Clean Out Your Home Like You’ll Die Tomorrow

Margaretta Magnusson calls it “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” in her new book released December 2017. I can’t wait to find out what she’s suggesting can you? Let me give you a sneak peek. It’s not as terrifying as it sounds. Really.

Estate Clean Out 

Death cleaning is not about dusting or mopping your living space or tidying up your coffin. It is about making a permanent decision once you reach the age of 65 to slowly switch to a form of downsizing that makes your life run more smoothly and allows you to leave behind a minimal footprint for current and future generations when you’re gone. You might also think of it as how to sort through and dispose of many of your possessions before you die, thus sparing your family members an unpleasant task. Let’s face it, your loved ones wish to inherit nice things from you, not ALL of your things.

“Life will become more pleasant and comfortable if we get rid of some of the abundance,” Magnusson writes. “Mess is an unnecessary source of irritation.” She goes on to suggest that the process of letting go is enjoyable if we allow it, because it is a joy to reminisce as you go through your lifetime accumulation of things as they trigger your memories. Letting go is also about doing a favor for your loved ones who will survive you.

How Swedish Death Cleaning May Change Your Outlook On Life

  1. IT COULD MAKE YOU HAPPIER TO HAVE LESS: Despite what the media feeds us, we all innately know that If we whittle down, then theoretically we can concentrate on the more important things in life with our time and energy and do some of those things we always wanted. We don’t need a new cologne to get us in the mood.

2. IT CAN HELP YOU FEEL LESS STRESSED AND OVERWHELMED: Once you find yourself living in a clean, downsized dwelling there is less chaos in your mind according to several studies and you can therefore accomplish more with less distractions.

3. IT MIGHT ALLOW YOU TO BETTER COPE WITH YOUR MORTALITY: Getting rid of things you don’t need can be a useful cue that things don’t last forever, and neither do we. You can also be in charge of how others will see your legacy once you’re gone. Will they admire or resent you?

It May Not Be For You?

Is this trend towards leaving behind an minimal estate simply elevating an organized person above one who isn’t?  After all there are different personality types. Can you really live the minimalist anti-materialist lifestyle if you aren’t pre-programmed for it? You may aspire for a tidier, healthier lifestyle, but find it hard to accomplish in practice. Maybe you aren’t ready for a dietetic regimen for the home! Then you will have to ease into it very slowly.

If you want to try this type of organizing and decluttering exercise in living, be sure to know what your overall goals are before you take any steps. This may prevent burnout from trying to live by someone else’s values. Don’t set the bar too high, but DO push yourself a little past your comfort zone to get rid of things you think might be difficult to part with in order to discover that you CAN live with less and won’t miss it.

Want help implementing ideas like this? We are ready to help. Call Art of Downsizing (828) 772-5959.


7 Things to Consider When Cleaning Out Your Parents’ House

7 Things to Consider When Cleaning Out Your Parents’ House

7 Things to Consider When Cleaning Out Your Parents’ House

You may not have time to clean your own homes, much less the house of your parents. And though grieving a parent is one of the most heart-wrenching situations you can face, the responsibilities just pile up if left undone. While our hearts and prayers go out to you, here’s some valuable advice.

The process of dividing up things to keep, sell and give to charity is difficult because there’s no exact science to it. When you find yourself reluctantly cleaning for an estate sale, consider bringing in a third party who’s not as invested in the emotional ties to material things and can sort more objectively. Also, review this list of helpful tips to make it as painless as possible.

The Big Picture

Cleaning for an estate sale takes a measure of foresight. Devising a preliminary plan of attack is equally as important as doing the dirty work. These three tips focus on some baseline things to keep in mind when starting the process:

  1. Know thyself. Getting your parents’ home in order after a death requires a certain level of self-awareness. If you know you’re more of a big picture thinker, stick to the planning. Leave the cleaning for an estate sale to a sibling, another relative or even a professional.

  2. Divide and conquer. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the thought of cleaning out an entire house or apartment. But when you schedule certain sections of the house to tackle every day, you keep yourself sane and busy with a set pattern.

  3. Stick to a deadline. People tend to work better and more efficiently with a deadline. After mapping out exactly how you plan to prep the house for the sale, set a date to hold yourself and your family accountable. Advertise the date to further solidify the event. You can also leave the whole estate sale process to a professional team like Art of Downsizing.

Is Rightsizing Right For You?

Is Rightsizing Right For You?

Rightsizing Is a Growing Trend

Amidst the ever-growing list of buzzwords floating around the internet these days are sometimes-superfluous terms. But every once in a while, there comes a brilliant phrase that nails a sentiment. “Rightsizing,” similar to the more popular term downsizing, is one such catchphrase that’s gaining popularity because it’s so appropriately timely. When how to downsize takes on negative connotations, how to rightsize sounds, well, just right.

Rightsizing is all about working with what you’ve got. It means getting you and your family into a house or apartment that’s just the “right” size. Sometimes, it means decluttering to give your rooms sufficient space. But it can also mean creating a garden, buying a car or getting new clothes that fit you just right. Rightsizing can even be used to refer to someone who needs to be taken down a notch with a little ego-deflating.

What It’s All About

So how to downsize becomes the question du jour. While moving into a smaller space as your world or your family grows smaller may sound ideal, you may run into a bit of trouble when you actually try to do it. Think of downsizing as the ultimate goal, but you just need a few in-between steps to get there. Our services are built to help you with the downsizing process, but in the meantime, think about where to start your rightsizing.

Rightsizing in this context is about asking yourself the hard questions and working within your means to create a better living space. If your family living situation could change at any minute, welcoming your son back from college or your mother who can no longer live on her own, learning how to downsize might not be right for you, but you can instead look to rightsizing.