House Clearance: Clear your home and clear your mind

“Bottom line is, if you do not use it or need it, it’s clutter, and it needs to go” – Charisse Ward

House Clearance | Away With It | 0208 504 3790House clearance and decluttering are popular topics at the moment; with TV shows such as The Hoarder Next Door and How Clean is your House? proving immensely popular. Getting rid of junk and clutter from your home is not only therapeutic, but it creates a far more pleasant home environment and can even add significant value to your home if you are looking to sell up.

If you’re feeling daunted by the scale of the task or simply don’t know where to start, do not fear! Here are five simple steps to get you going:

  • Plan: Yes, I know it sounds basic, but you’ll be surprised what a difference planning can make. If you’re afraid of letting stuff go, subconsciously prepare yourself by taking some time to write a list and organize your clutter. That way you can decide what really does need to be thrown away and what can be kept. You’ll be surprised how ruthless you can be!
  • Love that clean space: This is an easy one, as it doesn’t actually involve throwing anything away. Designate a space you use every day that needs decluttering, give it a thorough tidy, take a step back and love that space. It’s a rewarding feeling, and you’ll soon learn to hate clutter!
  •  Would you buy it today: So much clutter is stuff bought ages ago that has just been sitting there unused and unloved for years. Take a look. So much clutter is old, broken, unloved and obsolete. If you saw it in a shop today, would you buy it? If the answer is no, it’s time to get rid.
  • Get a fresh perspective: One of the greatest obstacles to decluttering is the sentimental value that can often get attached to even the most useless and mundane items. Get an outside perspective – invite a friend, colleague or neighbour over for a completely objective opinion. They will attach no sentimental value to your clutter, and can help you get rid of even your most cherished junk.
  • Don’t keep it out of guilt: This is a really important one, as I know how hard it can be to get rid of that well-meaning gift from a friend or relative that you have just never used, and instead is just sitting there gathering dust and taking up space. If you’ve had it long enough to know you’re never going to use it, the chances are the person who got it for you probably isn’t going to care if you throw it away.

Decluttering can be exhausting both mentally and physically, and this is where Away With It is your best friend. Once you’ve sorted out the bits you want to throw away, get the kettle on, put your feet up and give us a call on 0208 504 7390. Our House Clearance service is on hand to get rid of your clutter – we take everything from kitchen appliances to old books and videos, doing all the hard work and heavy lifting so you can sit back, relax and make the most of all that new space!

Skip the hassle: Our Builders Waste Clearance Service is the answer to your prayers

builder

Whether building is your trade, or you’re just a bit of a DIY guru, you’ll be no stranger to the trials and tribulations of sorting out a skip to get rid of all your builders waste. More often than not, a permit is needed and making your way through endless council red tape can be as frustrating as it is time consuming. It makes sense, therefore, to give Away With It a call and make use of our same day Builders Waste Clearance Service, saving you time, money and a bucket-load of stress.

With summer well and truly upon us, now is the perfect time to capitalize and get started on those long awaited home improvements. The construction industry is booming, with 6,000 new workers joining the trade in May alone. This is due in part to the upturn in the economy, but also simply because the dry summer weather makes construction a whole lot easier. Everywhere you look, home improvements are taking place, but in this increasingly image-conscious world, getting a skip for all your builders waste is not always an easy task.

Particularly in Essex and East London, the rental market is booming. The average cost of renting a 1 bedroom flat in Hackney is now £1,235 pcm, while renting in previously unfashionable Newham will still set you back an average of £889 pcm. Landlords are taking note of these figures, keen to make their properties stand out and capitalize on this rental boom. For a relatively small initial outlay, landlords can add huge rental value to their properties simply by ripping out tired and battered kitchens and bathrooms and going for a fresh look.

It’s not just the rental market that’s thriving either. Property prices in East London especially have been experiencing a meteoric rise, with Walthamstow showing the fastest in the whole of the UK. With family homes in Walthamstow Village now fetching close to £900,000, it is clear we are dealing with an inflated market. If you are looking to cash in and sell up, it is imperative to get as much value as possible out of your property. Like the rental market, the potential gains from a relatively small initial investment are huge, and with property prices only going one way, there has never been a better time to refresh your home.

