AuthorLauren Lampe

How To Get Your Home Back in Order After The Holidays

Sadly, the holidays are coming to an end and we will soon have to go back to our normal, everyday routines. After every passing year it seems to become more and more difficult to transition our homes back to their functional units. During the holidays there are new items coming into the home and not much going out. There is an endless supply of decorations that need taken down as well as more leftover Christmas cookies than can be counted. All this can really affect the functionality of any well oiled machine. Getting overwhelmed just thinking about it? Us too. So we have compiled a list of tips on how to survive the after-holiday chaos by getting your home back in order in an efficient and effective way.

1. Determine what you need/want to keep
-Bringing new things into your home during the holidays gives you the perfect opportunity to get rid of your old and unwanted/unused items. You are then able to start fresh in the New Year with a newly organized home.

2. Find a place for any new items obtained over the holidays
-If you are unable to find space, you may need to get rid of older items. While putting these items away, try to get rid of one item per every item coming in. By doing this, you can cut down on the clutter throughout your home.

3. Call JDog Junk Removal & Hauling
-JDog will take away all the unwanted items you identified while organizing after the holidays. You can even donate your items that are still in good condition to a local charity to keep the holiday spirit alive. Also, if your family gets a Christmas Tree, we can haul that away for you! Many of our locations even run after-Christmas specials on these! Free Estimate!

4. CLEAN!
-Now that your home is back in order and all your new things are put away, it is time to clean. Cleaning your home after holidays can literally give you that FRESH start you’ve been wanting. Make sure to do the things you usually don’t do in your everyday cleanups like vacuuming, mopping, washing bedding, clean windows, etc.

5. Replenish
-Stock your cupboards with things you have run out of over the holidays. Food, cleaning supplies and beauty products should all be checked to see if you need to restock. Try to make one trip to get everything you need to save yourself time.

6. Relax
-Although, the end of the holidays can be a bit depressing having a clean an organized home can provide some relief. So sit back and relax in your new improved space and prepare yourself for the amazing New Year to come!

JDog Veteran’s Day Recap

“44 years old, starting from scratch again on something you’ve never done before without any college education is a pretty scary situation, said Jerry Flanagan.” Now 4 years later Flanagan and his wife Tracy Flanagan have taken their home town junk removal business and used it as an avenue to hire more Veterans nationwide. JDog has gone from 17 to 300 awarded territories in 36 states and is quickly becoming a nationally recognized brand. This momentum has been recognized by multiple media outlets who have assisted in JDog Junk Removal becoming a household name. In the past few weeks JDog has been featured on Karma, MSNBC, CNBC, and Fox & Friends among several other local news outlets. This Veteran owned and operated company has taken America by storm due to their military values of Respect, Integrity and Trust. This is what sets JDog apart from the competition and what has contributed to their immense success. If you have not seen the recent press surrounding this unique franchise system; take a look at the links below.

JDog on a live Veterans Day segment on Fox & Friends

CNBC article about how Jerry & Tracy Flanagan took an independent junk removal company into the nation’s only Veteran franchise.

Views from the Top interview with Karma

How to Clean Up After Flooding Occurs

Flooding can bring a number of potential dangers to a homeowner. Even if only minimal water accumulates inside of the house, there will be plenty of work to do cleaning up and minimizing the risks that are involved.

Before You Get Started With Clean Up
If you are going to file an insurance claim, it is important that you document the extent of the damage before you begin any cleanup efforts. Pictures and measurements are effective, but video is even better if possible. Make notes of the water depth and if there is any debris or other concerns. The insurance company will inform you of what you should do next, including whether you can start cleaning before an adjuster examines the damages.
Note: Before entering a flood damaged home, make sure that it is structurally sound and that there are no potential hazards, such as downed live wires. Your wiring should be evaluated before it is turned back on, especially if the water was high enough to enter sockets. Wear protective gear, including boots and gloves, before entering, and be sure that you are washing your hands after any contact with flood water.

