The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter


From the Publisher's description:

In Swedish there is a word for it: Döstädning, “dö” means “death” and “städning” means “cleaning.” The idea behind death cleaning is to remove unnecessary things and get your home in order as you become older. But this word also can be applied whenever you do a thorough cleaning, to make your life easier and more pleasant. It does not necessarily have to do with age or death. If you can hardly close your drawers or shut your closet doors, it is time to do something about your stuff.

Ok- here is my take on this. Go beyond the title and think of this as another term for Spring cleaning in which you get rid of stuff that you don't want people to see and stuff that you know they won't want. That's a beautiful thing. I've had the chore of cleaning out a few houses after elderly family members have died. I can tell you that after the first couple days of people showing up to swoop anything of value away- there are mountains of items left that end up in a landfill just because no one has the time or energy to figure out what to do with them.

The author suggests gifting special items as people visit and you are still alive to tell them about the item. My other favorite tip was to have a box filled with things that only mean something to you and label it- throw away. That way whoever is cleaning out your home can just toss it sight unseen without wondering what to do with those photos that have people in them that only you know. 


The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter By Margareta Magnusson


Jennifer Naughton

I'm a lifelong bibliophile who happens to love children's books and who should have become a librarian. Instead I horde books in case of apocalypse or the enactment of a Fahrenheit 451 type law. My five kids accept my addiction and have learned to accept books in odd places.