The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

Döstädning, the hybrid of two Swedish words: death and cleaning. Death Cleaning. It’s not as morbid as it sounds, we promise. Partly thanks to the new minimalism movement and the popularity of the KonMari Method, Margareta Magnusson’s upcoming novel The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning is already making waves. But what is exactly is “death cleaning?” Basically, it’s the art of decluttering before you die – ensuring that your children aren’t left with more to deal with after you pass away. Magnusson was inspired to write her “self-help” book after her husband died, leaving her to declutter their house on her own. A task which almost took her a year to accomplish. This is a similar issue that many American millennials and Gen Xers are currently experiencing. Younger generations simply don’t have space for the china, the couch, and the ten person dining table left behind after their relatives pass away. Sometimes grieving families have to pay up to $5,000 for people to come haul away their loved ones’ furniture and other possessions.  The bottom line is that when you, or people you know, die, stuff gets left behind. Lots and lots of stuff. And either you can deal with it now, or you leave it for others to stress over later on. Magnusson suggests the former. “I think it’s a good thing to get rid of things you don’t need,” Magnusson says. “Is it sad to death clean? No, it’s a relief, I think. You don’t have to worry about who’s going to take care of all this crap.” According to Magnusson, Americans are addicted to collecting things, and it’s time to clean up our acts. The gradual process of Döstädning not only makes the grieving process smoother for the next generation, but it can enhance the lives of those doing the decluttering. Removing clutter allows people to let go of bad memories and open up space for more enjoyable things. Magnusson recommends starting your death cleaning “as soon as you can think.” If you’re ready to think about Döstädning and decluttering your life, call Junk360! As an environmental and community focused business, we are ready to help you take responsibility for your items and begin the beautiful process of letting go.