When Is It Time to Replace My Mattress?

Americans have a love / hate relationship with our mattresses. We spend almost ⅓ of our time with them, and if it goes well, we have no memory of the experience.

 

Mattresses can be expensive investments, or cheap afterthoughts.

 

With this much time and money invested in finding the right mattress, when it starts to go, you want to carefully evaluate your options.

 

Here are signs that you need to throw your mattress away.

 

  1. It sags. There’s that sweet spot where you and your loved one cuddle, or you burrow in each night. You can find it easily because you sort of “roll in.” That sag, however, indicates that your support and ability to move around at night are diminished. Toss it.

 

  1. It has lumps and bumps. Lumps and bumps and buttons are signs of broken springs or misplaced foam and support. In addition to being a sign of wear and tear, they work against your good night’s sleep. Toss it.

 

  1. It is creaky, or squeaky. First, check if the creak or squeak is coming from your mattress or your box springs. Often the springs will be the culprit, and they should be replaced. If it is the mattress making the noise, but it’s not keeping you up, you can keep it a little while longer. But soon it will be time to toss it.

 

  1. Stains with odors. Pets, children, and a wide range of non-sleeping activities can leave your mattress stained. You can change the sheets and cover that up – you’re probably not hosting dinner parties on the bed anyway … right? But odors? If a quick spray with an over-the-counter cleaner doesn’t do the trick, toss the mattress.

 

  1. Bugs, especially bed bugs. No discussion here. Toss it. But what about …? No. Toss it.

 

  1. Aches and pains from sleeping. Your mattress and a night’s sleep should leave you feeling fit and rested, not tired and tested. If your mattress is the cause of your aches and pains, there is nothing to be done. Toss it.

 

Often your mattress and your box springs are a matched set. They don’t have to be, but a good match is an important thing to consider.

 

If you’ve got two large items to throw away, maybe it is time to consider renting a dumpster and turning this into a project?

Remodeling and Disposing of Your Dining Room

As COVID-19 or normal nest-fluffing activities prompt us to make bigger and more comprehensive changes to our house, the dining room is typically considered as an afterthought.

We set it, we forget it.

Silverware pun aside, the formal dining room often receives little love. We do a lot of daily eating in and around our expanded kitchens, and the idea of having company for dinner is still a rare treat.

But when it is time to re-do the dining room, here is a guide for how to handle each part of the redesign.

The table – many dining room designs and redesigns focus on the table. Appropriately so. The table makes the determination for whether you will eat in the dining room at all. Is it too big? Is it too formal? Is it covered with the bills, or a vexing jigsaw puzzle?

If you dispose of your dining room table and chairs: think of St. Vincent DePaul or some other local agency that employs folks to resell furniture. If it is functional, there is likely another life with another family. If your table was damaged to the point of unusability, only then should it be thrown in your Big Daddy Dumpster.

The china cabinet: was it part of a set with the dining room table? Then it’s got to go to make room for the replacement. If not, try to determine if it can be redone in a way that complements your new look. And what about the curios that are stored inside? Are they heirlooms whose story you know? Keep them, if not …

If you dispose of your china cabinet and contents: Determine if it is functional. If so, donate it. There is simply no sense in throwing away working furniture in a country with a 40% poverty rate. If it’s broken or unusable, BDD!

The carpet: It’s the focal point of the space only in that it must work with the table. But it gets heavy use, especially on the corners where people step on it while traveling from room to room. If the whole room is getting re-done, the most likely casualty in this war is the carpet or rug.

If/when you dispose of your carpet or rug: There really isn’t a second life for carpeting or a rug. It’s time to consider renting a dumpster for your project, it just got big.

Window treatments, art, and wallpaper: Sorry, they’re gone. They served their purpose, but they were unique to that space and time and design. For the most part, they’re difficult to remove in a way that preserves them. And no one can use them again.

When you dispose of your window treatments and wallpaper: Dumpster. MAYBE your art can earn a second life at a furniture reseller, but they will have a say in that. Be willing to make the trip knowing that you will return with the same full trunk you had when you set out.

Remodeling (and Disposing of) a Bedroom

Bedrooms are our most personal expression of who we are when we can fully be ourselves. Here, we place homages to our values and our aesthetics. We transition from posters of our favorites musicians to paintings of our favorite scenes, or expressions from the minds of our favorite classical artists.

Often we are working in the bedrooms of our children as they transition from one age to the next, moving through different phases of self expression.

Then one day we must grasp the possibility of this space without them, as they take off into the world.

