Planning on giving your china to your favorite child when you pass? Maybe you want to downsize, but have too much stuff. Many people these days are taking the “now or never” approach and embracing a Scandinavian concept called Swedish Death Cleaning.
Swedish Death Cleaning is less morbid than it sounds, and surprisingly isn’t the name of a heavy metal band. Döstädning, or death cleaning in English, is a term coined by Swedish author Margerta Magnusson. Magnusson outlines the process in her book as the methodical and ongoing process of freeing yourself, and your loved ones, from your physical belongings.
The reasoning of the process is to spend the later years of your life enjoying rich experiences with friends and family and not being bogged down by physical possessions. In turn, your family has less physical things to sort and manage when you or another family member passes. It takes the large decisions out of their hands and puts them back in your own. Death Cleaning goes beyond putting your furniture on Craigslist or making boxes to go to your children’s homes, it’s also about knowing how to voice your intentions such as your will, your final wishes, preplanning your funeral, and reflecting on the things that are important to you as a person. Magnusson’s ultimate goal with Death Cleaning is to focus on the intentions of one’s life and the value of who and what is in it.
Magnusson’s book, “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” is available on Amazon. To learn more about funeral preplanning, please click here.