Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Product Safety NYC Resources
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Cleaning Companies

The following cleaning and organizing services were recommended by New York City social workers. All services were reported to be sensitive to the needs of older adults. Some companies engage in heavy duty cleaning, including arranging for dumpsters while others offer general housekeeping services only - no major trash or furniture removal.

Keep in mind that the person who hoards may be emotionally attached to their belongings, no matter how insignificant they may appear to an outsider. Understand that parting with their belongings (e.g., newspapers, sugar packets, junk mail, used food containers, even rotten food), can cause severe emotional distress. If you are considering using one of following services, refer to the section on Best Practices to ensure that cleaning takes place in the most compassionate, least traumatic way.

Please note that in the following section you can also find information about a monthly decluttering support group for older adults.


1. Fee-For-Service

A To ZEN Organizing
SONDRA J. SCHIFF, RN
212.663.4464
www.AtoZenOrganizing.com
Please call for hourly rate.
For removal of excessive amounts of belongings, they work with a crisis management company that provides bagging and hauling

The president, Ms. Schiff, is an RN and takes a therapeutic approach to helping individuals sort out what to keep and what to throw away. She and her staff work with individuals at their pace, engaging in organizing, problem solving, and coaching. Ms. Schiff also runs as monthly clutter support groups at DOROT, a community service agency on the west side of Manhattan. For information on the Decluttering Class, call DOROT, (212) 769-2850.

A Touch of Sass
Contact: Mildred Sass
212- 410-9424
$25 hour without supplies, $32 hour including supplies.
If apartment is unmanageable cost will be higher.

A Touch of Sass is primarily a cleaning business. However, they will work with individuals who have amassed large collections of debris. Their method is to establish what the individual wants to keep, after which they sort through debris in a general way and throw out what has been agreed upon by the individual. They will arrange for dumpsters.

Adele Poston Agency
212-288-0040
Contact: Lavern Newman or Keith Kelly
$10 - 12 hour plus carfare for general housekeeping only, with a 4-hour minimum. Client provides all cleaning supplies.

Bergfeld Estate Clearance Services
212-666-6649
Kristin Bergfeld $85 hour
Office Staff $60 hour
Onsite staff $30 hour

Materials and equipment are charged at cost. Free initial onsite evaluation.

BERGFELD's (est. 1987) specializes in helping older 'hoarders' clear and reconfigure their homes, and collaborates with family, social workers, guardians, attorneys, building managers as well as community and public agencies. Services begin with an onsite meeting with client and support team, drafting an action plan which can include sorting personal property, reorganizing, putting things in storage, shipping, donating to charity, removing discards, heavy duty cleaning and recommendations for ongoing maintenance. They make all arrangements, including dumpsters. They have an excellent reputation for working with people who are very difficult.

Disaster Master
800-843-7526
www.theplan.com
Major cleaning. Expensive but very professional.
Project fees only.
Each project is appraised by a project manager. Afterward, they send a contract, stating the fixed fee, along with a written document, which includes what will be done and how the contents will be disposed of.

ElderServe Housekeeping
800-567-3646
718-581-1777
Contact: Lisa DiMeo
$70.00 minimum fee, includes supplies.
Catchment Area: Westchester, Bronx & Upper Manhattan (Washington Heights)

Light and heavy cleaning. The $70.00 minimum fee (2 people, 2 hours) usually covers the cost of cleaning a one-bedroom apartment. They do engage in heavy cleaning but they do not remove furniture nor provide for dumpsters.

Maid in New York, Inc.
Contact: Bob Dellacona
212-777-6000
Both heavy duty cleaning and general house cleaning.
House Cleaning $16 hour with a 4 hour minimum
Major Cleaning $20 hour with a 4 hour minimum, supplies additional.

For severe clutter, they will make an initial visit to estimate the cost, along with assessing the size of the dumpster(s) needed.

Martinez Cleaning
718-429-0842
Major housekeeping services.
$240.00 plus tax for 2 persons for 6 hours. Fee includes cleaning supplies.
They will arrange for dumpsters.

Packing by Susan
Contact: Susan Ross, MSW
718-432-2117
$40 an hour per worker, supplies extra.
Free consultation with agency.

Susan Ross meets with the agency to discuss the case, usually in the home or apartment that needs reorganization and decluttering. In the event of relocation, she will also pack and unpack a client's belonging. She either deploys worker or works one-on-one with the individual. If needed, they will arrange for dumpsters, movers or housekeeping services.

Vistatech Cleaning service
Contact: Mr. Jolley or Bob Jones
212-727-8681
Both major and general cleaning.
Project fees only. They will arrange for dumpsters.
$350 minimum charge may cover a two-day cleanout of a dwelling.


2. Government-Funded Services

Adult Protective Services (APS)
Central Intake Referral Line (212) 630-1853
400 Eighth Avenue - 5th Floor
New York, N. Y. 10001

APS provide free heavy duty cleaning for their clients. An older person is eligible for APS, irregardless of income or assets if they
a) have a physical or mental impairment;
b) are unable to
  • manage their own resources
  • carry out the activities of daily living
  • protect themselves from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, passive or self-neglect, financial exploitation or other hazardous situations without assistance from others; and
c) have no one willing and able to assist them responsibly.

There are APS clients that refuse to allow APS to perform a heavy duty cleaning. If the client's tenancy is threatened as a result of this refusal, APS will assess to determine if a legal action can be brought for the appointment of a guardian.

Jewish Association for Services for the Aging (JASA)
Program Name: Decluttering Program
Cachement area: Manhattan
Contact: JASA Help Center at (212) 273-5272

JASA has been given a small "Decluttering" grant by New York State to help seniors avoid eviction due to safety and health issues created by an excessive collection of objects. Funding goes directly for the costs of hiring personal organizers, occupational therapy students, or agencies that do similar work. The objective is to avoid the "heavy duty cleaning" syndrome. JASA will conduct an assessment, offer a resource list of personal organizers and occupational therapists, and contribute funds (limited, with a capped amount) towards the cleaning. Due to limited staff, the majority of cases need a social worker from another agency who will work intensively on the project.

Project Pilot
212-787-8106
Contact: Mr. Green
Catchment area 59th Street to 110th Street West Side only.

Funded by the Department for the Aging, this is a case management home care program for adults 60 years and older in need of services. Light housekeeping is one of services provided along with home care. Sliding scale fee.


3) Support Groups

Ms. Schiff, RN, professional organizer and owner of A to Zen Organizing, runs a decluttering monthly clutter support group at DOROT, a community service agency on the west side of Manhattan. A donation of $5.00 per meeting is recommended. For more information, call DOROT, (212) 769-2850.

All material published is for informational purposes only. The listing of agencies, products, programs, and services do not constitute endorsements or recommendations by the New York Presbyterian Hospital - Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained herein with other sources. New York Presbyterian Hospital - Weill Medical College of Cornell University will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising therefrom.
 
 
 
Back to Top
 
New York-Presbyterian. The University Hospitals of Columbia and Cornell