I need an estate cleaning service in Toronto.
February 28, 2021 12:07 PM   Subscribe

The sudden death of my older brother has us in eventual need of a service to clean up a small somewhat messy condo apartment in Toronto. Does anybody have any advice and/or recommended local service? The constraints are that my younger brother and I live in the U.S. and it is only my very elderly parents living near Toronto so we can't really supervise (because of covid border crossing issues) and we don't really want our parents to have to be too involved (covid-19 risk, grief and their own age related frailty).
posted by srboisvert to Shopping (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am so sorry for your loss during this lousy time. Just to make sure you know, you are permitted to enter Canada for the funeral of an immediate family member, presuming you have the proper authorization (page to read on this). I can certainly understand why you wouldn't, but just to make sure you know you could. I will ping MeFi's Own™ professional organizer to see if she has advice.
posted by jessamyn at 12:28 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]

Wayforth is a company specializing in just such a need, and has a good reputation here in the states. They don't cover Canada, but I mention them as a possible benchmark for other providers you might find. Related to jessamyn comment, here's a recent Ask on needs that overlap yours.

I'm sorry for your loss, and I hope the logistics of this go as smoothly as possible for you.
posted by cocoagirl at 12:36 PM on February 28

I'm so sorry for your loss.

By saying "estate cleaning" and "clean up" I'm not sure whether you're looking for assistance in cleaning, per se, or downsizing and processing the contents of his condo (including arranging for donations, estate sales, and organizing/categorizing of everything so it can be processed.

If it's the latter, as an add-on to cocoagirl's comment, as that giant comment in the Ask you referenced was mine, while I generally talk about NAPO (the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals) for such tasks, I have colleagues in Canada who do the same thing. They can project manage, organizing, connect you with resources, and if you want to sell much of the contents, they can connect you with our contacts at Maxsold (or other estate sales options), as appropriate for your situation.

I'd like to direct you to Professional Organizers in Canada (POC). You'll want to use the Advanced Search -- select Ontario as the province and then a new set of options will let you pick the area of Toronto. Then you can pick specialties, and I'd advise trying "estate organizing" under Residential and "downsizing" under Special Needs. The names with a silver or gold leaf in the left margin are more veteran professional organizers, and for this kind of project, I'd encourage you selecting someone with a greater depth of experience. Pick three, send them an email summarizing the situation, and request a phone or virtual consultation, for which there should be no charge; if you encounter someone who can't help you, they'll help find you someone who will.

I'm afraid I don't know as many of my Canadian colleagues personally as I do those in America, so I can't give you a personal recommendation for Toronto, but if you get into a bind, feel free to MeMail me and I'll try to clarify anything confusing.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 1:40 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]

I'm very sorry for your loss. This is very trying even in normal times. I don't have experience with estate cleaners but there's one that I've seen advertising in my favorite magazines. Check out "luxury move management" on Instagram and see if they would be suitable.
posted by Coffeetyme at 3:05 PM on February 28

If you are planning on selling the condo, a local real-estate agent may be able to hook all of this up as part of their fee. I had an agent that arranged all the final cleanup, minor fixes for me remotely and just added the 3rd party costs to the bill when it sold. They knew the right local people to do this.

There is also MaxSold which does online estate sale auctions. It's self-serve or you can hire one of their licensed people to handle it. The fees are rather steep (start at 30%), but they get rid of everything.
posted by dripdripdrop at 7:38 AM on March 1

Very sorry to hear about your brother. My father passed of Covid and death at this time is so complicated and stressful. Sorry the distance is making things worse for you.

As to your question, though I don't offer an estate cleanup service, I am often hired to visit the homes of the deceased, if they were record collectors, as buying / appraising collections in Toronto has been my job for 15+ years. I also have connections for people who do this for other items (books, comics, etc.) and am happy to put you in touch if needed.

Just MeMail me if I can be of assistance.
posted by dobbs at 8:43 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]

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