When our children are young, redoing the room typically means paint and rearranging furniture. When they fly from the nest, the transformation needs to be more radical.

The bed: What will this space be next? If it will maintain its use as a bedroom, but now for guests and even the welcome (temporary) return of our progeny, we keep the bed and simply accent around it.

If your vision does not involve a bed: Donate it. In almost every situation, there is a family who can benefit from a hand-me-down bed. As long as it holds together, you have all the parts, and it is not too badly damaged, St. Vincent DePaul or a similar agency will make your life easier by taking it off your hands for a modest price. The mattress, however, is another issue altogether. Your municipality may have special requirements for the donation / disposal of mattresses, and it may be required to be thrown away.

The dresser: The advice here is pretty clear. No, it’s not easily converted into something else. Nothing says “my home office is really a bedroom” like keeping the dresser. So don’t.

To dispose of the dresser: Always start by exploring the donation route. Working furniture can live a long time, why not help it avoid the landfill?

Curtains, art, and wallpaper: This room was great for your kids. You’re not your kids. These were unique to their location and are hard to remove in a way that allows them to be used again.

When you dispose of curtains, art, and wallpaper: Try and get your kids to take them with them. Maybe they have some great memories attached. It’s clear, you’re either going to throw this stuff out now or you’re going to throw it out in 20 years after storing it that whole time. Dumpster.There just isn’t a second life for them.

Remodeling (and Disposing of) Your Living Room

Once upon a time, the living room was the gathering place of friends and family. Every part of our time at home seemed to center on a space so important to our home that we named it after our primary task: living.

Today, much of the work of a living room has been turned over to the family room or den, a space carved out or given over to a large screen TV, movie-quality speakers, and multiple game devices and streaming services.

Our living rooms have become more formal. They are our house in it’s Sunday Best clothing.

The decision to redo the living room should keep this in mind. Here’s a guide to how to decide what to keep, and how to dispose of the rest.

The couch: Every living room has at least one multi-person couch. Large, dramatic, with distinct features that helped form the character of the room, sometimes it is the first decision made in a space, and all others happen around it. Is it in good shape, though maybe a little work. A good re-upholstering is often expensive, but slightly cheaper than a whole new sofa. But it is is heavily scratched or dinged, perhaps from a pet years ago, or another piece of furniture placed too close, it needs to go.

If you must dispose of your couch: consider giving it to a second-life furniture outlet like St. Vincent DePaul. Often these places will send a truck and a couple burly folks over to your house, and for a small price you can save yourself the big work, and know it’s going to a second home.

The carpet: The carpet in your living room was the most used feature especially on the corners or pathways where people walk while passing through. If it is not worn, and If the colors still work for your new vision, keep it. Otherwise, it’s got to go.

If/when you dispose of your carpet or rug: There really isn’t a second chance for carpeting or a rug. Think about renting a Big Daddy Dumpster for your project, it just got big.

Comfortable chair: This was likely, at some point, matched to the couch. It should face the same fate. Keep it and reupholster it if you can.

If you must dispose of your comfy chair: Donate it, unless it is too badly damaged to re-use. In that case, throw it in the dumpster.

Window treatments, art, and wallpaper: I hate to say it, but they’re the most likely casualties of the decision to remake your living room. They did what they needed to do, but they were unique to their location. For the most part, they’re difficult to remove in a way that preserves them. And no one can use them again.

When you dispose of curtains and wallpaper: Dumpster.There just isn’t a second life for them.

What Size Dumpster Do I Need?

One of the biggest challenges in doing a major remodel project around the house is finding the right size dumpster. This is because there are so many variables.

There are lots of sizes to choose from.

They are built on a scale that is difficult for the average person to visualize.

Most people rarely need to rent one, so we have no experience.

It is hard to imagine how big your project will look when it is dumped in a dumpster.

We are going to try to demystify the process a bit.

Garbage Bags

You’ve probably already looked at the website of a local dumpster dealer and you’ve seen a picture of an average scale human standing in front of an average scale dumpster.

This is meant to be helpful. Really it is. However, we seldom think of our garbage as being scaled with our body.

Instead, we are much more familiar with the size of a garbage bag. We handle those frequently. We have a sense of their size.  So in order to help you visualize it, we are going to explain it in terms of garbage bags.

Your dumpster choices will be marked in terms of “cubic yards” or “yd³”

On average, 1 cubic yard looks about like a medium size dresser, or about 6 trash bags.

Your smallest dumpster choice, the transition point where it makes more sense to rent a dumpster than to put it out in your own trash can, is 10 cubic yards. So this is about 60 trash bags.

