Whether it’s Marie Kondo’s Netflix series, a planned move to a new place, or the fact that you can’t find your favorite sweater, your instinct to get rid of the unneeded junk in your home is a good one. You will feel like you’ve moved into a brand new home once you’ve removed the unneeded items from your place. But before you have your junk hauled away, follow these 10 steps to make the whole process easier.

  1. Consider what you want removed, and how to make that as easy as possible

Perhaps it’s time for a full-home cleanout, complete with saying goodbye to old furniture and appliances you aren’t using any more, or maybe you’re bringing in a new look to just one room, so you have a smaller haul. Regardless of which way you are going, you want to have a firm idea of what you are going to get rid of. This will help as you plan.

  1. Figure out your junk removal style

Would you prefer to work a little bit every night, cleaning out a different area of your home each evening? Or would you prefer to devote a weekend to preparing for junk removal, getting it all done at once? Look at your schedule, think about how you like to work, and decide, because it leads to the next point.

  1. Make a timeline or a to-do list

Large projects like cleaning out a room or your entire home are much easier when you break it down into smaller tasks. Don’t just write “clean out the spare bedroom.” Instead, make separate items such as remove clothes from the closet, empty out the dresser, go through kids’ toys. Try adding a time and date to each item to help keep you on task. This is a great time to pick out a TV show you want to put on in the background or a podcast to listen to while you work, too!

  1. Schedule your junk removal 

Here will be the easiest part of the junk removal process. A service such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK? can be scheduled via phone or online. Since you have already figured out how much clutter you will be having removed, you should be able to find out how much you will spend on the service when you book your time and date.

  1. Pick up any needed supplies

Trash bags, face masks for those with dust allergies, boxes for clothing, waterproof plastic bins for items you are keeping, labels or post-it notes. What do you need to complete this task that you don’t have at home right now? Put these items on your shopping list to make sure you’re ready to go when it’s decluttering time.

  1. Get to work

Alright, it’s go-time. Decluttering day/week/month, whatever you have chosen will be easy enough because you’ve already done the prep work. Just follow your list or timeline and remember that every bit you get done now will lead to a more organized life later.

  1. Take breaks when needed 

Cleaning out your home isn’t easy, and it is physical work, so let yourself take breaks. Remember to drink water, and perhaps come up with a reward system. Whatever makes you feel rewarded – a bath bomb, a manicure, that candy bar you only have so often – allow yourself to have it when you have completed your tasks.

  1. Label everything 

To make your junk removal easy on you and the junk removal professionals, be sure to label everything in the rooms they will be working on. Come up with a system that is clear to both you and the professionals, like green stickers means “take it” and red means “leave it” and communicate it with them as soon as you get to your home.

  1. Confirm with your junk removal professionals 

Double check the date and time they will be showing up and let them know if any parking restrictions that might come up. This is also a good time to let them know if you have more items to get rid of then you originally had planned.

  • Relax, and let the professionals do their jobs. 

This is the day you worked hard for, so sit back and enjoy it. And if you really want to finish the service off well, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to come and give your home a thorough cleaning after your junk has been taken out.