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 Crew members of Junk King work  at a client’s home.

Crew members of Junk King work at a client’s home.

Photo provided by Junk King Corporate

Get a head start on spring cleaning

By: Jonathan Shead | C&G Newspapers | Published January 7, 2020

  Matt Ulbrich is the owner of Junk King Detroit Metro.

Matt Ulbrich is the owner of Junk King Detroit Metro.

Photo provided by Junk King Corporate

METRO DETROIT —  A new year comes as a natural restart. People make resolutions. Optimism runs high. It’s time to tackle goals and become a better person.

But what about your home?

Spring cleaning might be coming around the bend, but Matt Ulbrich, owner of Junk King Detroit Metro, believes the new year can be a good time to get a head start on cleaning and organizing, especially while residents of the mitten state are stuck inside from the weather.

Decluttering, downsizing, or simply better organizing items is about more than just having a home that you’re proud of. Reclaiming your space can also help you to achieve other resolutions on your list.

“When someone is starting to declutter and get organized, before they start, I recommend they think about what they are hoping for in the end. What are they envisioning for how they want that space to function and feel?” said Holly Southerland, owner and founder of Ann Arbor Home Organizers. “You’re making these New Year’s resolutions, so you really want to set up your space to support your goals.”

Southerland said that cleaning, decluttering and reorganizing can provide a self-esteem boost for a homeowner. Through her work with clients, she’s seen relationships and marriages improve, and she has found that kids are happier when they have an organized, limited toy room as opposed to a cluttered space containing as many toys as possible.

“Mentally, you feel more confident,” she said. “It contributes to your social life. You feel like you can invite friends over at a moment’s notice for dinner, and you don’t feel like you’re hiding in shame about what your house really looks like.”

Homeowners can get a good feeling by donating their unwanted items rather than tossing them in the trash.

“It releases you mentally and emotionally from the guilt of throwing things away,” Southerland said. “It not only releases you; it really allows your things to be used again with a new life in a meaningful way. It’s a way you can support your community without having to give money.”

At Junk King, recycling and donating a homeowner’s old items is a top priority. Ulbrich said the practice is “good stewardship” of the environment, as it keeps items out of landfills, while it also helps people in need.

Junk King hauls away a variety of items, including old furniture, TVs, household appliances, mattresses, yard waste, general trash and more. Whenever possible, Ulbrich said, he donates items to places like the Salvation Army and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore before recycling them.

While some may find it easier to hire a professional service to take care of their home cleaning needs, others may try to take on these tasks themselves.

Important questions need to be kept in mind when doing a home cleaning project, according to Southerland. How do I feel in this house or room now, and how do I want to feel? How does it function now, and how do I want it to function?

“If you can have a clear picture of why you’re doing what you’re doing, it’s going to help make decisions a lot faster,” she said.

When it comes to specific items, she said, it’s about determining whether you love them or need them. If it’s neither, the item should go. If it’s both, it’s a “double win.”

Ulbrich also recommends checking municipalities’ specific recycling rules to determine whether items can be left at the curb, if they need a special tag, or if they have to be taken to a drop-off location. He said that every municipality’s rules differ.

Ulbrich also recommends that people have the appropriate safety gear for the job. Whether it’s safety glasses, gloves or a mask — for digging items out of a dusty attic or basement — it’s important to have these items before getting started. He said most items can be found at local home improvement stores.

For more information on Junk King, visit For more information on Ann Arbor Home Organizers, visit