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Curtailing Clutter with Haul-Away Services

Whether embarking on an old-fashioned spring cleaning or preparing a home for market, chances are that you’ll need to rid your home of accumulated junk. Junk, of course, is a subjective term: Sometimes it is defined as an item no longer usable for you, but of possible use to someone else. But the more conventional definition of “junk” includes scrap items with little discernable re-use potential, such as yard debris, unusable or irreparable appliances, or broken household items. If you’re busy and don’t have time to deliver items to the town dump, several services will send a professional junk hauler to your home.

If you have re-usable items that someone else might want, consider advertising them on free sites such as Craig’s List (www.craigslist.org) or Freecycle (www.freecycle.org), where surfers may happily come haul away your used goods. Charities will also pick up your re-usable items (clothes, small functioning appliances, books, kitchen items) for distribution or re-sale in second-hand stores. The Web sites for re-sale chains Value Village and Savers Inc. include links to charities that haul in your area.

If you have stuff unlikely to appeal to another consumer, or if you lack the time to market your items separately, several services operating in multiple regions will come haul non-re-usable items (construction or yard debris, large non-functioning appliances) for a fee generally starting at around $100. Fees can vary by your city of residence and the contents or size of your load. National services include 1-800-Rid-of-it (www.1800ridofit.com), 1-800-Gotjunk (www.1800gotjunk.com) and 1-800-recycle, and numerous local haulers can also help.