Clear the Clutter with Swedish Death Cleaning

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on April 16, 2018

Have you heard of Swedish death cleaning?

It’s the newest craze in home decluttering, thanks to the book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson. If it hasn’t become popular with Southern Maryland declutterers yet, it soon will be.

As Southern Living explains, the goal of Swedish death cleaning is to pare down your possessions to just the essentials. The person doing the cleaning can live a tidier, less cluttered life, and the family will have fewer things to sort through after the person dies.

But don’t think this is a somber act done by someone near the end of life or in the last stages of a terminal disease. Anyone of any age – Magnusson recommends around 65, though – can go through their home with a Swedish death cleaning mindset.

Using the example of cleaning out a closet, Southern Living explains that you go about the process by looking through every item in the closet. Every. Single. Item. Open every box, clear every corner. Sort the contents of your closet into piles and decide which you’ll keep. Magnusson’s plan has you keeping the essentials and the things that have sentimental value for you. Everything else – the things you don’t use or the clothes you’ll never wear again, for example – get thrown out or donated.

Now, tackling all of the clutter in your home with this method is time consuming, so Southern Living recommends going through one space at a time. In the end, you might feel lighter, happier, and tidier!

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