Even if none of this really for you and you’re simply making the most of summer to catch up with some much needed bits of DIY, do not fear! No job is too big or too small, and we remove everything from rubble and soil to cables and wires. Away With It’s Builders Waste Removal Service is more cost effective than a skip, it saves you the time consuming task of trying to sort out and dispose of your waste yourself. Not only do we do all the hard work for you, 80% of the waste we collect is recycled, making our service not only more efficient than skip hire, but also better for your peace of mind!

On your bike: Garage Clearance has never been more rewarding

garage clearance london essex

Cycling has been thriving in London for a while now, and many of you have already made use of our Garage Clearance Service to get rid of your unwanted junk and make looking after your bike as easy as can be. With a clear garage the possibilities are endless. Say goodbye to the struggle of trying to extract your bike from in between the old kitchen table and a grubby sofa. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even use that free space to create your very own workshop and keep your bike in tiptop condition!

As the recent visit of the Tour de France to Essex and East London illustrated, Cycling has never been cooler. The same cannot be said about the weather, and with the sun looking like it is here to stay, now is the perfect time to clear out the garage, get on your bike and explore the countryside.

Enthusiasm for the Tour has been huge, with crowds lining the streets everywhere from The Mall to the Yorkshire Dales, with race director Christian Prudhomme sure the Tour will return to these shores:

“The question is not if, but when, although I don’t have the answer for the second part. Thank you. It was unbelievable, I just want to say again: merci beaucoup.

What the British people have done is magnificent.”

Following a total of 14 cycling medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 12 at London 2012, including a monumental 16 Gold Medals spread across the two, interest in British cycling is arguably at an all time high, while the recent success of both Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome in Le Tour has stoked the fires

Daily journeys by bicycle in London alone almost doubled between 2000 and 2011 to 570,000, the greatest increase in the UK, and this rise shows no sign of slowing down. Sales of bicycles have increased by 15% nationwide in the past year, with a greater awareness of cyclists by other road users meaning it is now safer than ever.

Cycling regularly also offers significant health benefits that are not to be sniffed at. An hour of steady cycling can burn 300 calories – 30 minutes of cycling a day can burn 11 pounds of fat over the course of a year, while boosting your metabolic rate long after you have finished cycling.

Not only is it good for your body, it is kind to your wallet. The average cost of a commuter bicycle is £300, while the annual cost for commuting into London by train can be 10 times that. Additionally, with the congestion charge now at £10 a day, after 30 days of cycling to work rather than driving, your bike will have paid for itself.

With summer reaching its peak, now is the perfect time to get out and enjoy the sunshine, and with the school holidays fast approaching, a family day out on the bikes has never sounded better!

This is where Away With It comes in to play. With our Garage Clearance Service, we will do all the hard work and heavy lifting for you, getting rid of all that garage clutter and clearing the way for a summer spent cycling in the sun.

Office Clearance in Beckton E6

London Office Clearance: Declutter To Improve Productivity

 Is office clutter costing you money?

Messy Office with Get Organized Note

Office Products company Brother estimates that disorganisation costs businesses a staggering $177 billion annually in lost productivity.

When employees are working in a messy environment they not only waste valuable time looking for lost papers and computer files but that wasted time leads to stress, frustration, and unhappiness, resulting in an even bigger indirect loss of productivity. Add to this the cost of printing additional copies of documents (unbelievably, the average office has 19 copies of each created document!) and ordering more office supplies to replace lost items and you start to see how the numbers stack up.

Here are some eye-popping stats from the Brother survey:

  • 38 working hours (or close to one work week) per person each year are lost as a result of looking for misplaced items in the office at a cost of $89 billion.
  • 66% of office workers spend up to 30 minutes of time during a typical work week looking for things they have misplaced around their office.
  • 46% of office workers have lost one of the following items in the past year (a file folder, mobile phone, calculator, flash or memory drive, a briefcase, suitcase, or luggage, lap top computer, or a PDA)
  • Close to four in 10 (37%) of office workers have gone into a work meeting feeling unprepared
  • Office supplies are on the top of office workers’ list of items lost in the last year with close to three in 10 (28%) have lost a file folder in the past year.
  • 87% of office workers say when their workspace is disorganized they feel they are less productive than when their workspace is organized
  • 86% agree that having a disorganized workspace is unprofessional
  • 30% of office workers have lost out on getting reimbursed for a business or travel expense because they misplaced or lost a receipt.

