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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. While this list can serve as a helpful resource, it is important that you carefully check a company's references as organizations can change policies and personnel.

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.

1. Fee-For-Service

A Touch of Sass
Contact: Mildred Sass
General Housekeeping: $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
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's Estate Clearance Services
[email protected]
Kristin Bergfeld $90 hour
Office Staff $60 hour
Onsite staff $30 hour

BERGFELD's specializes in helping people with hoarding problems clear and reconfigure their homes. They collaborate with family, social workers, guardians, attorneys, building managers as well as community and public agencies. Services include onsite meetings with client and support team, sorting personal property, reorganizing, relocating possessions (shipping, storage, charity, etc.), removing discards, heavy-duty cleaning and a written report including recommendations for on-going maintenance.

Disaster Master
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
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.

Jimmy Flynn

Mr. Flynn engages in heavy duty cleaning. He charges by the project; the initial consultation is free.

Maid in New York, Inc.
Contact: Bob Dellacona
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
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
$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
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
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) Professional Organizers

A to Zen Organizing, Inc.
Contact: Sondra Schiff, RN
Please call for rates.

This company provides hands-on professional organizing services to declutter and simplify homes so they are safe, functional and easy to maintain. The one-on-one process allow people to work at their own pace. They also offer coordinated maintenance services to minimize re-accumulation.

Ms. Schiff leads a monthly De-Clutter Support Group at DOROT, a community service agency on the upper west side of Manhattan. For information on the Decluttering program, please call DOROT 212-769-2850.

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