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

October 31, 2019 - Comment

A charming, practical, and unsentimental approach to putting a home in order while reflecting on the tiny joys that make up a long life.In Sweden there is a kind of decluttering called döstädning, dö meaning “death” and städning meaning “cleaning.” This surprising and invigorating process of clearing out unnecessary belongings can be undertaken at any

A charming, practical, and unsentimental approach to putting a home in order while reflecting on the tiny joys that make up a long life.

In Sweden there is a kind of decluttering called döstädning, dö meaning “death” and städning meaning “cleaning.” This surprising and invigorating process of clearing out unnecessary belongings can be undertaken at any age or life stage but should be done sooner than later, before others have to do it for you. In The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, artist Margareta Magnusson, with Scandinavian humor and wisdom, instructs readers to embrace minimalism. Her radical and joyous method for putting things in order helps families broach sensitive conversations, and makes the process uplifting rather than overwhelming.

Margareta suggests which possessions you can easily get rid of (unworn clothes, unwanted presents, more plates than you’d ever use) and which you might want to keep (photographs, love letters, a few of your children’s art projects). Digging into her late husband’s tool shed, and her own secret drawer of vices, Margareta introduces an element of fun to a potentially daunting task. Along the way readers get a glimpse into her life in Sweden, and also become more comfortable with the idea of letting go.

Comments

Anonymous says:

This author does not value the worth of a devoted pet. This author speaks of loving her dogs, but then gives them away when she is moving. She puts her old dog down when she is moving. She speaks of getting another dog in the future! A person who does not value the worth of a devoted pet should not be a pet owner. Pets should not be included in items no longer wanted or needed. I closed the book after reading this portion of the book, will never finish it and am now throwing it in the trash.

Anonymous says:

A Must Have for Baby Boomers Resisting Downsizing Over the past few years I’ve been lecturing to the genealogy community on the topic of what to do with years of family history research and how to pass it on to the next generation. In my own book After You’re Gone: Future Proofing Your Genealogy Research, I review many simple techniques for cleaning out a loved one’s home in order to gather important family history items. So when it was announced that The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margaret Magnusson was being released, the book…

Anonymous says:

Awesome book! Read with care. This is an exceedingly well-written book about a deeply personal and fraught moment in life. I think everyone SHOULD read it, but it requires careful examination of your headspace before you do so.A lot of people are complaining about how it doesn’t tell you HOW to clean. That’s not its aim. What it does it show you how to get into the correct headspace to DO the things YOU should be doing without selfishly expecting other people to clean up after you when you have died.Read…

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