Source: The Costs Associated With Disorganization, Brother International Corporation 2010

It costs $25,000 to fill a four-drawer filing cabinet and $2,100 per year to maintain it: the true cost of clutter. But what about the psychological impact? When surveyed, office workers said clutter affected them in the following ways:

  • 77 percent – Productivity
  • 65 percent – State of mind
  • 53 percent – Motivation
  • 40 percent – Happiness
  • 38 percent – Professional image
  • 20 percent – Relationships

Source: OfficeMax 2011 survey

According to the National Association of Professional Organizations, paper clutter is the biggest problem for most businesses. The average person wastes 4.3 hours per week searching for papers while the average executive loses 1 hour of productivity per day searching for missing information. And, according to the Small Business Administration, the biggest burden for small business is the inability to properly service customers, increase sales and improve the bottom line because of mishandled paperwork.

Whether you are a big corporation, a small business or working from a home office un-cluttering and getting organised offers significant benefits:

  • increase productivity and bottom line profits
  • keep key information secure
  • reduce workplace stress and anxiety
  • contribute to a safer office environment
  • save time and improve effectiveness.

Top Tips for Getting Organised

  1. Create a clean desk or clean workspace policy.
  2. Designate one hour per week for getting organised and make it part of your regular office routine. Consider handing out prizes for the best organised desk or work area.
  3. Hold an annual or semi-annual office clean-out day in which all employees participate. You could even introduce an element of fun and hand out special T shirts and prizes for the occasion!
  4. Draw up a document retention policy and archive all your documents in boxes with clear destroy-by dates for disposal when you have your annual clean-out.

And if you need even more inspiration check out this slideshow from Forbes: Ten Tricks To Declutter Your Office

Remember, Away With It provide a handy same-day office clearance service so why not talk to us next time you’re planning and office clean-out day?

Garage Clearance in Wanstead E11

Bulky Waste Collection Charges: Councils Announce Inflation Busting Increases

Bulky waste collection chargesCash-strapped local Councils have implemented inflation-busting increases in charges for collecting bulky waste from April 2014. Here’s the low-down on what you can expect to pay in your local area.

Enfield

Household items can be collected by arrangement and are subject to the following charges (maximum of six items) :

  • 1st collection £28
  • 2nd and subsequent collection £58

Larger items including fencing panels, sheds and garage doors can be collected for a fixed charge of £50 per item.

Tower Hamlets

The Council will collect up to five items at a time for a fee of £15. All households can call on this service as frequently as they wish, but will only be able to book two collections in any one day. Residents in receipt of housing benefit are entitled to two free collections per calendar year.

Five days’ notice is required to arrange a collection and the Council will only collect between 7am and 3pm. The collection team will not enter properties and all items must be left outside by 7am on the day of collection. The Council will not collect DIY or builders waste.

Haringey

Bulky household items that are reusable or recyclable are collected for free. For all other items there is a charge of £17.20. Maximum of six items in one collection and the Council will not collect builders waste. The service can be provided only to those homes that have a front garden area where large and bulky items can be left for collection.

Hackney

The Council offers a free removal service for bulky items like fridges cookers and unusable furniture for residential properties only. Up to five items are allowed per collection and each household can request 4 collections per year. You can only have one collection of five items per day.

Collection is usually within 24 hours if booked before 1pm, or 48 hours if booked after 1pm. Items must be placed outside your property by 7am on the day of collection and there are no weekend collections.

Barking and Dagenham

You can have up to 4 small items collected free of charge using the Standard Service.
Any additional small items are charged at £2 per item.  You will usually wait about 5 weeks for your items to be collected.

