NEW BEDFORD – South Dartmouth resident Alex Simon says his growing business, Ace Junk Removal, is not only about removing junk, but helping people get back their space.
“I feel like there are many people who feel helpless with the amount of stuff they have collected over time, and I get to come in and tell them everything is going be fine,” said Simon.
Simon grew up in Dartmouth doing freelance jobs around the community such as landscaping, mowing and dumpster runs. He said he strangely preferred helping people take their junk away.
“I kind of fell in love with it,” he said. “I’m not a very meticulous or particularly organized person at home — ask my wife she’ll confirm that — but I found that I love to clean for other people.
“People are genuinely happy when they have their space back and that’s an awesome feeling to do it for them.”
How Ace Junk Removal started
In 2019, Simon started Ace Junk Removal as a side gig when he was working for the Dartmouth Department of Public Works.
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“I saved up enough money to buy my first truck,” he said. “That first year with the truck I did every type of job I could possibly get my hands on and over time it made its course to junk removal only, and now I have two trucks, one gigantic dump-trailer, employees and more vehicles on the way.”
Now Simon’s full-time job, his business is located in Dartmouth but travels all over the SouthCoast from Fall River to Acushnet. He said it’s called “Ace” Junk Removal because of his infatuation with the ace of spades and if you say his initial “A.I.S.” it kind of sounds like an ace.
According to Simon, in his first year he had 20-40 customers, his second over 100, and now so far he’s served 120 customers.
“I think that junk removal was definitely one of the things that benefitted from COVID-19,” he said. “At one point in time, everyone was home with nothing to do but clean out their houses.
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“I also think that people who were home did a lot of buying as well, and when you get new things, you have to purge the old ones.”
ResearchFDI reported in January that Amazon profits increased nearly 200% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the study, Amazon sold nearly $100 billion worth of products in the third quarter as millions of people practically became reliant on the e-commerce giant.
“Out with the old is where I come in,” Simon said. “And in with the new is the job for Amazon.”
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“People will always be getting new furniture, new clothes, new TVs, upgrading their lives. They’ll always be tearing down decks, sheds and pools to put up new ones. It’s just what we do. And when you need it gone, I’m one of the guys you can call to take it all away.”
Alex Simon’s success is mostly word-of-mouth
He also thanks Carrie-Mason Almeida, the creator of Dartmouth Helping Dartmouth – a Facebook group pertaining to all things Dartmouth. Aside from sharing digital flyers, Simon says his growing success has been from word-of-mouth.
“There’s no better advertisement than people having a great experience and in turn recommending you on their own accord,” he said.
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Ace Junk Removal will take pretty much anything except toxic chemicals or boilers filled with oil. Simon says they can also demolish sheds, decks and take down pools. “Many women have asked me we can take their husbands away,” he said jokingly. “And I always say sure, but we charge by the pound.”
He says it interesting to see what people are throwing out. He’s come across some pretty wild junk such as an arcade-machine and a collection of civil war memorabilia. But he says he tries not to hang on to anything.
“If I were to hold on to every desk or lamp that I thought I could resell I would need a warehouse the size of BJs,” he said. Now he has “tunnel vision” and takes it all to the dump.
Helping people get their space back
Simon says he will check out any location for a free quote then talk price and set up a date for the pick-up. Sometimes he finds a neat pile at the end of a driveway but other times, customers tentatively pointing at what needs to go. For the most part, people know what they want removed, but sometimes he has to help them part-ways.
“I work with people no matter how sure or unsure they are of what needs to go. I’ve seen it all, and can work with anyone,” Simon said.
He said his best advice for people on the fence about hiring a junk removal service is to take a hard look at what they are thinking of getting rid of and how long it has been sitting there.
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“Most often, if you’re even asking these questions then the answer is to get rid of it,” he said. “I hate to break it to people, but your children and grandchildren aren’t going to want your 500-pound square TV. They have a 50-inch flat screen HD model that weighs 10 pounds.”
After all is said and done, Simon says it truly brings him joy helping people. “We all have stuff to get rid of,” he said. “And I really enjoy providing the service of removing it.
“To see their satisfaction when years of clutter is simply gone, and they have their spaces back, is priceless.”
Standard-Times staff writer Seth Chitwood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times today.