The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

How to Free Yourself and your Family From A Lifetime of Clutter

Book - 2018
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A charming, practical, and unsentimental approach to putting a home in order while reflecting on the tiny joys that make up a long life.

In Sweden there is a kind of decluttering called dostadning, do meaning "death" and stadning meaning "cleaning." This surprising and invigorating process of clearing out unnecessary belongings can be undertaken at any age or life stage but should be done sooner than later, before others have to do it for you. In The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning , artist Margareta Magnusson, with Scandinavian humor and wisdom, instructs readers to embrace minimalism. Her radical and joyous method for putting things in order helps families broach sensitive conversations, and makes the process uplifting rather than overwhelming.

Margareta suggests which possessions you can easily get rid of (unworn clothes, unwanted presents, more plates than you'd ever use) and which you might want to keep (photographs, love letters, a few of your children's art projects). Digging into her late husband's tool shed, and her own secret drawer of vices, Margareta introduces an element of fun to a potentially daunting task. Along the way readers get a glimpse into her life in Sweden, and also become more comfortable with the idea of letting go.
Publisher: New York :, Scribner,, 2018
ISBN: 9781501173240
Branch Call Number: 648.5 M199g 2018
Characteristics: 117 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm


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Jun 12, 2018

Clearly, I’m secretly Swedish. I’ve been death cleaning all my life. Sadly, as I try to give things away, people don’t cherish them as much, and I end up keeping too many memories.

Jun 03, 2018

I enjoyed the sensibility of the author; no-nonsense, old-fashioned in a comforting way. I was happy to hear about the tidbits of her life. It reminds us that things are both just things and some are imbued with nice memories. Either way, it’s nice to give things their due then get rid of them. It’s inspired me to donate, gift, sell a bunch of stuff! Live light!

May 20, 2018

A rambling, anecdotal memoir of an elderly woman who has done several purgings and down-sizings. I was hoping for more suggestions, although there were a few of note like starting with the basement, attic, and closets; not photos and old letters. The best advice when downsizing for oneself is to ask: “What do I want to take with me?” rather than what should I get rid of?

May 01, 2018

This is a great book with some good concepts for tidying. It’s written very gently and has a sweet voice. I actually didn’t quite finish it because I found, what I thought to be, a more in-depth title about tidying “Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. Very similar approaches - although Death cleaning had a lot of charm!

Apr 24, 2018

It's so sad to see the old photos thrown away. Nobody knows who they are anymore? All the relatives dead? I bought a wedding photo c. WWII. Her dress was absolutely magnificent! And him looking so gallant in his army uniform. I wondered whether he died "over there."

multcolib_karene Apr 01, 2018

Inspired me to start clearing out my unnecessary stuff.

Mar 14, 2018

sweet little book - simple and to the point.
Will try to use the suggestions with the reduction of my "stuff".

Mar 03, 2018

As nice book about "death cleaning". It is optimistic and pragmatic, instructing us about dealing with all our stuff before and after it no longer matters to us but is left for our loved ones to deal with it. Better to gift or donate it when we are up to it and can direct it where we want it to go. This book is not as comprehensive about down-sizing and de-cluttering as most books, but it addresses the issues from the "death cleaning" angle. I would have appreciated reading it before taking on 2 generations of stuff from my mother and her mother--I intend to deal with the remnants using her expertise and suggestions. (especially dealing with the big stuff first THEN dealing with papers and photographs) A quick, good read.

Feb 15, 2018

I'm so glad I didn't buy this! If you have read other de-cluttering type books, you might not learn anything new. You will, though, learn quite a bit about the author's life and her opinions. She frequently mentions getting an auctioneer to help get rid of stuff, both your own excess and stuff left by someone who's died. Huh? Maybe that's the norm in Sweden. Frankly, nothing I own is auction-worthy--usable, but not auction-worthy. No mention of a garage sale, estate sale, donations to thrift stores--the kinds of actions I see around here. No magic nugget of wisdom here; just your basic message of de-clutter your stuff because you probably have too much of it, anyway.

Feb 05, 2018

Charming book about a very important topic. As the comment before mine noted, it's a pleasant read and no, it's not morbid in the least! As someone who, with my two brothers, had to clean out my parents'/grandparents' 1939 home, I'm here to reiterate the importance of doing this cleaning out not just for yourself, but especially for your remaining family members.

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Jan 31, 2018

cherokeetears thinks this title is suitable for 21 years and over


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