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RoseRed135

Swedish "death cleaning" - do/would you declutter this way?

11 posts in this topic

Recently, I've become aware of a decluttering process apparently popular in Sweden, known as "death cleaning (or "dostadning," a Swedish word that combines the words "death" and "cleaning"). The idea is to donate/discard anything in your home that no one will want after you die. Or if you have family who do want it, give it to them now. (You can also sell some items, of course, on ebay, etc., but that means they sit in your house longer.) It's an ongoing process, of course since most of us don't know when that sad day is coming. (I've read it's recommended to start about age 65, even though you will likely live way beyond that. But some say it's fine - even good - to begin younger.)

Well, I'm over 65, but I've started doing it - a little. While clearing off a crowded shelf, for example, I noticed the charming figurine/bell DM used to use to call us kids in for dinner (back when kids ran around the neighborhood on their own for hours). She kept it  as a decoration b/c it's pretty and for sentimental reasons. And after her passing, so did I. But I realized it will mean nothing to my DDs or nieces and nephews (DBs are gone, unfortunately). So... sigh... I tossed it. Death cleaning begun.

Since then, I've removed a few more items this way. One problem I've run into though is that there are many things I still enjoy, even though my DDs, etc. may have no interest in them. So they're on my mental list for future death cleaning, but I'll keep them around for now.

Also, there are some things DDs want but can't take right now. Those will stay here for a while, too.

And then there's DH - he's not ready to think "death cleaning" yet, even though he's older than me. So there are items he bought/inerited/loves that will stay around for now, even though no one will want them later on. :)

How about you? Do/would you ever clean/declutter/have you even cleaned/decluttered this way?.

Edited by RoseRed135
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I like that idea. And it's (gently) part of my PLAN...I'd like to get down to just what I enjoy/want/need, which is probably one quarter of what I've got. That discovery came nearly two years ago after the kitchen was renovated. I'd moved everything out to the spare bedroom & DH's (already cluttered! office). I put everything back that I use and discovered boxes of things I had no further need or interest. The spare room looked like a hoarder had moved in, as did the office. Well, I had new windows put in those rooms so I had to clean out some of the stuff...and out it went. Still so much more to do, but I have some empty shelves in my new kitchen that will not just be crammed with stuff I'm not going to use...If I don't need it I'm not keeping it.

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No death cleaning here, but what I do is, and may I add, I don't do it as frequently or as thoroughly as I used to when my children were younger, but closets and basements storage areas are purged of old, unused, and sometimes, dated things, and all is donated to the likes of thrift shops.

I clean and purge this way each year, with some years being heavier than others, but it does add up to a more organized home with less clutter and stuff.

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The process started for me after being inspired by a member of another forum some years ago- He was into breaking projects down to tasks which in turn made daunting projects "look" doable- Then I read Marie Condo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up -- more than once- Both inspired me- Lather, rinse, repeat .. :)

Edited by Komorebi
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52 minutes ago, Komorebi said:

The process started for me after being inspired by a member of another forum some years ago- He was into breaking projects down to tasks which in turn made daunting projects "look" doable- Then I read Marie Condo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up -- more than once- Both inspired me- Lather, rinse, repeat .. :)

I'm a firm-believer in, a little at a time. :) 

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Yep, how do you eat an elephant....one bite at a time.

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The grandpup went home this morning so I can get back to my routine...he was most needy this trip, couldn't move 2 steps without him being right under my feet! Not conducive to getting things done...he's a sweet thang and I will miss him, but need to get back at it.

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1 hour ago, Mame925 said:

Yep, how do you eat an elephant....one bite at a time.

ROFLAO! :) 

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I  like this idea. My neighbor is death cleaning. She left this note on my gate two days ago; "limber, these keepsakes are for you and your daughter. I'm 92 now and giving away some things so my girls won't have so much to get rid of later". 

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I have for a couple of years now been giving to the Purple Heart as if I'm down sizing. 

I ask my GDD if she wants things 1st because I read or heard once, there is a lot of your things the CHD and GCH don't want. Your may love it, but it doesn't mean they will, or will  want.   Most things for my GS are items of his deceased Mother, and men's things, esp. Military. They are being kept . 

My Son whose wife has had him alienated from us, which he could resolve, I sent him all pictures of him and his family accept 1 or 2 I love. I down sized gifts from my DIL.

My DD who does not speak to me because we took her DD in because of them wanting her in Foster Care, the same, all pictures to her, all gifts down sized. That was hard because she did buy nice, different gifts for me..

I still go thru things because I have gotten rid of BOXES and I mean BOXES of things, and clothing. I even got my husband to down size his clothes last year YEA!!

It actually feels good to do it and you forget about what you have gotten given away after a bit , esp with my life so full of crap.

But try it, maybe a little at a time, but  feels great!!   But it's not my death cleaning , it's my Down Sizing Cleaning a little less morbid. 

 

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I'm still the middle of THE PLAN...which continues, sometimes in slow motion. It's always going to be the "how do you eat an elephant? one bite at a time" life for me. My sister was over the other day. One of our plans was for her to pick a rocking chair (I have 8...it's a passion) for her sunny family room window. My basement room had 5 of the rockers,, my quilting machine, the contents of the attic and a variety of miscellaneous stuff making it just short of a hoarder's den, but really good bones for usage. She got it in her head to plan to clean it all out so she(!) can use the quilting machine in an organized space...Now this woman has clutter issues of her own...making me laugh out loud at her directing me on how to plan the purge...Also, on an emotional level it was all very overwhelming to me, given I'm still organizing the rooms in the main part of the house. 

To that end, however, again channeling my inner Dr. Phil...the difference between a dream & a plan is a timeline....So I'm having a small dinner party February 17...It's the 2nd day of Chinese New Year, so I have invited my 6 guests and am planning the menu of homemade Chinese food. It also means I have to get the stuff that needs to go (is already boxed up) where it needs to go. I don't expect it to be perfect, but I do expect significant improvement in both my home and my attitude.

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