Stage One: Remove Water and Mud and Dry Things Out
Your very first priority is to get rid of the water, mud, and standing debris and to start trying to dry things out as much as possible. If your electricity has been safely restored, you can use wet vacuums and fans to begin drying out the area. Be aware that you cannot pump huge amounts of water out of your home at one time, especially if you are routing it outdoors. The water table will be overly saturated, and that water will end up right back inside of your house.
• Start getting water out of the basement a small bit at a time, and then move to the next level of your house.
• If there is only a small amount of water on your floors, you can use a push broom or shovel to direct it out of open doors or toward drains.
• Use a shovel to remove mud and debris to be disposed of later. Do not allow children or pets to play in this mud as it could be potentially contaminated.
• Starting with hard or non-porous surfaces, disinfect as much as possible while continuing the drying out process to minimize the risk of mold.

Stage Two: Assess and Sanitize
After the majority of the water, mud, and debris are removed, it is time to assess the damage and determine what can be salvaged and what will need to be removed for safety purposes.
Walls and Flooring
• All walls will need to be wiped down with a strong disinfectant. Drywall may need to be cut out and replaced, especially if water was left standing for a long period of time.
• Insulation may also need to be removed and replaced, especially the fiberglass or blown in variety as it will hold moisture and may allow dangerous mold to grow.
• The subflooring must be inspected for any signs of damage or excess moisture. Fully saturated carpets and under padding may need to be replaced.
• Throw rugs and runners may be washed and sanitized in hot water and strong detergent.
Clothing
• Everything that was touched by flood water must be thoroughly washed and sanitized in the hottest water possible. Anything that cannot be washed in water should be thrown away.
• All towels, pillows, and bedding should be sanitized in the same manner.
Toys and Children’s Items
• All hard toys should be soaked in a bleach solution for at least 24 hours, thoroughly rinsed, and then air-dried.
• Any bath or teething toy with holes that could contain flood water should be discarded.
• Stuffed toys that can go in the washer should be washed in hot water and then dried thoroughly. If the toys were soaked but allowed to dry before sanitizing, they will need to be thrown away.
• All baby clothes and bedding should be sanitized in hot water with strong detergent, dried, and then rewashed in their regular detergent to prevent irritating the baby’s delicate skin.
Dishes and Utensils
All dishes and utensils should be soaked in a 1:5 bleach and water solution for 24 hours. Then they should be washed and rinsed in very hot water and then allowed to air dry. This includes drinking glasses and serving pieces.

Stage Three: Getting Rid of the Unsalvageable and the Dangerous
Trying to save as many of your possessions as possible is normal, but for safety’s sake, there are some things that should be tossed before any effort is wasted. If possible, get a dumpster with a tight lid during this time or hire a junk removal team like JDog Junk Removal and Hauling, especially if there are a lot of items that are in need of disposal.
• All food items, even those in sealed cans or jars, should be thrown away if there is any chance that it has come in contact with any flood waters. Be sure to double bag these items so that pests are not drawn to them during the cleanup process.
• All mattresses should be disposed of because there is no way to safely disinfect them thoroughly.
• All rugs, carpets, and other flooring that could not be cleaned and sanitized should be removed as quickly as possible.
• Drapes that cannot be cleaned should also be removed, especially if they have been soaking water for days.
• Building material such as flooring, walls, and insulation that cannot be saved should also be double bagged and removed as quickly as possible to minimize the chance of mold growth and other possible hazards.
Cleaning up after a house floods is much more than aesthetics, it is also vital to preserving the health and safety of those living in that home. Be diligent and thorough during the cleanup process and if there is even the slightest chance an object is contaminated beyond repair, then throw it away rather than taking the risk.

JDog Breaks 200 Awarded Territories Nationwide

JDog Junk Removal & Hauling (JDog), a national franchise organization dedicated to providing business ownership opportunities to veterans and relatives of veterans, announced awarding over 200 territories nationwide today.

“JDog franchise system is made up of a tightly-knit community of owners who want to join our brand because they see how passionate we are about providing business ownership and employment opportunities to veterans,” said Jerry Flanagan, CEO and Founder of JDog. At JDog, military values guide all operations: Respect, Integrity and Trust. The franchise opportunity offers a low barrier to entry, high profit margins, and simple-to-operate model with significant support from a team of veteran and experienced business executives.

