Spring Cleaning tips from the pros

Posted on April 15, 2014 by Sonoma Valley Sun

With the rains pretty much behind us, spring is popping up in this beautiful Valley we live in — the time of year that homeowners begin planning spring cleaning projects. At Good Riddance Hauling, we are receiving a lot of calls for help, ranging from big remodel projects to small garage and furniture pickups. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions of the season.

Q: My mother is moving, how do I begin to deal with the things she doesn’t want to keep?
A: To begin, get everything you are definitely keeping out of the house. Move it to a storage unit, a pod, another house etc… The next step is to separate the useable, donatable items. Create a staging area for all of these things, and be mindful that not always is one person’s junk, another’s treasures. Be practical, not sentimental. The items that have no life left need to go to the refuse station. Box and bag these items up, stage them in an area that is easily accessible for pick up. Do not overfill boxes or bags. A good rule of thumb is, if you can’t carry them, assume others can’t either.

Q: What can I donate to thrift stores?
A: Thrift store shoppers are very selective. They will not accept any items that are ripped, stained, torn or broken. They will not accept sleeper sofas, mattresses, large appliances and usually not electronics. They will accept furniture in good condition, clothes, shoes, housewares, books, linens, toys, working tools, home décor and interesting artifacts.

Q: How do I begin in the garage?
A: The garage usually has lots of miscellaneous items and is usually the most challenging place in the house. Paint, household chemicals, fluorescent bulbs, fertilizers and cleaners need to be taken to a separate specialized toxic waste facility. Old appliances without Freon can be taken to the metal recycling center. Appliances with Freon can be taken to the disposal station for a fee. Non-rusty, working hand tools and garden tools can usually be donated, otherwise they can be designated to your metal pile. E-waste can be recycled at the disposal station free of charge. Wood, except treated wood, can be placed in its own pile for removal. Tires can be recycled for a fee at the disposal station. Concrete, tiles, bricks, and cinder blocks can be recycled for a fee at Soils Plus. Flattened cardboard, plastic, and paper can be recycled free of charge at the recycling center.

Q: I am doing a remodel. What is the most efficient and cost effective solution?
A: Encourage your contractor to place all the tear-out material on a tarp in an easily accessible area where a truck can back up to it. The materials should be sorted and separated into categories as follows: sheet rock, wood, concrete (tiles, toilets, porcelain tubs, sinks, bricks, cinder blocks etc…) carpet, roofing material, metal (flashing, faucets, pipes etc…) appliances, windows, and treated wood.

A little extra time spent on the front end will definitely save you time and money on the back end.

Here is a list of recommended local recycling places.
• Sonoma Co. Refuse and Recycling Station, Sonoma
• Soils Plus, Sonoma
• Napa-Vallejo Waste, Napa
• Global Materials Recovery, Santa Rosa
• Petaluma Refuse Station, Meacham Road, Petaluma

We hope you find these cleaning out and hauling tips helpful. Whether you are hiring a professional or doing it yourself, these tips are guaranteed to save you time and money. Happy sorting!

By Leszlie Boutell of Good Riddance Hauling, at 935.0530 and

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