Loved Marie Kondo? You're Going to Love Swedish Death Cleaning

So you’ve watched Marie Kondo’s show. You’ve read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and her more recent release, “Spark Joy”.

You’re following her on Instagram, and have decluttered your home. You’ve mastered the art of folding clothing, thrown out bags and bags of trash and made several trips to the local donation center.

What do you do now?

When we got finished decluttering, it was a bit disappointing. Almost like we didn’t know where to head next.

That’s when I learned about a new book. A new author and philosophy on the home that was similar to Marie Kondo, but covered a lot of topics that she hadn’t in her book.

Enter The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson.

While Marie Kondo talks mostly about decluttering your life of the things that are keeping you from living your best life, Magnusson takes it even further by talking about the things that are keeping you from dying in peace.

Well, that’s maybe a bit more morbid than I intended.

Swedish death cleaning is more about making sure that your affairs are in order before you reach the end of life. While it’s a bit sad to think about, what you’re doing is basically going through your things as you’re preparing to retire or downsize and start actually really living your best life.

Magnusson is older and has lived a very rich and ambitious life. She resolved not to leave a mess when she goes, both literally and figuratively ensuring that all her possessions are sorted and minimized so that she has less of a burden on her children.

It’s brilliant actually. She makes points such as not to leave items to your children for when you pass - but give it to them now so they can enjoy it. Or, if you’re wanting to leave heirlooms of value for the purpose of monetary value, sell the items now and give your children the money. Or, you can sell them and do something fun with the money.

It’s a very freeing notion regarding the idea of downsizing and having a home also purpose and freeing yourself of the things or ideas that don’t make sense. And while we don’t plan on dying anytime soon, the idea that you don’t have to wait until some unforeseen point in the future to get rid of or give away or sell items is very liberating.

It goes well with Marie Kondo’s philosophy - if it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it. If you have a lot of items that are just cluttering up your life and you are holding onto for sentimentality or other people in your life that it doesn’t make sense to do so, perhaps it is best to send those items to new homes now as opposed to waiting.

(There’s also a really fun section on dildos. I won’t spoil the surprise, but it’s literally laugh-out-loud worthy).

I also happen to really enjoy that Magnusson is very much a fan of millennials. She states that the young people of this generation has had to be much more flexible and adaptable, and are much more capable people than their parents or people of her generation as far as adapting to new circumstances. She points out that young men are more likely to be interested in cooking, cleaning, sewing and other traditionally female roles, and will be better to take care of themselves and their partners in the future - unlike the men of her generation that are rather helpless without their female counterparts.

Like The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up, it’s not a long read, and is also quite an enjoyable one. Magnusson will make you laugh, get sentimental about your own stories and experience, even tear up at some points (the story about the very sweet elderly Great Dane really got to me) but really helps you understand better what a home actually is.

A home is less about the house, the physical structure, and less about the actual objects in it - it’s more about the soul of the home. How does the home work with you as a person? How does it fit your life? Does it fit your life? Does it make sense for the way you’re trying to live your life?

If you enjoyed Marie Kondo’s method and her books, then I would highly suggest this book. It will help you to further understand yourself and your relationship to your home, and help to create a home that further speaks to you and one that you will be happy in.

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter