Garage Cleanout Costs and How to Save Money

Garage cleanout project before and after

Updated June 5, 2023

Cleaning out a garage, shed or small outbuilding is generally a quick job for an experienced junk removal company.

Garage cleanouts can take less than half a workday to complete depending on the size of the garage and the amount of debris inside.

Garage cleanout costs vary based on a number of factors, and we’ll discuss those factors and average project costs below.

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Benefits of Professional Garage Cleanout Services

Hiring a junk removal company to clean out a garage can be a fast and cost-efficient solution.

If speed is of the utmost importance to you, hiring pros to clean out your garage is the ideal choice.

If keeping costs as low as possible is more of a concern for you, you may want to consider renting a dumpster instead and do the work yourself, at your own pace, to save a little money.

When considering the costs of garage cleanout assistance vs. a DIY cleanout with a dumpster rental, be sure you also factor in the time it will take you to complete your project.

Because garage cleanouts are typically a relatively big project, it could take multiple people a weekend or longer to complete, depending on the size of the garage.

DIY garage cleanouts will also likely require multiple trips to local facilities to drop off items, like donation centers, the landfill, your local recycling center, or even a hazardous waste drop-off facility.

A junk removal company can likely complete your garage cleanout in less than a day, if not a matter of hours, and you don’t have to lift a finger or worry about a thing.

Sure, you pay for convenience when working with a junk removal service provider, but they also save you a great deal of time and stress.

Average Cost to Clean Out a Garage

The cost for junk removal services vary based on a wide range of different factors, like the amount of space your junk takes up in the junk removal company's truck or trailer, the type of waste you have, ease of access (like the presence of stairs), cost of disposal in your area, where you're located, who you hire, and more. 

There are also different types of junk removal services that will determine the total cost of your project based on how involved the work is.

Full service garage cleanout involves the junk removal crew to come into your garage and cleanout the entirety of it as is. There is no organization or cleaning done by you beforehand and they take care of it all start to finish, including even sweeping up afterwards to remove any remaining dirt or debris. Full service garage cleanout services tend to run between $400-$800.

There are less involved services offered by junk removal companies if you don't need to clean out your entire garage and would like to save some money. Piling up your unwanted garage items at the end of your driveway for quick and easy pick-up and loading will cost less than having a company go into your garage and sort through an unorganized mess. The cost of this type of junk removal service will mainly depend on the amount of junk you have to get rid of, but you can expect it to run anywhere from $300-$600.

When given an estimate for junk removal services, like a garage cleanout, it is generally all-inclusive and includes the cost for picking up the materials, loading it onto the truck, and disposing of it properly.

Additional fees can apply in some cases, for example:

  • Handling/Disposal of hazardous materials
  • Volume of waste exceeds the originally stated amount
  • Handling/Disposal of very heavy item(s)

One-site junk removal estimates are the most accurate and the preferred way for most junk removal companies to provide quotes because it allows them to see the job in person and have a thorough understanding of the work required.

When getting garage cleanout prices from junk removal companies, be sure to ask what is included in the cost. Knowing this information upfront can save you a headache later.

If you find that junk removal services are out of your budget and are looking for a cheaper way to clean out your garage and dispose of large quantities of unwanted items, renting a dumpster is a great alternative. 

Dumpster rentals come in all different sizes, but the most popular size for a garage cleanout is a 10 yard dumpster, which costs $250-$450 on average for a weeklong rental.

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What Affects Garage Cleanout Costs

old containers of oil and other chemicals

Garage cleanout costs are highly variable depending on multiple factors.

The most common factors that influence what you’ll pay for junk removal services include...

Geographic Location

Where you live plays a role in junk removal project costs, both in terms of the cost of living and how far you live from the junk removal company.

Volume of Junk

Many junk haulers charge based on how much space the items take up in the truck or dumpster.

As a hypothetical example, a company may charge $200 for utilizing 1/4 of the truck’s load capacity, $300 for 1/2 the truck, $400 for 3/4 of the truck, and so on.

Debris Type

​​​​​​Hazardous materials and toxic waste will require special handling which will increase the cost, if they're accepted at all.

For example, tires or mattresses may require special handling and disposal.

Some junk removal companies will not accept HAZMATs, while others may charge additional fees for removal.

Common hazardous materials found in a garage:

  • Paint (dry paint is usually OK)
  • Fuel and Oil
  • Aerosols
  • Stains and Varnishes
  • Tires
  • Liquids
  • Flammables and Explosives
  • Construction Debris Containing Mold or Asbestos

Be sure to check with your junk removal provider to understand their policies on toxic or hazardous material removal.

Learn More: What Junk Removal Companies Will and Won't Take

Job Site Access

If it’s difficult for the junk removal company to gain access to the garage, like if they cannot park the truck close by, then more labor may be required to complete the job.

More labor hours lead to higher costs for the customer.

How to Save on Garage Cleanout Costs

There are a few easy things you can do to ensure you're getting the best value for your garage cleanout.

Obtain quotes from multiple junk removal companies to be sure the price is at or below market value.

If you have the time and ability to sell, donate, or recycle some of the items yourself, reducing the total volume of the load will save you some money.

Make pick-up as easy as possible for the junk removal workers, whether by setting aside a pile or making a clear path for the crew.

Reducing the workload for the junk removal company can mean time savings which are then passed onto you.

If many of the items have value, you may be able to negotiate a better rate using the value of the items to offset some of the junk removal cost.

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