Take My Junk staff sort out stuff collected from homes. They include everything from clothes and crockery to furniture and appliances Image Credit: Atiq Ur Rehman/XPRESS

“What works is our service is hassle-free and comes at no cost” Faisal Khan, Take My Junk

DUBAI: Crisis situations like death, job loss and divorce are increasingly prompting urgent calls to offload junk from homes in the UAE, XPRESS has learnt.

Sharing many such untold stories, Faisal Khan, owner of Take My Junk, a free junk removal service which helps declutter over 2,000 homes in the UAE every month, said: “We routinely receive calls from people asking us to pick up stuff they don’t want. These calls usually come following a cleaning spree or a plan to relocate within or outside the country. Besides such cases, we also get calls from people caught in difficult or desperate situations.”

International calls

He said just last week, a man called him from Greece, saying he had lost his job in the UAE and was forced to return home. “He said he came across our service on the Internet and wanted us to urgently clear his tenanted home in the capital on a particular day as he was flying in for a few hours that day. He was a Muslim gentleman and was happy that we could take even the groceries in the kitchen instead of throwing them away during Ramadan.”

Take My Junk staff sort out stuff collected from homes. They include everything from clothes and crockery to furniture and appliances ATIQ UR REHMAN/XPRESS

Khan said, “International calls from people caught in a financial crisis peaked during the economic slowdown six-seven years ago. We still receive such overseas calls with people asking us to pick up the keys to a villa or apartment from a neighbour, friend or watchman and empty the place. We just catered to one such request from a former airline employee in Sharjah.”

According to Khan, some scenarios can get emotional. “Two weeks back, I got a call from a woman in Sweden whose daughter in Dubai had passed away. She too flew in for just a day and we collected all that there was in the Dubai Marina apartment --- sofa set, computer desk, chairs, side tables, iron stand, bed, mattress, linen, clothes, kitchen ware, groceries, even a broom and mop. The mother only took some of her daughter’s photo frames and documents back with her. And from the airport, she sent a touching thank you message for being there for her in her time of need.”

The cousin of an Indian man who died in his early 40s explained the rationale behind approaching a junk removal service vis a vis a relocation company in an emergency. “Unlike other scenarios, those facing a crisis seldom want to move the stuff to another place. They are too stressed and traumatised to sort things out, put them up on sale or carry back the burden of attached memories. They would much rather give them away.”

"Take My Junk staff sort out stuff collected from homes.  ATIQ UR REHMAN/XPRESS"

Khan recollected how an American woman had turned to Take My Junk six months ago to help clear her Jumeirah Beach Residence flat. “Her husband had gone back to the US and she was in a hurry to empty the house as her tenancy contract was expiring. We helped another woman in a similar case on Reem Island.”

Khan said Take My Junk takes everything from the doormat, spices in the kitchen cabinet and toiletries to large items of furniture, electronics and home appliances.

“What works for people is that the service is hassle free and comes at no cost. Their junk could well become another person’s treasure. We bring all the items we collect to the warehouse of our company, Bu Faisal General Trading, in Ajman, where they are sorted out. The items are recycled, restored or resold to low-income families at throwaway prices,” Khan said.

“We do not charge for the pick-up. The money we get from the sale goes into our day-to-day operations. We have a fleet of 30 trucks and employ 80 people. There is a huge cost involved in transportation, staff maintenance, obtaining licences, restoring furniture etc.”