JDog franchisees operate easily recognizable, camouflage vehicles and trailers, and recycles or repurposes a substantial amount of the collected material. The Philadelphia-based company works closely with local and national organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, and local schools, churches and hospitals to donate useful items to those in need.

In addition to offering business ownership opportunities to veterans, JDog established an important partnership with the VA’s therapeutic Veteran’s employment program, Compensated Work Therapy (CWT), to provide additional work avenues for veterans. The brand was also selected as a Veteran-Owned Small Business by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

For more information about JDog Junk Removal & Hauling, including details about the brand’s franchise opportunities, visit JDogFranchise.

Are you really ready for summer?


For most people, summer is the most enjoyable time of the year. The sun is shining, the grass is greener and more time is spent outside in the warmth and fresh air. These are things we anticipate during the cold winter months. Your vacation might be ready, your summer wardrobe might be ready, but is your home ready?

Summer is here and before it gets hotter, you might want to check that you and the house are ready for the seasonal heat. Here are some great ways to efficiently prepare your home for the warm weather.

Tidy your yard

More daylight = more time outside. Are your front and backyard presentable and in good condition that both yourself and guests can spend time in it? If you have a backyard that has been taken over by toys, bicycles and lawn tools then it is time to take it back. Buy storage containers to put the toys in and have a designated area for the bikes and tools. But before doing that, make sure they are in good enough condition to keep. If they are old, rusty or don’t work properly – add them to the junk pile!

Be Cool

An important way to beat the heat is to stay hydrated. But who wants to stay hydrated in the summer with warm water? Make sure your refrigerator works properly and if it is not consistently keeping items cool, it might be time to invest in a new one.

Less mess, less stress

Trips to the beach are what summer is all about! Planning and packing for trips can get a bit stressful. Having organized storage space where you keep these items is key. That way when you know where everything is it will lessen the stress and the time it takes you to pack. Get those storage areas organized and purge it of the junk. This will make finding the boogie boards, beach chairs and umbrellas much easier!

Gutter Clutter

During the cold seasons leaves fall from the trees and animals will make homes in your gutters. On top of that, constant climate changes such as snow, rain and cold weather can be tough on the gutters. Clear out gunk before the summer rain comes and causes any damage to the home. Hiring a service to do this task is the safest and easiest way.

These simple and easy things can go a long way when prepping for summer. It will help make your summer more relaxing and enjoyable!

Ways to Give Back to Veterans

In the United States, there are more than 23 million veterans. These men and women have sacrificed so much for us, we will never be able to fully repay them for protecting us and keeping us safe. But there are ways we can show our support and thanks to them! These six simple ways can help make a difference in a veteran’s life:

1.) Sponsor or donate money to a dog that helps soldiers with PTSD

When soldiers come home from serving our country some are faced with another battle: PTSD. One in three returning troops are being diagnosed with PTSD/PTSD symptoms and Veterans from past wars are still coping with their PTSD. While it does not rid them from their PTSD, having a companion can help them cope with it. And what better companion is there than man’s best friend?

Paws for Veterans is a nonprofit organization that provides soldiers who suffer from PTSD or other injuries with trained medical service dogs. The soldiers are also provided with supplies, therapeutic group sessions and natural treatment alternatives. Each dog is rescued, rehabilitated and individually trained for their owner’s specific disability. Paws for Veterans extensive training of the furry companions prepare the dogs so they can aid in healing the Veteran’s body and mind as they manage their PTSD.

2.) Write to soldiers currently serving

Letter writing is a form of art that unfortunately seems to be dying. Writing a letter is a simple, but meaningful gesture that can brighten up the recipient’s day. Away from their family and friends, soldiers who are overseas may feel a sense of loneliness. Sending them handwritten letters can provide a sense of comfort as well as a quick distraction from what’s going on around them.

Operation Gratitude has a letter writing program that includes letters in care packages sent to soldiers. If you would like to learn how to get involved, click here!

