How to Start Swedish Death Cleaning

I've been a huge fan of the KonMari method the past few years. I've used it to get rid of so much in our home and reduce how stuff we're bringing in for several years now. Recently I had been noticing articles popping up about this thing called Swedish death cleaning. 

 As a good life longer learner I of course wanted to check it out and see what it was all about. 

To start off I would definitely recommend checking out The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family From a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson. There are lots of good examples and details you'll find. 


Swedish death cleaning is the method of organizing and decluttering your home before you die to decrease the burden you leave to your loved ones after you've passed away.


One of the main concepts is the idea that it can very difficult and turn into a burden for your family to decide what from your life was actually important and should be saved once you pass away. Therefore you shouldn't leave all of your stuff for your family to deal with. 

You don’t actually need to wait until you're approaching the end of life to start Swedish death cleaning. Taking this type of minimalism up early can give you a sense of what things matter most to you. The things you keep have a deeper and more permanent meaning instead of just being a bunch of random stuff.


Where to start?

Like the KonMari method Swedish Death Cleaning recommends that you start on easier things like clothes or kitchen items. It can be really difficult if you start with sentimental items and you could get discouraged easily. Find the items you no longer use or don't fit anymore. These types of items are much easier to let go of.  


As you start to look at items be sure to ask yourself “Will anyone be happier if I save this?” This will help guide your feelings about the stuff. 

One of the pillars of Swedish Death Cleaning is to share those items that mean something to friends and family instead of just tossing or donating them right away. While this is suggested for items that are more sentimental and have meaning I've done this with other items. Maybe there was a piece of jewelry I bought thinking I'd wear it but never did. I like to ask around to my friends first. Even though it doesn't have meaning I like that someone I know will enjoy it. 

 As you are starting to look through your items there are several other questions you should be asking yourself.

·      Have you talked to your loved ones about what they would like to inherit?

·      Do they know the stories and history behind the belongings that you are keeping?

·      Why are you holding onto these belongings?

·      Do these items give you joy now?

Have you given Swedish Death Cleaning a try? How has it changed how you think of your stuff?

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