Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Swedish Death Cleaning: A Gentle, Encouraging Read

Photo: My Kindle displays the cover of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter, by Margareta Magnusson

A few months ago, I learned of a book which was set to be released today: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, by Margereta Magnusson. The title certainly caught my attention! According to the author, death cleaning "is a term that means you remove unnecessary things and make your home nice and orderly when you think the time is coming closer for you to leave the planet." Of course, that time of departure is always coming closer, so there is no reason to delay the de-cluttering process.

As we are in the (seemingly never-ending) process of down-sizing, I've been looking forward to reading this book for encouragement and inspiration. This morning, I got an e-mail informing me that the book was waiting for me on my Kindle. I decided to start reading it. Once I started, I couldn't put it down. It is a short, enjoyable read. 

Mrs. Magnusson explains that "death cleaning is not sad," and she backs up that statement with gentle, humorous observations and advice:
"Regard your cleaning as an ordinary, everyday job. And in between, enjoy yourself as much as possible with all the things you like to do. With friends, charity, walking, playing boules or cards. An acquaintance of mine complained that it is no fun to play bridge when two of the four have left the earth. That is of course sad. But young people are also nice to meet and play with, and they value your friendship as you value theirs. Besides, they do not talk about hearing aids and other sad things all the time."
While she does give specific ideas on how to get started--such as sorting your clothing into two piles, one to keep, and one to get rid of--the biggest strength of the book is the conversational tone and calm encouragement to begin. The length of the book also prompts the reader to action. After all, what good is the concept of death cleaning if one doesn't begin?

Whether you call it spring cleaning, decluttering, down-sizing, or death cleaning, reading this gentle little book is a great place to get inspiration.

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  1. Thanks for the review. The book sounds interesting.

  2. I am always looking for tips to declutter- and get my hubby involved so I will check this out.


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