Using the Priority Service, you will pay a minimum charge of £12.50 for 4 small items  or 1 large item. Any additional small items are charged at £2.50 per item and large items at £10 per item. Extra large items are charged at £20 per item. Collection will take place within 3 days of making a booking.

Havering

Havering charges for bulky waste collections using a points scale. Concessions are available for people who receive Income or disability support, or are aged over 60.

Total cost:
1 to 10 points = £20.65 (£15.45 concessionary rate)
11 to 20 points = £41.30 (£30.90 concessionary rate)
21 to 30 points = £61.90 (£46.45 concessionary rate)

Items will be collected within 10 days of booking and you must put your items outside your property within 2 days once you have paid. The Council will not collect builders waste, garden sheds or garden waste.

Redbridge

You can arrange for collection of large items with the Council but you will now pay a charge based on a points system, for example, a set of metal garden furniture is 6 points, a double wardrobe 2 points and a 3-seater settee 3 points. The service is free for residents who are in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance, are disabled or over the age of 60. The Council will not undertake house clearances or removal of builders waste.

Remember that for items Councils will not collect Away With It provides a cost effective alternative. We offer a same-day collection service, the number of items  for collection is unlimited and we do all the heavy lifting for you.

To book your collection today call us on 0208 504 7390.

Planning to do DIY over the bank holiday weekend?

diy and builders waste removal

UK spending on DIY reached a new two year high in February, up 11 per cent on the previous year.

DIY sales over the Easter period were also up 6% compared to 2013. On Easter Saturday alone, UK consumers spent a whopping £70m on VISA cards in DIY stores.

According to a Barclaycard survey the surge in home improvement spending is down to a combination of returning consumer confidence and soaring house prices, with many home owners getting ready to put their properties on the market.

Meanwhile, ambulance services around the country are reporting a big increase in calls from people involved in DIY accidents, falls and crashes over the May Day bank holiday weekend.

So if you’re planning any DIY this month, you’d be wise to follow this advice from Sheila Merrill, public safety adviser at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents:

“Over-ambition and lack of knowledge are among the main causes of DIY accidents, and we advise people to be honest about their abilities. Accidents happen more easily when you are unprepared and in a rush, so think through the tasks you intend to do before you start work.

“Tackling a job that is too difficult could not only result in an injury, but could also mean you have to pay a tradesperson to rectify an unsuccessful attempt – turning your efforts to save money into an expensive – and perhaps painful – mistake.”

Don’t forget, Away With It is always on hand for all your Essex DIY and builders waste needs, from old kitchen fittings and bathroom suites to rubble, soil and plaster, ripped out fittings, cabling and wiring. We’re cheaper and more convenient than a skip plus we do all the heavy lifting for you. And after all that hard work you could probably do with a rest!

garden clearance in Dagenham RM10

Garden clearance: Time to spring clean your garden!

With Spring well under way and the Easter bank holiday looming it’s time to get your garden in order! Here’s a handy to-do list to help you get your garden clearance and spring maintenance organised.

garden clearance

  1. Remove and compost any old annuals that have been rotting away over winter and prune back your perennials to ground level as soon as you see new growth. Check out this list for plants that are best pruned in the spring.
  2. Cut back shrubby plants and roses when new buds start to appear and the danger of a hard frost is over.
  3. Get to grips with the weeds before they take hold. Remember to dispose of seed heads and anything that looks diseased. Anything else can be composted.
  4. Put down top dressing, mulch and compost to encourage healthy growth, conserve moisture and suppress weeds .
  5. Divide and transplant as soon as new growth emerges. The sooner you can get your plants established in their new location the better they will do.
  6. Edge your lawn and apply slow-release lawn food, Use a metal rake to remove moss and thatch and reseed any areas that are looking a bit bare.
  7. Repaint or re-oil any wooden outdoor furniture, check and tighten nuts and bolts.
  8. Clean the barbeque and replenish gas bottles. You never know, there might be a barbeque summer just round the corner!
  9. If you have outdoor water features remove winter debris and check sprinklers and drip lines for cracks.
  10. Check the condition of all your garden fences, posts, structures and stores, securing any loose joints and replacing weakened or broken items. Sand off any old, flaking stain or dirt from dry surfaces and apply an annual coat of good quality wood preservative.

