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Certified Bay Area Green Business
Small Business Locally Owned & Operated

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How Can I Empty My House Quickly? Step-by-Step Guide

Person stacking cardboard boxes in garage

There can be many reasons you may need to clear a house quickly.

Maybe it’s a great cash offer that you can’t refuse from a buyer, or perhaps you just inherited a property that you need to clear out to sell.

It could also be as simple as just having had enough of all the junk and wanting to start fresh.

Whatever the reason, emptying your house is a daunting task. Even organized people will find that stuff just accumulates after living somewhere for a long time.

So what do you do with all the stuff, and how do you empty the house quickly?

Follow this step-by-step guide so that the most challenging part is right now and figuring out where to start.

1. Make a Plan

Junk removal can seem overwhelming, but you have to remember there are only a few categories that you have to think about, and these are:

    • Keep
    • Donate to charity
    • Freecycle or recycle
    • Dump

Dividing everything into just a few simple categories will help make it easier to take that first step and get started.

2. Set a Date

Deciding when you are going to clear the house is also really important. It could take you several days to work through the property and outbuildings, and it is a full-time job.

Block out time in your calendar and if you are getting anyone to help you, then make sure they are free as well.

If you have a deadline for a clearance, such as for renovation or a house sale, then log that date and work backward. These situations require clearing out the whole house—an empty house with piles of organized junk in the yard awaiting collection won’t cut it. Giving yourself enough time is critical to making this process efficient.

Be realistic. It can take between half a day and one day to clear just one room, even with two people. Remember, you need to take breaks, and you may get distracted by things you come across.

Having a friend with you who you trust can make it easier when it comes to those difficult decisions about what to keep and what to chuck. They can help keep you motivated and focused.

3. Designate Sorting Zones

One thing’s for sure—you will need to create lots of different piles of stuff. Before you start, you need to work out where everything will go.

The best approach is to clear a space in your home for the stuff you want to keep—a dedicated room is the best idea—so that you can store it all separately out of the way.

Allocate an area outside for junk and trash that you wish to donate, recycle, or dispose of.

If you have stuff that can be useful to someone else, you could leave it outside for people to pick up as they walk past. Just make sure this is allowed where you live first. Some Counties or HOA Associations have special ordinances that frown upon this.

You can also gather all the items and haul them in one trip to a local donation center.

You might also come across stuff in good condition that you don’t want but could re-sell. If you have the time, consider having a yard sale. A garage is a great place to store these items until you are ready to sell. The only problem is you might have to clear the garage out first!

4. Get Equipped

Packing boxes, tape, and bubble wrap will be necessary for storing the stuff in the keep zone.

You may need to bag up small rubbish items before disposal.

Clearing junk can be a surprisingly dirty job, especially in a house that has sat neglected or not cleared out for a long time.

Sturdy gloves are always a good idea to protect your hands from scratches and cuts. A dust mask and long sleeve pants and shirt can also be helpful for working in outbuildings and dusty spaces.

If you have items that you want to donate to charity, these could go straight into a car or specially marked bags. Oversized items may need a pickup truck or dumpster, so organize a junk removal hire for the date you have planned.

5. Start Sorting

With your itinerary, sorting zones, and equipment in place, it’s time to start sorting!

One thing to handle with care is records. You can put them in a separate plastic container to sort out later. Don’t just toss them in the trash. Old documents may be important, and it will slow you down far too much to start reading them when you are trying to clear a room.

Keep old documents and photos. They won’t take up much space to store. Make sure you mark their location carefully so that someone else doesn’t throw them away accidentally.

6. Stay Safe

Several days on your feet, packing and lifting boxes can take its toll on your back. It may be better to call in professionals to move the keep items for you in some situations. Remember, professional companies do this every day, so they are used to it.

Practice safe handling techniques. Lift heavy items by using your legs and knees rather than straining your back and if it is too heavy for one person, lift it between two or three people.

House clearance can raise a lot of dust (and worse!), so wear a mask and try and keep areas well-ventilated by opening windows and doors in the space where you are sorting.

7. Try and Avoid Distractions

Every item can hold a memory, but if you ponder over each thing you pick up, it can take you months to make any progress.

If you know you are easily distracted or find it difficult to throw things away, ask family or friends to help you out.

Don’t make the fatal mistake of trying to clean items or rooms as you go along. Not only will this slow you down, but it is pretty pointless until you’ve cleared out the whole house.

8. Remember the Outbuildings

It sounds obvious, but it is easy to focus on the house and forget the shed or the garage. Often, these are just the worst locations for junk and garbage—out of sight, out of mind!

For some people, starting with the outside can be more efficient as it frees up dry storage space as you work on the house. Getting a headstart on the outbuildings well before you need to clear the property will save you from living in a messy home.

9. Organize Your Junk

Junk is junk, right? Nope. There is some trash that you can’t put in the dumpster. There are regulations for substances that could be toxic, like old household paints, ,motor oil, or the removal of certain electrical goods.

Most states will have regulations on disposing of HHW or Hazardous Household Waste. This information is easy to research online and worth doing ahead of your clearance so that you can organize junk items into the correct categories.

If you have a contractor who will only take general garbage, it will be down to you to sort the junk into different categories.

Some hazardous items may require specialist contractors to dispose of them. Plan accordingly. Check local HHW regulations for information and potential contacts.

10. Hire Junk Removal

The quickest way to clear junk is to hire a professional junk removal company.

You will be amazed at how quickly they can clear a property. You won’t even need to do any preparation work or sorting before they arrive.

Companies like Nixxit provide a full-service approach to clearing out a home and will do all the work for you.


Clearing out a house is a monumental task, but with a clear plan, you can do it—quickly!

When you’ve sorted the junk, call Nixxit Junk Removal. Our small, locally-owned junk removal company offers swift, efficient house clearance, same-day service if necessary, and eco-friendly recycle and upcycle services. We work with you to clear a property so that the junk doesn’t have to be your problem. Get in touch now to find out how we can help you.

Need Help with a Property Cleanout in the Bay Area, CA?

Nixxit Junk Removal can help with your property cleanout needs in the Bay Area.

  • Full-Service Removal and Sorting
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Donation and Recycling
  • Same Day Appointments Available
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nixxitjunk · Jun 13