3.) Mentor Military Children

More than two million United States children have been affected directly by a parent’s deployment (pub med). Growing up with a parent deployed, or constantly having to move can impact children in more ways than we imagine. Being a mentor to them can provide guidance and a positive influence in their lives. While you will not fill the void of a deployed parent or the loneliness of always having to start fresh when moving to a new place, you can be a support system for the child.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has a program specifically for mentoring military children. The mentors involved in Operation Bigs come from all walks of them. They can be active or retired military or civilian volunteers. If this is a program you would like to get involved in, make sure to check out the Operation Bigs page on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America website.

4.) Stand Down – National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. Designed to help homeless veterans “combat” life on the streets

In 2014, there was a total of 49,933 homeless Veterans in the united states. The number of homeless veterans made up 8.6 percent of the total homeless population. When serving our country, soldiers drop everything to leave their homes and protect our country. Returning to civilian life can be a hard adjustment, since it was a life they put on hold to be in the military. Some Veterans have difficulty in finding a job or are struggling with a mental illness disorder, such as PTSD, that weights heavy on them.

There are many organizations across the country to help combat Veteran homelessness. Some of these wonderful non-profits or organizations include: Support Homeless Veterans, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans and Volunteers of America. By giving a donation to these organizations, you can contribute to helping a Veteran get his or her boots back on the ground and have a fresh start.

5.) Providing transportation for Veterans

Taking time out of your day to drive a Veteran to a doctor’s appointment requires a little more effort than the other ways of giving back. However, this is a way that really gives back and helps Veterans. A popular organization that provides transportation for Veterans is Disabled American Veterans (DAV). DAV is a nonprofit charity that provides support for veterans of all generations and their families. They have helped more than one million veterans in positive, life-changing ways each year. With almost 1,300 chapters and 1.3 million members across the country, DAV provides more than 700,000 rides for veterans who have a medical appointment to attend.

Want to get involved in this great cause?

6.) Free Resources

The constant changes within a military family can create certain struggles and difficulties for them. Whether it is the continuous relocating, or a single parent at home with the children while the spouse is deployed. Organizations such as Blue Star Families were started to help assist our military families and lessen a burden they might have.

Blue Star Families is an organization that provides free resources and services to military families to make their living more manageable. Started in 2009, Blue Star Families has reached over more than 1.5 million military families. Some ways that you can support military families through Blue Star Families is by donating goods, services or money.

The men and women who serve our country have taken care of us. Now it is our time to take care of them.

Daylight Savings – How to make the most out of your day


It’s that time of the year that most people dread… day light savings. While most people fixate on the negative of day light savings, which is losing that precious hour of sleep, there are some positives. Firstly, it is a sign that summer is getting closer and we are at the rear of winter. Also, it doesn’t get dark as quickly so you receive that extra hour to get more done.So with more time during the day, you may find yourself wondering what to do. While there is plenty to fill that hour with, here’s an idea, organize and clean your home!

This doesn’t just apply to the inside. Since it will stay lighter longer, more time will be spent outside. So, if you have a backyard or patio, spend some time sprucing up the area. If that furniture is broken or worn down, time to replace it! After all, you are working hard to clean the area so you deserve to treat yourself to new furniture! If you have a play set in your backyard that your children still use, make sure it is in good condition for them to play on. Or if you have a play set that they no longer use, call your local junk removal company to take it away for you as well as the furniture you’re getting rid of!

Ok, now it’s time to move back inside the home. There is always something in your living space that can be fixed up or organized. A good place to start is your closet. Soon you’ll be transitioning from winter to spring clothes so declutter your closet to see which spring/summer clothes you no longer want or fit.

Speaking of spring, it’s about to get a lot warmer and it’s very important to get your house in order before the warmer months start! Enjoy the season and replace your storm windows with screens to get fresh air. And since you’re already at the windows it would be a good idea to dust the blinds, replace heavy window coverings with lighter ones and to wash the windows. With sunlight coming through the windows until 7pm, you don’t want the light to be restricted by pollen or marks. Washing the windows will also give a cleaner look to your home and a better view of outside. Doing this with each window in your home will eat up some time, so you’ll be thankful you have the additional hour during the daytime!

