Junk Problems? My New Friend’s Got the Fix.

Illustration of Trash and Stash raccoon baby sleeping in bed

Trash & Stash is in its infancy, but we were born to remove junk.

"The secret to getting ahead is getting started."

So. I started a junk removal business in Fort Mill, SC. Didn’t see that one coming. But that’s the thing I guess. Some of the best things in life are unexpected. The journey is a winding one. And here’s mine.

Tablet on desk showing COVID- 19 Stay at Home order

Like most modern stories… ours begins in the year 2020. COVID- 19. Pandemic & lockdowns. It was a time of great turmoil. Uncertainty & unrest prevailed.

It’s been tough for a lot of us. And I’m mostly fortunate. My family & loved ones have stayed healthy. My wife has stayed employed. And we’ve been able to take advantage of the extra family time.

"Success is a journey not a destination. It requires constant effort, vigilance & reevaluation."

I have not been as fortunate professionally. I worked in the events business and it all stopped when it became illegal for people to gather. For me, this was a double- whammy. First, I’d just started as the Guest Services Director at a well known outdoor recreation center in Charlotte. A position I started in January 2020 & was laid off from in April 2020. Also my company, Stylehawk Event Services was instantly out of business once they locked California down.

Stylehawk was an event management & venue sourcing business. We worked with sports event promoters to locate & negotiate event venue agreements. We then provided turnkey event management services. In regular terms, I was a connector. I brought venues, contractors & promoters together to produce cost effective & professional sports events.

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

Mark Twain

It’s been heartbreaking to watch my network of event services erode. Private venues closing, contractors shuttering their business & promoters losing everything. And mostly, it’s just sad to live in a world where people can’t come together to celebrate, compete & share passions. At some point (I hope), we’ll get back to live events. But… I’m not sure when or what they’ll look like.

[Update & side note- 4.14.21- Google just informed me that searches for “San Diego Event Venues” is up 341% from February, 2021. People are starting to think about events… but of the 1,341 searches I appeared in, only 3 clicked through to my site… ugh!]

Coming out of the pandemic, I didn’t see a place for me in the events world anymore.

"Challenges make life interesting, however, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful."

Photo of Cameron Ungar, owner of Trash & Stash

So as a man without an industry and a family to support, I searched. I studied. I began taking online courses to learn network security. Super interesting & a great career… but not something I had a natural affinity for. I fell in love with Bitcoin & crypto currencies. But, I’m much more comfortable investing than trading. I also took certification courses in online marketing. Also… really cool stuff. But also, not me (I HATE social media & am terrified of the power of Google).

I even spent 3 months selling cars at a local Honda dealership. I got way out of my comfort zone & I proved I could do it… but like Goldilocks, it “wasn’t quite right.”

I took stock of my situation & saw it this way.

Challenges:

  • The industry I’ve spent the last 15 years in has been shut down. When it comes back to life…
    • I’d probably need to relocate.
    • I’d probably be looking at a severe pay cut.
    • I’d probably have to work ungodly hours.
    • I’d probably be vulnerable to future layoffs should we have another shut down.
  • I’m 41 years old & living in a time of historic unemployment. There are a lot of talented people out of work. There’s lots of competition for relatively few positions.

  • I could acquire new skills & certifications but acquiring those credentials takes time. Building a new career track takes even longer.

  • The economy is in such a state of transition that I wasn’t sure familiar career choices would still exist in the short term future.

Opportunities:

illustration of trash and stash baby raccoon sleeping in dreamland
Dreaming of clutter free Fort Mill

"It is wiser to find out than suppose."

After this assessment, I saw a return to entrepreneurship as my only option. Well… actually not entrepreneurship. I just wanted a small business that could provide for my family.

Really, I was looking to:

  • Provide a service people actually want and need.
  • Take advantage of the skills, experiences & talents I have.
  • Work hard.
  • Take exceptional care of my customers.
  • Contribute to my local community.
  • Be the best dad, husband & son I could be.

I didn’t want to create the next big thing. I had no intention of reinventing anything. In fact, I wanted to find a service that already had a successful model to follow.

The plan then is to take that model and do it better. And that’s how I came up with junk removal.

I started a Trash & Stash Tumblr blog. I’m using it as a “brain dump” to document the start up process. I’m sharing it to hold myself accountable & to start a habit of openness & transparency.

"Courage is resistance to fear. Mastery of fear- not absence of fear."