Putting effort into garden clearance and spring maintenance now will pay dividends over the coming months and there’s nothing more satisfying than being able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labours with a nice cool drink.

And remember, for all your garden clearance and waste removal needs Away With It is only a phone call away.

 

The dangers of fly tipping

When a local landlord dumped carpets, mattresses and bags in a private field in Lincolnshire little did he know that it would land him in court on a charge of fly tipping and facing a £1,000 bill. He was tracked down after local Council officials found documents that led them back to a property he owned.

The laws on fly tipping are clear. If you use unlicensed waste carriers who don’t dispose of your waste properly you, the landlord or householder, are legally responsible and are likely to face prosecution.

The offence of fly-tipping and the additional offences of ‘knowingly causing’ or ‘knowingly permitting’ fly-tipping carries a maximum £50,000 fine and/or twelve months’ imprisonment.

So the next time you think about using a fly by night waste removal company to take away your rubbish think again! It could cost you dear in the long run.

As Councillor Alan Caine, of West Lindsey District Council warns: “All householders need to make sure that they only give their domestic waste to authorised persons, those who have a waste carriers licence.

“This is to prevent unlawful fly tipping as highlighted in this particular set of circumstances.

“If you do give your rubbish to people you don’t know and it is found to be fly-tipped, you are likely to face prosecution.”

Away With It are fully licensed and authorised waste carriers. All the rubbish we collect is properly disposed of at Council disposal facilities and the cost of disposal is included in the price you pay. Plus, up to 90% of the waste we remove is recycled or re-used. So not only do we keep you out of jail but our eco-friendly approach helps to protect the environment.

Read the full story here:

http://www.lincolnshireecho.co.uk/Landlord-fined-1-000-fly-tipping-Caistor-fields/story-20793266-detail/story.html#ixzz2y6OWPU8X

young housewife cleaning

Time For The Annual Spring Clean!

With winter finally on the way out and the start of British summertime just around the corner your thoughts may be turning to the ritual of the annual spring clean.

The origins of spring cleaning traditions date back to ancient times. For centuries, Iranians have been following the ritual of “shaking the house” just before the start of the Persian New Year which falls on the first day of spring, cleaning everything inside the house from the carpets, curtains furniture to silverware and clearing the garden of winter debris. This is believed to rid the house of evil spirits. In Scotland it’s also traditional to give the house a thorough clean on Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) and in Jewish tradition spring cleaning is done in preparation for the Passover feast. In Greece and other Orthodox countries spring cleaning is carried out just before the start of Great Lent which is referred to as Clean Week.

In many cultures spring cleaning is associated with spiritual renewal. In China, for example, it is believed to get rid of the bad luck of the past year and get your home ready to fill with the good luck sure to follow in the new one. Many people use this time to repaint their homes and fix anything that’s broken.

sign: order and chaosSpring cleaning isn’t just about cleaning your home. It’s also about getting rid of clutter that you don’t need. Experts agree that clutter is bad for our physical health, providing a breeding ground for mould and bacteria and dust that can exacerbate certain medical conditions such as asthma and eczema. Living in a messy, disorganised environment can also create stress and anxiety. So de-cluttering is actually good for your mental health too, creating a sense of control and enhanced well-being. And you don’t need to be a hoarder to enjoy the benefits! Tackling that pile of junk in your loft, garage or cellar (or even on the back seat of your car!) or simply taking a couple of hours to tidy up the garden ready for spring will make you feel more calm and relaxed and create a sense of spiritual renewal.

Why not take advantage of the natural urge that comes each spring and make a plan for getting rid of all your clutter over the next month? You’ll not only be creating more space in your home but also in your mind. You’ll feel much better for it and the cleaning will be so much easier too once you’ve cleared away all the junk! You may even make a little cash on the side by selling your unwanted items on eBay to put towards a holiday or some new home furnishings.

Don’t forget that Away With It is always here to help by taking away anything you want to get rid of that can’t be donated or sold.