Now remember, these suggestions are only starting points. There is much more that you can do to clean out your home with your added time. Take advantage of the longer days and spring into (cleaning) action.

Looks like losing that hour of sleep isn’t so terrible after all!

Seven Ways To Better Yourself

Declutter your life (physically, mentally and emotionally)
Why declutter one aspect of your life, when you can declutter every aspect of it! There is no better time than the present to get rid of that stack of old magazines that keep piling up or the baggage of something that’s been holding you down. If you want to declutter mentally, make a habit of writing down your thoughts every day. Through decluttering, you will clear up space in your mind and home, helping you to focus on the things that need your attention more.

Find a hobby
Having a hobby can be great for several of reasons. It’s a great outlet for when you’re feeling stressed, it offers new opportunity to grow and it helps connect you with others. Even if it’s a hobby that doesn’t require a group, you will come across others who enjoy the same hobby as you. If you choose a hobby that’s unfamiliar to you, it’s a great learning experience and can teach you many new things!

Read more, Watch television less
One of the reasons reading is more beneficial than watching television is because it increases brain activity. Reading can enhance one’s imagination and also is a good trick for falling asleep at night. Here are some great military nonfiction books to dive into.

Exercise and change bad eating habits
As the weather gets warmer, it’s time for you to get outside and get moving. By slightly increasing your exercise regiments each day and tweaking your diet one step at a time, you are improving your health. If you are really determined to make exercising a big part of your life, here are some military workouts you can try to get started.

Get involved
Fewer things are more rewarding than when you are helping others. Not only are you helping improve their life, you are improving your own as well. Getting involved will help you grow as a person and you may discover new interests or passions. Whether you are helping an individual, an organization or a community you are making a difference.

Make a note of the positive things that happen each day
By noting the positive things that happen to you every day it helps you think positively and improve your mood overall. A study at the University of North Carolina shows that positive emotions allow humans to see more possibilities in their lives. When one sees more possibilities, it encourages him or her to plan ahead. Another plus is if you keep a record of positive things that happen to you, you can reread them when you need a pick me up!

Find ways to save your money
Very few people are ever opposed to the notion of saving money! You can do this in a multitude of ways. Start making your coffee at home instead of buying it, turn the lights or television off when they aren’t in use and stop buying unnecessary clothing or items for your home (this will help prevent clutter in your home as well!). Even if you save in small ways, you will see it add up over time.

5 Reasons You Should Start Your Own Business


You’ve been thinking about it for a while, or maybe the thought never even occurred to you. But having your own business sounds enticing, doesn’t it? Sure, it might be a lot of hard work, or you don’t know if you’re cut out for it. But stop thinking of the reasons why you shouldn’t and start thinking of the reasons why you SHOULD start your own business.

1. A story to tell
When you start your own business, you will go through many different stages and obstacles. There will be the easy times, but there will also be the hard times. You will have unique experiences and through these stories you might encourage someone to venture into entrepreneurship themselves!
You may also have a story on WHY you decided to start the business. Those stories are always riveting to outsiders and sometimes they are the best to hear!

2. You are your own boss
This one is a no-brainer! What’s better than having no one to report to? You’re calling the shots now. You can decide your own work hours, deadlines and how you want to operate.

3. You will wake up every day motivated to go to work
Since it’s your business, you will be driven to have it be as successful as possible. Every morning you will wake up asking yourself ‘how can I improve my business today?’ Use each day as an opportunity to take your business one step further than it had been the day before. Your business is a reflection of yourself, make it the best you can!

Personal fulfillment
Blood, sweat and tears went into the creation of your business. The rewarding feeling when it all pays off is invaluable. You envisioned, executed it and now you can beam with pride. You get to watch your business grow from start to finish, and it is all because of you.

5. Gain new skills/experiences
Starting a business is an overall new experience. If you have others working for you, you will enhance your leadership skills. Whether you are a one-man operation or an army, you will gain flexibility to your employees and clients. Also, your networking skills will be strengthened immensely as you try to get your business recognized.