  •             10 yd³ = 60 trash bags
  •             15 yd³ = 75
  •             20 yd³ = 120
  •             30 yd³ = 180
  •             40 yd³ = 240

Pickup trucks

OK so maybe garbage bags aren’t how you think. Maybe you are a do-it-yourself kind of person who understands what it means to throw a shovel in the back of a pickup truck, or what it means to load the pickup truck with mulch or dirt.

And besides, it does get pretty challenging to think about size in terms of 60 garbage bags.

Let’s measure in pickup trucks.

  • 10 yd³ = 3 pickup truck loads
  •             15 yd³ = 4-5
  •             20 yd³ = 6
  •             30 yd³ = 9
  •             40 yd³ = 12

This is an especially helpful measure when you are imagining each of those pick up truck loads being driven to your local dump. If it’s right around the corner three trips is no big deal.

However, if you’re like most folks who are doing a big fix-it-up project around the house, the local dump is NOT right around the corner.

And the further away it is, the more time and effort it adds to your project to haul everything there yourself.

Now you’re loading, driving, unloading, driving back … multiple times. And this is time added to the work of demolition or removal.

Many people might even choose a 10 yd³ dumpster to avoid that pain and hassle of even one or two trips to the dump.

Also, you should round up, and get the next biggest size if you are unsure. No one is judging you for not wanting to make any more trips than you have to. Or making no trips at all.

We hope this guide helped you with your project.

A Quick Guide to What You Can’t Put in Your Dumpster

We get versions of this questions of this version all the time:

“What CAN’T I put in my rental dumpster?”

Of course, there is a list of items included in the rental contract, but you want to know the answer before you make the decision to rent a dumpster. So here’s a quick guide to what you can’t put in your dumpster.

First of all please note, this is a list of what you can’t put in YOUR dumpster.

There is a much shorter list to what you can’t put in someone else’s dumpster: everything. You should never put anything in someone else’s rental dumpster. If you do this, you are subjecting yourself and them to possible citations and fines.

The list of prohibited items falls into a couple of different categories.

Home interior:

The following home interior items should not be placed in your dumpster.

  • Mattresses
  • Couches
  • Upholstered chairs
  • Beds
  • Paint / paint cans
  • Televisions
  • Household cleaners
  • Light bulbs
  • Refrigerators
  • Large appliances

Each of these items likely have specific rules in your community for their disposal. In some cases this is because the items can be reused, usually decent furniture fits into that category, and televisions you’ve replaced not because they weren’t working but because you’ve upgraded. Keeping them in use and in circulation saves landfill space and saves another family money.

In other cases the items can’t be disposed of because they are themselves toxic or they contain toxic ingredients. Placing them in the landfill those poses problems to your environment including the drinking water for your community. Your community likely has rules and procedures for disposing of hazardous ingredients.

Garage or lawn and garden:

These garage, lawn, and garden items should not be placed in your dumpster.

  • Pesticides
  • Lawn chemicals
  • Weed killer / herbicides
  • Engine oil or lubricants
  • Propane tanks (even if you’re CERTAIN they are empty)
  • Tires

In each of these cases throwing out the indicated item is a risk to the environment and the people who handle or work at your trash processing facility. In some cases, including engine oil and lubricants, proper recycling means that they can be useful again. It might take an extra step, but reusing and reducing waste goes a long way towards helping the community.

Large item removal

Many municipalities offer the service of removing large items for you. Often you have to call ahead to schedule a pickup of the item on a specific day. This might not be your normal trash pick-up day, because the schedule is handled separately and sometimes is handled by an entirely different company or contractor.

Most communities require you to get it out to the curb which doesn’t require any more or less work than it would’ve taken to get it into a large dumpster. Some communities will even offer the help of someone coming into or up to your house to help with the removal process.

How do I know if this is trash? – Under the Porch Edition

That smell, you realize, is coming from under the porch. Something has gone under there to die, and accomplished its mission, if your nose is to be trusted.

But why would it go under YOUR porch? It’s not like there are places to hide …

Oh, wait. Yes.

You’ve been throwing things under this porch for hmm … going on a decade now.

That’s a LOT of stuff. You can’t even see what is making the smell.

Time to clean. But how to decide if items you find should be kept, donated, sold at a garage sale, or thrown away?

Read this quick guide!

