. It took a little more time to check every box and bag, but it was well worth it to see these heirlooms discovered and returned to the family.

If you’re dealing with a large project and you’ve held off on calling in the junk haulers because you know there are special items in the stack, then it’s time to give us a call. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a particular lamp that came from a beloved aunt or a vintage .38 special that was once used to pay for medical services. The JDog crew treats every client with respect, and we operate with integrity. You can trust us to keep an eye out for items and return them if found. Call us today at 330.242.3069 for your free on-site estimate and to learn more about our cleanout services.

What You Need to Know About Hoarding
When it comes to those hoarding shows, there are typically two responses. Some people will watch the program with growing shock and horror. They wonder how people can live that way. Perhaps they feel sorry for the people on the screen, and maybe they just feel frustrated as they watch the wheels of progress turn at a snail’s pace.

How to Tell Between a Collection and a Hoard
 Many people enjoy collecting items, and you’ve probably seen hoarding shows where the property owner claims that it’s not a hoard, it’s a collection. It’s certainly true that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but how do you really tell the difference between collecting and hoarding? (April 2017)

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Caves Vs. Basements: How to Improve Your Space

If your basement feels more like a cave, then it's time to make a few changes that will bring it into the light.

Getting What You Pay For: Beware of Cheap Contractors
Hiring people to come work in your home can be nerve wracking. You want to be sure that they do a great job, but you also don’t want to overpay. Finding that balance between quality and value can feel like walking a tightrope. 

How to Make Your Move Easier

The housing market is heating up again, and people are on the move. Whether you’re downsizing or moving up in the neighborhood, getting ready to relocate can be stressful. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the to-do lists, but there are steps you can take to make your move simpler.

What Goes Down... Must Come Up

Be careful about putting heavy, large, and bulky items in the basement because they will eventually have to come out.

Check out our past blogs....