These are just five out the many reasons why you should take that leap and start your own business. It could end up being one of the best decisions you have ever made while creating equity value for you and your family.

Top 10 Home Improvements for 2017

10. Front and Back Yard Makeover
Curb appeal is key!
1. It tells your neighbors that you take pride in your home and neighborhood.
2. It makes your home stand out.
3. It’s so easy! I always look online in spring when people are splitting their perennials: I have yet to have to purchase anything, since people actually give stuff away. Also, invest in an edger — clean lines are a favorite on my list — as they can dramatically transform a yard. (DIY Network , 2016)
Paver walk ways and groomed flower beds are a great face lift for your outdoor space. Also, adding new shrubs and plants to the flower beds will bring some color to your walk ways. These types of improvements can be done inexpensively and will keep things looking great all year long!
9. HVAC Replacement
This is one thing that’s usually on your list of “things you never want to break” in your home. But when you need to you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. With all of the new energy efficient options you want to make sure you’re doing your research to see what will be best for your home (and your electric bill).
8. Upgrade Insulation
While January may be coming to an end, we still have almost two months left of winter. Upgrading insulation in the walls of your home will prevent any winter coldness you’ve been trying to avoid. If this seems like a task that you might not be able to do, JDog Handyman is always on call for jobs such as these.
7. Brighten up your home
It’s a new year, so out with the old in with the new. No better time than the present to replace those light bulbs that have been flickering on and off. Not only will you be brightening up your home, but you will also be brightening up your mood. If the space you’re occupying is dim, it may dim your mood as well. If you recently changed your light bulbs, add some additional lights in your home. Here are some cool DIY ideas: https://www.buzzfeed.com/alisoncaporimo/let-it-glow?utm_term=.jtvgg9Ab4G#.ppxrrdxJpA
6. Update Plumbing
This may be the one you want to do the least, but that’s what JDog Handyman is for. JDog Handyman does a variety of plumbing services, so for any plumbing you don’t want to do JDog Handyman will take care of. Updating your plumbing every so often is always a smart idea. That way you can prevent future issues with old pipes that may be costly.
5. Tile or Real Wood floors
Installing tile or real wood floors can be beneficial to your home for multiple reasons. One perk is that it will make your house look less cluttered than if you had a rug, leaving the room looking like it has more space. Another perk is the health benefits. Having a rug can trap dust, dirt and other filth that will cling onto your rug. By having tile or real wood floors you are eliminating that and they are also much easier to clean! Now if you’re unsure of whether to get tile or hardwood, that’s up to you. Tile may be more time consuming when you’re having it put in, but hardwood can be scratched up more easily.
4. Remove Paneling
Depending on the vibe you would like to give off, this is an improvement you may want to consider. If you want the rustic feel in your home then sure, keep the panels. But if you’re looking to go more modern, get rid of em! Wood deteriorates over time, especially from moisture in the air, so not only will it be risk factor for your home but it will also diminish the appearance of it.
3. Give the Bathroom a Boost
This is an improvement that may be the most fun, and you can get super creative with it. It could also be the least expensive depending on how you go about it. You can change the color scheme with it, replace the mirror or get a new sink or toilet. Maybe add a different air freshener in it every month – the possibilities are endless!
2. Basement/Attic Renovations
This improvement is great for the weekend and to do with other family members. Attics and basements are the best storage places in a home. Think of all the hidden treasures that have been stashed there throughout the years. There are probably also a lot of sentimental things from your childhood, or your parents, or your grandparents. Get the family together to go through what’s stored there for some family bonding. After clearing the space, you can renovate it into an office, a bedroom or a hangout area.
1. Kitchen is Key
This is another improvement you can get creative with and doesn’t need to be too expensive. You can get new counter tops, add a fresh coat to the walls or get new handles on the drawers. Another idea is to have a specific theme for the kitchen. You can base it off a color scheme, old rustic or flower theme. There is so much you can do with this improvement! Whether it’s updating a few things or completely renovating the kitchen – have fun with it!
http://www.diynetwork.com/shows/money-hunters/articles/10-investments-to-boost-your-homes-value