Old concrete

Are these concrete blocks that are complete, whole, and in usable shape? Keep

Wait, that’s a lot more blocks than I thought. Maybe someone else can use them for a specific project? A lot of middle-sized to large communities have one or more organizations to help with just this sort of thing. Donate

I thought these would be useful but they are really just chunks of concrete. Maybe I could use them as filler for … well, maybe I could make something up? Trash

Tools

“I own a wheelbarrow?” Have you been doing yardwork for years without it? Did you replace it? I thought so. Donate

Is it rusted through, either on the wheel brace or the container portion? It’s not able to do anyone any good. Trash

Hand tools

Still sturdy and, with a little love, it could go to work again? These tools that can get oiled up and put to good use for another generation. Maybe you’re not the one for this task. Donate

Covered in rust? Unmoveable? Showing physical signs of decay? Trash

Lumber

Oh, yes. You remember these parts from that fence project. Or was it the garage? Either way take a quick look at them. Are they warped? Are they damaged from the water? Trash

Are they stained? This might be okay if you need them as a replacement part for something that is painted. Are they in mint condition? Keep

That small stack over there? The odds and ends you are keeping just in case you come up with a project. Really? How long has it been? Are you coming into a whole bunch of free time sometime soon? No? Really, not even a pandemic is enough to turn the average person into a woodworker. Trash

Odds and ends

Old trash can lid. Is it aluminum? Recycle   Another other material? Trash

You have held on to these toddler toys for years, but in addition to Father Time, safety standards have also crept up on you. These won’t be safe or in good condition when you have grandkids. Trash

That old sled … might actually be useful. Is it in working condition, with no holes or warps? Keep

Nothing is more fun than a neighborhood garage sale and clean-out week. Go together and rent a dumpster, and drop a hint to your hoarder neighbor.

 

How do I know if this is trash? – Kitchen Edition

It’s an ambitious project, remodeling the kitchen. Who knew how much stuff you had? Maybe you inherited some of it … you sure don’t remember buying this much.

Is this from … our wedding? I’ve never seen it since then, I thought we lost it.

Picking through old kitchen equipment can be amusing, and it can trigger old and powerful memories. Sorting through memories, functionality, and practicality can be a difficult journey. But you can’t take it all with you.

Here’s a quick guide to deciding if what you have found is garbage, or great.

Dishes

Did you just dig up a third set of dishes? Well, not a ‘set’ exactly, but these certainly match each other in some sort of way, though there are pieces missing.

Ask yourself – is this part of an heirloom or family keepsake-quality set? If not: Trash

Are there specific useful pieces that are missing from your regular set? Say, for instance, corn holders, or a gravy boat. These are useful spares. Keep

Old Cabinets

About to tear out the cabinets and think you might have a place to use them? If you can readily identify where you will hang them, and when, and with whom: Keep

But these are in pretty good shape someone might want to buy them. If you have a buyer: Keep

You’re SURE a buyer is out there … somewhere: Trash

Old small appliances

I thought we threw out this old toaster. It still works! Great, no one will mind this little bit of rust, right? Yes, they will mind: Trash

No rust, still works? Donate / Garage Sale

“I wonder if this old hand mixer is worth something.” Don’t have all the original parts? Trash

But I’ve got this one recipe I used to make with this specific appliance, I wonder if I should dust it off, it’s only been ten years. Donate / Garage Sale

Old big appliances

Big appliances are a reliable item – generally there is someone somewhere who wants it. You could take advantage of the system in your community (if it exists) where they take away large appliances, but there will be better options almost every time.

Ask yourself why you are replacing it. Does it work, but not as well as you would like? Are you just getting a new color of kitchen and it does not fit in anymore? Donate

Perhaps it has a few surface scratches but was working fine? Donate

Now this old refrigerator just quit working and we had to get it replaced the next day to prevent the loss of all our groceries. A refrigerator has important and expensive components, some of which might be harmful in a dump. Donate

Tupperware

Do you have a complete set? Donate / Garage Sale

Incomplete set? Missing a lid or two? It’s just a ‘tiny’ stain? Trash

But … Trash.

No one wants your old Tupperware.

Spring cleaning can be fun. Go in with your neighbors and rent a 10-yard truck for the neighborhood today!

How do I know if this is trash? – Garage Edition

It’s spring cleaning time. Or perhaps you’re tasked with cleaning out a relative’s garage. Or maybe you have inherited some stuff you just don’t want.

But is it trash?

How do you know?

Here’s a handy guide to what is – and isn’t – trash in your garage.

Lawnmower:

That old gas guzzling, gray cloud spewing lawnmower. You thought maybe you got rid of it when you got the new one … was that six years ago? Seven?

