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JUNK Relief Truck | JUNK Relief Chicago, Arlington Heights, Evanston, Elmhurst, Naperville

How Do I Measure The Junk I Want to Get Rid Of?

Junk removal companies charge by volume. How are you supposed to know how much you have?junk-measurment

Almost all junk removal companies charge by volume.  Simply put, we charge you for how much room your stuff takes up in our trucks. The only exception to this rule occurs when we happen to be working on a project that involves special circumstances.  In those instances, we may factor in weight, location, or extra labor accordingly. However, for the purposes of this article, let’s assume you have general household or construction debris to be removed from a home or easily navigable apartment building.

So to determine your costs, the most important thing to figure out is how much junk you actually have.  The answer is, we don’t know exactly. Occasionally, we’re able to make an educated guess over the phone based on your description, but the only way for us to give you an exact quote is to see everything that needs to be removed. This is why all junk removal companies offer free estimates. Having said that, below is some information that might help give you a better understanding of how much volume you have:

Items and their corresponding approximate dimensions in cubic yards:


Cubic Yard





3 cushion sofa


2 door refrigerator


Mini Cooper


Ford Taurus


Lincoln Navigator


Most trucks and dumpsters are 8 feet wide and around 5 feet tall. To give you a good reference, we held these two dimensions static while we stretched out the length, in feet, to the typical corresponding cubic yard increments you will hear from service providers:

Cubic Yards



8 x 5 x 1.6


8 x 5 x 3.375


8 x 5 x 6.75


8 x 5 x 10


8 x 5 x 13.5


8 x 5 x 20.25


8 x 5 x 27

This should help you visualize the dimensions of the container/truck you are trying to use, in addition to just adding up the volume of all your stuff. Why cubic yards? Cubic yards is the standard unit of measure that the waste industry uses when discussing volume. When shopping around for junk removal service (or dumpster service for that matter) always ask what their charges are relative to cubic yards. Ask, “What is your fee for 2 cubic yards, 5 cubic yards, 10 cubic yards” etc. This way, when comparing prices, you have an apples to apples comparison and can make sure you are getting competitive prices.

Joe Weidman

Joe is a Chicago native, born and raised in Elmhurst. He founded Junk Relief more than 10 years ago and has worked with more than 20,000 homeowners and businesses throughout Chicagoland. His passion for starting a business in junk removal stemmed from seeing the need to do things differently. He prides himself on his company's model to provide unexpectedly professional service.

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