Friday, October 26, 2012

The Queen's Thoughts on Dumpsters

Hey everyone, it's the Queen here again and I want to talk to you about dumpsters. Yes, I know that sentence probably doesn't stir up much excitement for most people but since the King and I are in the junk removal business, it's a subject near and dear to us. Before I start, I must give credit where it's due, I was inspired to write this blog after reading a series of blog posts about renting a dumpster written by a fellow franchisee(thanks Junk King Kansas City!). It made me realize that the average person probably doesn't know much about the subject so I figured I'd give my blog readers a little lesson.

Let's set the scene:
You have an old concrete patio in your backyard, it's cracked and in disrepair. Every time you look out the window you imagine ripping it all out and putting down a beautiful new brick patio where you can sit with a nice glass of wine (or beer...whatever floats your boat) and relax. Finally, you saved up the money and you have a plan in place to make it happen.You're a do-it-yourselfer type so you decide to ask a couple friends for help and get the job done.

You pick up the phone and call the dumpster rental place and the first question they ask you is what size dumpster you'd like to rent. Most places offer a range of sizes from 15 cubic yards up to 40 cubic yards with varying prices depending on the size you choose. I don't know about you but most people I've talked to have no idea what can be fit into a 15 or 30 yard dumpster, so you have to try and guesstimate what size you'll need. You look out your back window and think...30 yards. Ok, the dumpster place will drop off your dumpster tomorrow.

The day has finally come, you've got your friends ready, your jackhammer rented and you're rearing to go. The truck pulls up with the 30 yard dumpster and proceeds to roll it off the truck into your driveway...good thing you have a big enough driveway to fit that puppy on! We're talking 22 feet long and 8 feet wide!
Anyways, you've got your dumpster, let's get to work! Hold on though, did you read all the details about the dumpster? Here's a few typical conditions that you'll find in most agreements:
1. There is a set rental period - typically a week. If you have the dumpster longer than that, you'll get charged extra for each additional day
2. There's a weight limit - for the 30 yard dumpster, that's typically 3 tons worth of stuff. Remember trying to figure out the size dumpster you needed? How will you have any idea about how much the stuff you're putting in the dumpster weighs? Just a little tidbit of information for you: A cubic yard of concrete can weigh close to 3500 lbs, so there goes over half your weight limit and the dumpster doesn't even have that much in it yet in terms of volume!
3. There's a long list of things you can't (or are not supposed to) put in that dumpster, one of those things being dirt (while we're on the topic of dirt: a cubic yard of it weighs 2500 lbs).

Anyways, I think you know where I'm heading with this and if you're reading this and saying...wow, the Queen wrote a slanted blog against dumpsters... here's the thing - dumpsters have their place in the world, but they're not always the best answer for every situation... (which is where we come in).

Question: Do you really have any idea what a cubic yard of concrete or dirt looks like?

Last Words: I could probably write a whole new blog post on additional thoughts I have about dumpsters (no really, I could), but I'll leave you with this - Junk King can and will take almost anything (except hazardous waste of course) and we only charge you dependent on the space it uses in our 18 cubic yard truck...so give us a call or check out our website for more details! - yes that was shameless promotion right there.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Some of The Queen's Favorite Non-Profits

Although I believe in supporting non-profit organizations year round, this time of year when the holidays are around the corner, people tend to get into a more giving mood and start feeling more thankful for what they have. I wanted to mention a few of the non-profits that we support and why we love their cause:

1. The Wish Project - The Wish Project in Lowell, MA is at the top of my list for a couple reasons - a) they help people who have lost their homes and are in need of basic goods to get back on their feet in the Merrimack Valley and b) a large percentage of the items they provide are being given a second life, keeping a lot of unnecessary waste out of our landfills. Junk King has provided many truckloads of items to the Wish Project and we call it a win-win-win situation because we're helping people, helping the environment, and it makes us feel good all at the same time!

2. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell - Habitat is a great organization. Their main goal is to provide affordable home ownership opportunities to people in need. The homes they provide are quality, efficient, well-built homes built mostly by volunteers from around the area. In addition to new homes, Habitat also renovates existing homes. Not only does this help those in need of a home, but it also helps the entire neighborhood where the homes are built or renovated by improving property values and neighborhood pride.

3. Alternative House - Alternative House in Lowell, MA helps battered women and children who have been through domestic violence and provide shelter, support, legal help, and counseling to women in need. Alternative House also has an emergency shelter where women and their children can stay after escaping an abusive situation. One event we love to participate in that supports the Alternative House is the Thanks 4 Giving road race on Thanksgiving Day. The King and I have been doing this race for almost 7 years now and it's definitely grown over the years, it's a great race for a great cause!

4. Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lowell - I had always known about the Boys and Girls Club, it's been around for over 100 years but it didn't register in my mind just how much they help kids until I heard their Executive Director Joe Hungler speak at a recent networking event. The Boys and Girl's club can literally turn lives around for young kids and teenagers. It gives them a safe, fun place to go after school and during the summer where they can be with their friends, get help with homework, and work on their own personal development. Our children are our future and any organization that dedicates itself to helping them is worth supporting.

5. Red Cross - Almost everyone is familiar with the Red Cross, but I don't know if everyone knows all the things the Red Cross does to help people. Red Cross is there when natural disasters strike or when families suffer through house fires, they collect blood donations to help people who are sick or have been injured, help military families and veterans, provide training for people to learn CPR and other life-saving first aid, and provide international relief programs. The Red Cross has been around since 1881 and their goal has remained the same. The King and I make an effort to donate blood whenever we can!

