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.
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
- 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.