Swedish Death Cleaning: A Radical Approach to Organization
Step aside Marie Kondo, there’s a new cleaning trend that’s sweeping (quite literally) through homes, and it’s called “Swedish death cleaning.”
What is Swedish Death Cleaning?
It might sound morbid, or like a heavy metal band, but it’s actually a very practical and strangely sentimental practice. In her book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Make Your Loved Ones’ Lives Easier and Your Own Life More Pleasant, Margareta Magnussen describes the Swedish process of clearing out the belongings you have collected over their lifetime once you reach middle age. Things you simply don’t need may be sold or donated. Items with more sentimental value are offered to friends and family members as keepsakes. This ritual is designed to reduce the burden on those left behind after passing, allowing them to spend their time properly grieving their lost loved one instead of digging through mounds of books, paperwork, clothing, and other personal effects. But Magnussen also helps us realize how we can incorporate this practice into our daily lives to stay organized and live more simply.
Applying Swedish Death Cleaning Philosophies to Your Daily Life
You don’t have to wait until your final hours to enjoy the freedom granted by Swedish death cleaning. Use these tips to clear your spaces of clutter and simplify your daily life.
- Take your time. It took many years to accumulate the things that accessorize your life. Don’t expect to completely clear your entire home in one day.
- Start early. You don’t have to wait until you reach retirement age to begin paring down your worldly goods. Keeping your possessions to a minimum guarantees a cleaner home and saves space for the things you really want.
- Save sentimental items for last. Letters, books, photos, and collectible items are full of precious memories. Sort through these items slowly and allow yourself to relive those parts of your life. This will not only help you cope with parting from the item, it will also help you decide who you should give it to.
- Start with your closets. Get rid of old coats, unused sports equipment, and other bulky items first. The extra space will not only inspire you to keep going, it will also provide storage space for the things you plan on keeping.
- Be brutally objective. How long has it been since you wore that suit? If you haven’t used an item within the last year, it’s likely you may never need it.
- Reorganize your rooms after clearing them. Use the extra space to store and display the things you use most often.
Swedish death cleaning gives you the capacity to fully enjoy each of your possessions while keeping your home neat. If you need help kickstarting the process or taking care of deep cleaning while you declutter, consider calling a trusted Atlanta cleaning service today!