Consider It Done Featured on the Cover of the Asbury Park Press Business Section
Woman's Business Is Cleaning Up
Consider It Done of Toms River gets rid of junk
Jennifer Padula and her workers have been called on to remove a lot of stuff from people's homes, but few jobs stand out like the one in Stafford. An older person suffering from dementia had lived in a house alone and had become a pack rat. Contacted by the family and asked to clean the home out, Padula was astounded to find she could barely open the door. "You physically couldn't move through the house," said Padula, a 40-year-old Lacey resident and owner of Consider It Done Inc., a Toms River business that specializes in removing unwanted items from homes and businesses. In one bedroom, all you could see of the furniture were the bed posts popping up like periscopes amid the sea of junk. "I didn't even realize there was an attached bathroom for four days," she said.
Most of her jobs don't involve hauling away so much, but that's not to say there isn't enough work out there to keep her and 11 full and part-time employees busy. It's been a circuitous route for Padula, who started her business by doing some basic housekeeping for cash in 1988 while she was a student at Georgian Court College (now Georgian Court University) in Lakewood." I had a vacuum in the trunk of my car, and I worked out of a spare bedroom in my mother's house in Seaside Park," Padula recalled.
The work was a simple money maker for her, as she mulled over going on to law school. "I didn't have any big plan in mind," she said. In time, Padula graduated and expanded her services, adding window cleaning and eventually "final cleans," work in which cleaners go through newly built homes and make them ready for buyers to move in. Without quite intending it, she had created her own career and her own business. "It just grew," Padula said. "It was never a conscious decision. My poor mother thought I was going to go to law school, and here I was vacuuming people's floors. "But Padula couldn't deny her success. "It was profitable for me," she said. "I also enjoyed the physical work. "By the early 1990’s, some builders started asking if she could help with the removal of construction debris. Each phase of construction brought with it large piles of lumber, plasterboard and other debris that had to be removed. She did her homework, got her Department of Environmental Protection hauling license and started focusing on the construction work. "Debris was more profitable, and the other things took too much time," Padula said.
From there, she started taking on occasional jobs working for homeowners, removing individual pieces of furniture, appliances and other oversized items. With time, she found it easier to concentrate on that end of the business because it was an untapped market. "Builders are really looking at the bottom line," Padula said. "Homeowners care more about customer service. If you're smiling on the job, the builder doesn't much care. "Sharon Mattingly of Tinton Falls said she was impressed with Consider It Done's professionalism when a crew came to her home recently to remove some old furniture and other accumulated items. "They said they would be there at 7 a.m., and they were there right at 7 a.m.," she said. She was thankful she had been able to find the company. Otherwise, "I would have had to get my friends to help me and call the town and arrange for bulk pickup," Mattingly said.
Padula's crews will remove just about anything. "If you got it in the house, we'll get it out," she said. Prices often start around $85 for one piece, and a fully loaded dump truck will cost about $800, she said. Today, Consider It Done services all of Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties, as well as parts of Mercer and Burlington counties. She would not discuss revenue, but she said she's been pleased with her business' growth. She recently moved the company from a tiny office of just over 200 square feet to one that's 1,800 square feet, and she doubled her truck fleet to eight last year. Her balky back keeps her from working on quite as many projects herself these days, plus she needs to spend time in the office coordinating the work; schedules are often not developed until the afternoon before. Padula said she's happy with where the business is now and is not eager to see it grow much more, for fear she'll lose the personal touch she believes has made it successful. "Who's going to run your business other than you?" she asked.
Dennis P. Carmody, Assistant Business Editor
December 14, 2006