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Get Organized and Thank Your Garbage Man

The true heroes of organizing--garbage men! Get Organized and Thank Your Garbage Man |

As a Professional Organizer, I help people de-clutter their homes and get rid of things they no longer need, want or use. Sometimes the items are donated, sometimes they’re given to friends and relatives. But, most often, they’re bagged up and left at the curb.

 Professional Organizers (and their clients) make LOTS of garbage. On ‘Garbage Day’ our clients put all the trash bags we’ve filled out to the curb (some tell me they wait for nightfall when the neighbors can’t see) and say goodbye to them forever. We are the hero. Our clients are relieved of a weighty burden. But, who is the real hero here with the most weighty burden?

Trash Collectors, Garbage Men, Sanitation Personnel–the people who haul away trash.

 Professional Organizers partner with Home Stagers, Psychologists, Real Estate Agents and other professions to help clients reach their organizing goals. Trash Collectors are the ‘silent’ member of a Professional Organizer’s team.

 In a blog post written by Kindness Girl, Patience Salgado, Patience decided to take a poll to find out what the most thankless job in America was. Turns out the answer was–garbage collectors. Knowing what an important role they play in our society, she created a ‘kindness project’ for them. She says in her post,

“What could be a more lovely and simple message of respect than saying, “I see you, I value your contribution to my community and I thank you.”

Patience enlisted the help of her daughter’s kindergarten class to make thank you cards for the trash collectors. Word spread and more schools joined in on her kindness project.

How great is that? Just when you think one person can’t make a difference–think again.

So if you get a moment, stick a ‘Thank You’ sign on your garbage can once in a while–especially days you put out an inordinate amount of trash.

As for me, I’m going to look into making some ‘Thank You’ stickers to place on the trash bags I create in my own home and those of my clients. It’s never too late to show appreciation through random acts of kindness.

How will you thank your garbage man?



About Stacey Agin Murray

Stacey is a professional organizer and author in New Jersey specializing in residential organizing, time, and paper management challenges. She authored The Organized Bride’s Thank You Note Handbook: Let Systems and 101 Modern Sample Thank You Notes Take You From Overwhelmed to Organized.

Categories: Clutter, Donations, Trash


8 responses to “Get Organized and Thank Your Garbage Man”

  1. You are so right! What we do (organizers and clients) without our sanitation collectors? One of my mother’s neighbors does a beautiful thing on garbage collection day. He waits outside for the truck to come and then greets the garbage men with a “hello” and bottle of water. Talk about thoughtful. It makes me smile just thinking about his kindness and show of appreciation.

    • Stacey Agin Murray says:

      I’m sure your mother’s neighbor’s thoughtfulness and generosity goes a long way with their garbage men–especially in the summer when that bottle of water would come in handy!

  2. Seana Turner says:

    I couldn’t agree more! They really are the “silent” partner, who get very little glory, and yet are the oil that keeps the whole process moving. I love Linda’s mother’s neighbor’s thoughtfulness! I always tip him at Christmas, but I should do something mid-year as well. We have private garbage collection here, and our guy has to drive down the driveways and turn the cans upside down as people are not required to have the large bins that hook to a lift on the truck. Can’t say enough good things about ours… thanks for reminding me of this blessing!

    • Stacey Agin Murray says:

      I like your phrase, ‘silent partner.’ Like us, they help move our clients forward by moving their bags of trash ‘forward.’ Sounds like you have a great garbage removal crew–yes, something to be grateful for.

  3. What a wonderful post! Usually we either ignore them or complain about stuff they drop or refuse to pick up. It’s definitely one of those jobs I wouldn’t want to do, but am thankful that there are people who do!

    • Stacey Agin Murray says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Janet! I’m grateful for our garbage collectors, too. When my kids were little, our garbage men would sometimes bring my empty cans from the curb to the side of my home without asking. It was so helpful! And I’ll never forget my youngest child’s short-lived obsession with garbage trucks. He used to yell, “The garbage truck is here–open the door!”

  4. Liana George says:

    So very true! They are the unsung heroes of the decluttering process and I’m so glad you took the time to bring their efforts to our minds! Hoping everyone will be putting “Thank You” stickers on their trash cans this week 🙂

    • Stacey Agin Murray says:

      Every time I fill a ton of garbage bags with my clients, I think of those garbage men who have to handle them–regardless of their size, shape, and weight! I also think about them in this frigid weather we’re having in NJ–it’s not an easy job. The least we can do is say, ‘Thanks!’

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NAPO Member NAPO Golden Circle  Bergen Health and Life 2015 POWR