What is Swedish death cleaning?

The South may be a fan of organizing stuff. Next to collecting things, I suppose. Getting rid of items can also be exciting, especially if you follow the example of the decluttering wizards at The Home Edit or Marie Kondo, who encourages us to consider whether every item in our linen cupboard sparks joy.

Some research suggests that clutter in the home can increase stress levels and reduce productivity. According to some research, clutter can increase stress and decrease productivity. 1 Having a home full of things may also make us and those we care about more vulnerable to falls and other safety and health hazards. Sadly, older people may have less control over clutter. This is one of the reasons why the Swedish Death Cleaning movement has gained popularity.

What is Swedish death cleaning?

It is technically called Dostadning. The name comes from a combination of Swedish words for cleaning and death. The idea was created by Swedish author Margareta Magnusson, who published The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning in 2017. It has grown in popularity since then.

What does it involve? It’s a name for a process that consists of simplifying your home as you age. This is done to save your family from having to deal with your stuff after you die.

Magnusson’s book argues that this task is not morbid but rather a way to take care of yourself and your family now. In a video, Magnusson says, “I don’t believe that it’s fair that your family will have to deal with all of that stuff when you are no longer around.” She wrote in 2020 that “[W]hen you die, your family will be able to enjoy pleasant evenings at the park if they have completed your death cleaning.”

Decluttering your home is a great idea. Magnusson says that people tend to have too much stuff in their homes. “I believe it’s good to get rid of things you don’t need.” Plus, keeping your clutter in check while you are still alive has real benefits. Magnusson: “I’d like to keep it neat around me and orderly.”

Of course, you don’t need to throw away everything. Magnusson is a sentimentalist and keeps some items that are filled with memories, such as old photographs and letters. In this box, I store small items that are personal to me. A dried flower, funny stone, ticket, beautiful shell, personal note… wrote that she only valued things because they reminded her of special events and days. She is not very sentimental. Her children can throw it away without looking at its contents when the time comes.

Magnusson says that the best way to avoid clutter in the beginning is never to collect anything. She says on YouTube, “Don’t accumulate things you don’t want.” The next step is to decide what you want to keep, which can be a daunting task. “Simplifying the contents of your life is a daunting task for most people,” says White, a decluttering expert. “Those who are paralyzed with the process should hire an organizer to help them declutter.” Remember that death cleaning doesn’t mean you have to clean your whole house in a day or even a week. “Thirty minutes of death cleaning per day is an excellent start. You can work up to one hour per day. After every achievement, reward yourself with a nice cup of coffee, a cake, a warm bath or shower,” Magnusson wrote. You may also find that tackling one room per month will make a huge difference.

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