The greater Charlotte area is booming. There’s a ton of new communities springing up. Folks are transplanting from all over to take advantage of the great quality of life here. I know. I’m one of those transplants who escaped California in 2018. We moved to Fort Mill & live in a giant master planned community. One, in a sea of giant master planned communities.

I’ve noticed, self storage units are being built even faster than the homes in the area (& they’re all full!). I see garages empty of cars and full of stuff (snow shovels & snow blowers aren’t getting used very much in Fort Mill).

Open self storage unit with boxes & furniture

And I’ve heard people all over the community social media pages asking for ways to get rid of the junk they no longer need. I was also fed up with the intrusive marketing attacks we’re all subjected to that coerces us into buying things we don’t need. A cycle that rewards us with instant gratification but never satisfies us. In short, I saw an opportunity to help people simplify their lives.

Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.

Mark Twain

"Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection."

Trash & Stash is the realization of that opportunity. We make it easy for people in Fort Mill to declutter. Primarily, we do junk removal. We help people get rid of the things they don’t need. To trash the junk. No matter the circumstance.

Beyond junk removal, we can help with local moves & carrying bulky items (IKEA run or Facebook marketplace purchase?). We have the truck, people & equipment to make hauling your stuff easy. Borrowing a friend’s truck is a pain and the Lowes pickup trucks always cost way more than you think!

Moreover, there’s an ongoing need to manage the stuff in our homes. Which is why we also offer microstorage. A way to stash your treasures. Microstorage is our unique door- to- door storage delivery service. We’ll deliver palletized storage crates to your home. You fill them (or have us load them up for you) & we’ll bring them back to our storage center. Just let us know when you need something out of storage & we’ll bring it back to you.

blue microstorage crate in Trash & Stash delivery van

The benefits of our storage delivery system are:

  • Convenient
    The crates are mobile. We pick them up, can help fill them & drop them off. You don’t need to rent a truck or hire help.

  • Cost Savings
    Only pay for the space you use. Our crates are 48 inches x 45 inches x 34 inches. They’re modular.

  • Efficient
    Because our storage crates are modular it discourages bad storage habits. You’re incentivized to cut the clutter because you don’t have the luxury of space to fill.

  • Organized
    The modular nature of the crates also makes it easy to stay organized. Store specific items in specific crates. That way you won’t need to dig through a Tetris game to guess the box.

  • Flexible
    Self storage is really intended to be a short term solution. With microstorage it can be. We’re perfect for temporary storage. Home renovations, kids home from college, etc.

As Trash & Stash continues to develop we plan on offering more declutter services. We’ll soon provide reusable moving boxes & document/ media digitization.

There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.

Mark Twain

So here I am. Proud owner of a brand new junk removal and self storage business in Fort Mill. I’m eager to make Trash & Stash a fixture in the Fort Mill community. There’s more to come & when it does, we’ll share it here in this blog. Most blog posts won’t be full of my rants, rambles & opinions (but a few may still slide in). This blog will include:

  • Tips & tricks to simplify & minimize the clutter in our homes.
  • Company news & announcements.
  • Community events.

We want to earn your business. If you’re in our service area, contact us for a free junk removal estimate. There is no obligation & no charge until the job is done.

* Section headings & inspiration for this blog came from famous Mark Twain quotes. Sourced here.

Give & Save

Get 10%* Off junk removal & moving help when you donate $25 or more to the Isabella Santos Foundation. Help increase the survival rate for kids with rare pediatric cancers.
Special offer

*Up to $100 discounted from Junk Removal & Moving Help total.

Photo of Isabella Santos

Give & Save

Get 10%* Off junk removal & moving help when you donate $25 or more to the Isabella Santos Foundation. Help increase the survival rate for kids with rare pediatric cancers.

*Up to $100 discounted from Junk Removal & Moving Help total.

Cameron Ungar

Cameron Ungar

Junk removal was not my first career choice. It was my best choice though. I used to run events for a living. I did that for almost 15 years until a global pandemic launched me into the junk removal business. I’m an expert in operations, team building & creating incredible customer experiences. And... I love helping people simplify their lives.

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2 thoughts on “Junk Problems? My New Friend’s Got the Fix.”

  1. Congratulations on your new venture. I am excited for you. A lot of people did cleaning and organizing during these trying times, only to find they sill had too much stuff. And or junk. Especially with the easily done over purchasing online during lock downs. May the sun always warm your face and the wind be at your back my friend . I am sure that you will thrive. Especially since you always carry yourself with professionalism, integrity, hard work, and a smile.

    Take care. Sincerely,
    Mike Kurthy

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