Ask some key questions. Is it in almost-usable shape? If so, there are good reasons to donate it to a lawnmower repair place. A lot of lawnmowers are built with standard-size parts, and these can be used or upcycled to keep other lawnmowers in good repair. Donate

If it worked when you replaced it, someone might be able to get it working again, depending on the extent of the damage. Donate

Is it covered in rust, with visible damage from the elements and maybe rodents? (Rodents are attracted to the sweet taste of common engine oils.)  Trash

Hand tools:

Still sturdy and in workable shape? These are the types of tools that can get re-worked and put to good use for another generation. Donate

Covered in rust? Unmoveable? Showing physical signs of decay? Trash

Siding and building materials:

You forgot that you kept that bag of shingles after the roofing project, “just in case.” But there it is, under something that was under something in your garage. Or maybe it is a few yards of siding.

Do you still have that shingle / siding on your house? You might want to keep it, let’s see how we do on these questions: is it still the original color without staining? Keep

There really is no place to donate these. However, maybe you’re lucky and the siding is true aluminum siding? Recycle

Oh, it’s just discolored siding from an old project? Trash

Turf builder and lawn food:

Do you feel lucky, even though it is expired? Many lawn and garden chemicals change properties over time, but they tend to become a little bit weaker. Applying them to your lawn won’t do damage, as long as you follow the rules on the side of the bag. Keep

But your lawn is your greatest joy and you don’t want to take any chances? Many of these can go directly to the dump, but you don’t want to risk it.  Read the label, then, and dispose of as directed. Trash

Old sporting equipment:

Oh the memories in that old tennis racket. Remember that one game of croquet we played that summer when this set was new? Sadly, time and technology have moved on. If your racket is more than 7 years old, it’s not going to find a new home. That old basketball with a water stain, and that volleyball that you THINK MIGHT hold air? No one cares, and no one is about to start using it now that it has been found. Trash

Aww, my old baseball glove. So many good memories, mostly from being with friends before and after the game. Memories are hard to replace. Bring it inside, dust it off, oil it up, and wrap it in newspaper. Keep

Help! My Landscaping Project Involves Removing A Garage!

Sometimes when the phone rings, the voice on the other end is panicked.  “Please help. My husband has started this landscaping project and we need to remove the old garage. How can we do this?”

We love it when the answer is this easy: put it in a dumpster.

Not just any dumpster, of course. You will need a Big Daddy Dumpster.

Tear down safely with these tools

You will need to own, rent, or borrow a couple of simple tools.

Hammer: Some of the time, simply pulling a nail will be easier than “Hulk! Smash!” Not always more fun, just easier.

Sledgehammer: a sledgehammer is built to do the difficult work of breaking things apart. The weight helps you leverage a swing into barn-busting power.

Gloves: You will be working around wood, which means splinters and nails. Wood is also an absorbent surface pulling moisture from your hands, and dry, cracked hands are more susceptible to rips and tears. Don’t take any chances, wear gloves

Crow bar / spud bar: All this prying will involve a crow bar AND a spud bar. The crow bar can do the close-up prying and nail removal that a hammer can’t quite manage. The spud bar will allow you leverage to pry loose footers and corner joists with ease.

Ladder: Before you smash in to the work, remove some – but not all – of the reinforcing supports and the electrical wiring (if any) safely from your ladder. Then smash.

Work boots: heavy soled work boots are the best for a demolition project with nails. It is very easy for a foot to slide onto an exposed nail and to turn a fun event into a medical event.

Demolition, and getting the garage in the dumpster

Early in the planning stages you will want to talk with a Bid Daddy Dumpster consultant to make sure you have the right dumpster. We will need to know the dimensions of the existing garage. This helps us determine the total volume of the project.

You don’t want to have one side of a garage that you need to later put out in small parcels with the ordinary garbage. That can add weeks to the project.

Once you have the right size dumpster delivered to your site, you are ready to begin the demolition.

Tearing down a garage is a great family and community activity. Gather people for the first big tear-down. Some folks like to tie the roof to a pickup truck and tow it down, others prefer to just go at it with sledgehammers and crow bars.

Either way, make sure you are clear about how people are working. No one wants to accidentally hit another person with a piece of steel or wood debris.

Encourage your worker, or remind yourself, to lift debris in a responsible way. Bend at the knees, keeping your back as straight as you can. This way, the main weight is kept on your large lifting muscles in your legs. Your back will thank you in the morning.

Hauling it away safely

When it is time, you have one last lifting chore. Pick up your phone, call (937) 790-1661 and identify yourself and your project. We will haul it away for you.

That’s the easiest part!

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