So everybody loves spring cleaning, right? Yeah, we’re not crazy about it either. But while it can be cathartic to clean your house, shed or yard out at the beginning of the season, the truth is, you don’t always have the capabilities you might want to do a proper cleanup. What about all those boxes in storage? What about drawers full of junk at home? Maybe you have a disused tool shed full of stuff that came with the house, that you’d like to clear out to make into a workshop, or a swimming pool that needs to go, to give you more access to your backyard? For that, you need a junk removal company.

Like contractors, moving companies, and cleaning services, these are the kind of businesses that pop up all over, and usually come with very little research. You only go looking for a junk removal company when you need one, so you might not always know what to look for. In this article, we’ll walk you through the best things to look for when hiring a junk removal company, to make sure your big cleanup is as quick and painless as possible.

1. Reputation is Everything

In a customer-service based industry like junk removal, pay attention to the reputation of the company you’re hiring. Do they have a Better Business Bureau listing? Check their reviews. Talk to your neighbors about whatever project it is. Who do they recommend? When you find a company that looks good, the research doesn’t stop there. Do they have a website? Is there an email address or number for customer complaints? Do they post testimonials anywhere? A company with nothing to hide is easy to get in touch with, and transparent about what they offer. Go with your gut, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be sure the company is willing to work with your schedule, and can give accurate estimates. Even if you’re trying to get rid of things, a company that cares about its customers is less likely to leave mess, or tack on extra fees.

2. Capabilities and Pricing

Talking about fees, be sure you know what kind of hauling your chosen junk removal service can handle. Check the range of services available from the company. You may feel you have a simple job, but you never know what will come up in the process, and it’s always good to know you’re leaving your things in the hands of professionals. On the subject of price, make sure to explain precisely what you need to be done as clearly as you can. This will avoid extra fees tacked on later.

Pricing is usually estimated by cubic yard. It can be tempting to get the cheapest price available, but that’s not always advisable. Remember: In everything, you get what you pay for. However, if the rate is higher, make sure to investigate why. What are you paying for with your junk removal? What are things you don’t need? Prices are never finalized without seeing the work in person, but a company that refuses to give an estimate sends up red flags. A cheaper company on paper may in reality tack on fees later. It’s always best to choose a company with prices in the mid-range.

3. Cleanliness

Hauling junk is messy work. To ensure you’re working with a trusted company, see if you can’t get a glimpse of the trucks. Since the fleet of trucks is usually the cornerstone of the junk hauling business, check out ads or on the website, and take a look to be sure that the trucks are in good working order and that the workers themselves take some pride in their cleanliness and upkeep. While we’re on the subject, most junk hauling companies will clean up the workspace after the waste has been removed. That doesn’t mean you can leave a mess and add it to the bill later, but it is considered standard practice to increase your customer service by taking good care of your customer’s property. A good company won’t tack on extra fees without listing the kind of cleaning they will be doing.

Here’s a video taken from about how they price a rubbish removal job:

4. Recycling Policy

Another aspect of customer service, as well as a clear indication of how reliable the company is in general, is their recycling policy. Many junk removal companies offer options for recycling, donation drop off, and other green solutions for your junk. Be sure to discuss options that work best for you.

You should also be aware that there are some things a junk removal company will not remove, due to safety concerns. These include electronics, batteries, or paints, solvents, and other toxic waste. Check with the company to see what your options for removing harmful materials are. If the company cannot safely do so, they can likely advise you on what to use.

5. Insurance

Last but certainly not least, check the company’s insurance. A reputable company will not be offended at all for you to ask about insurance. Even if you’re getting rid of junk, you’ll want to be sure your home and yard are not damaged in the process, and that no one on the job will be harmed.

Everyone has to do a bit of spring cleaning every now and again. But for big jobs, such as removing old appliances, getting rid of a pool or hot tub, or cleaning out an old storage unit or shed, you might choose a junk removal company. They can safely and efficiently take away your junk. Depending on your needs, they can even recycle or donate your items.

To find the right junk removal service, some research might be necessary. Ask around, and when you see a company you like, make sure you talk to them about other jobs they’ve done that are similar to yours. The best predictor of success is past success, so be sure to learn everything you can about the full range of services a junk removal company provides. Following the advice in this article will make your big cleanup a lot less intimidating!