Question: Which non-profits do you love and support?

Last Words: The King and Queen love supporting great causes just like we love hauling your junk away!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall Traditions


Fall in New England is a beautiful thing; as the end of the summer nears and you start to see the first glimpse of colors on the trees and feel the cooler air in the morning, you know it’s only a matter of time before winter will be knocking on your doorstep. To make the most of the season, I’ve decided there are five classic things that you should put on your to-do list during fall (and yes, some of these are not just New England traditions):

1.       Go Apple Picking – I don’t know what it is about apple picking that gets people to go to the farm (could be item #2 below), but it always seems to be the busiest time of the year at the local farms in our area. I suppose it might just be part of the quintessential New England fall. One of my favorite farms to go to is Parlee Farm in Tyngsboro, MA. Basically, you pay for a bag, go into the orchard and fill it up. Most of the time, unless you're making a pie or have definitive plans for all the apples you picked, you will find yourself in your kitchen staring at 25 apples wondering what in the world to do with them before they spoil. There are all kinds of ideas out there, but my favorites are apple butter, apple crisp, and sliced apples with peanut butter.

 

2.       Eat an Apple Cider Donut – If you’ve never had an apple cider donut, you need to find a way to get one, quickly! They’re absolutely delicious. A lot of places offer them now but the first one I ever had (and has not been matched to this day) was at Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury Center, VT. It’s a wonderful mix of apple and spices that will make you want a second serving for sure!
 
                                                  Picture from: coldhollow.com

3.       Pick a pumpkin from a pumpkin patch and Carve a Jack-O-Lantern – Imagine the perfect pumpkin. You know what I’m talking about – not too round, not too tall, no blemishes. Take that pumpkin, cut a hole in the top, scoop out all the glop (I know this part totally grosses out a lot of people), and then cut some holes in the side and you’ve got yourself a jack-o-lantern. I will say the environmentalist side of me thinks it’s kind of crazy that all these pumpkins get nourished and grown every year just to be cut up and eventually rot on people’s front steps, but I digress (and I will admit – I usually carve at least one pumpkin every year - ahem, guess which one is mine in the picture below).
 
 

4.       Leaf “Peeping” – So many people flock to our area to see the fall foliage, that time when the leaves on the trees turn varying shades of orange, red, and yellow. If you find the right vantage point, you can see all the colors mesh together in a beautiful  scene like this:
 
                                                  Picture from: rielworld.com

Also related to leaves, let’s talk about jumping into a pile of them: It seems simple and maybe silly, but if you've ever been a kid in New England, there’s a good chance that you’ve jumped into a pile of raked up leaves in the fall. Its fun and its classic. (Oh and don’t forget, Junk King can come and pick up your yard waste for you as you prep your yard for the winter ahead!)

5.       Go to the Topsfield Fair – OK, I’ll admit, I’ve never been to the Topsfield Fair, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it from friends and family who have gone over the years. The Fair was first held in 1820, and 192 years later, it’s still going strong. The fair has food, animals, rides, performances, exhibits, and so much more. It’s definitely on my list to bring the princesses there in the next few years, I think they’ll love it and I know I will too!


Question: What’s your favorite fall tradition?
 
Last words: Don't forget Junk King when you're cleaning up your house, inside or outside, to prep for the busy Holiday Season ahead. Give the King a call or check out our website!

http://middlesex.junk-king.com
 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Meet the Junk Queen of Massachusetts

Hello World! Junk Queen of Massachusetts here!

Honestly, I'm a little nervous about my first blog post as the Queen but we'll see how this goes.

First off, a little about me and my family: I'm married to my King and we have two little Princesses (ages 3 yrs old and 14 months old). We run a Junk King franchise based out of Chelmsford (Lowell), MA. The King and I both grew up in the Merrimack Valley area and we love it here. We've been at it for a little over 2 years and it's been an amazing ride so far. Junk King is a full service junk removal company, which basically means that we come to your house or business, you point at the stuff you want taken away, and we carry it out and put it on the truck. It's so easy.


We're excited about our business for a couple reasons:


1. Junk King has a commitment to recycling, we strive to recycle over 60% of what we haul away from people's houses and businesses - that's a huge chunk of stuff that doesn't contribute to filling up landfills. The King and I are strong believers in doing what's right for the planet and for the world our kids are going to inherit from us someday. Between recycling and donations to non-profits we save a lot from going to the transfer station or landfill.


2. We feel like we truly help people. We've done jobs for all different types of people from cleaning out a house for a client with an elderly parent who is being transitioned to a full time care community to real estate investors cleaning out a house so that they can renovate the house and re-sell it to grow their own business. It's overwhelming when you have a lot of stuff to get rid of and you don't know what the next step should be, seeing the look of satisfaction on our customer's faces is a great experience.


3. Junk King is an honest company. The two guys (Mike and Brian) who started the company are great down to earth guys who are always there if we need help or advice about something.


4. The Junk King company itself is like a second family to us. Junk King is based in San Carlos, CA and has franchises all over the United States that are run by genuine, honest, amazing people with all kinds of different stories and experiences. It's wonderful to be a business owner out on your own but also know that you are not alone.


My goal is to keep this blog interesting and relevant to not only what's happening in the junk removal industry but in our beautiful New England communities.


Hope you all enjoy it!


http://middlesex.junk-king.com