The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Make Your Loved Ones’ Lives Easier and Your Own Life More Pleasant

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Make Your Loved Ones’ Lives Easier and Your Own Life More Pleasant Review

Funny, wise, and deeply practical, Swedish artist Margareta Magnusson offers advice on how to declutter your home and minimize your worldly possessions so your loved ones don’t have to do it for you.

In Swedish there is a word for it: Döstädning, “dö” means “death” and “städning” means “cleaning.” The idea behind death cleaning is to remove unnecessary things and get your home in order as you become older. But this word also can be applied whenever you do a thorough cleaning, to make your life easier and more pleasant. It does not necessarily have to do with age or death. If you can hardly close your drawers or shut your closet doors, it is time to do something about your stuff.

Margareta Magnusson death cleaned after the passing of her parents, then her in-laws, then her husband, and she happily downsized from a five-bedroom house on the West Coast of Sweden to a two-room apartment in the city. From the attic to the basement, kitchen to the bedroom, Margareta tackles the whole house in The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning and suggests what you can get rid of (unworn clothes, unwanted presents, more plates than you’d ever use) and what 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 brings humor and an element of fun to this potentially daunting task. Along the way readers get a glimpse into her life in Sweden, and also become more comfortable with the idea that “you can’t take it with you.”

A practical book based on personal experience, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, like Marie Kondo’s bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, makes the process uplifting rather than overwhelming. This charming and unsentimental approach to putting your life in order—years or even decades before it becomes urgent—is infused with humor and celebrates the importance of living.

Title:The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Make Your Loved Ones’ Lives Easier and Your Own Life More Pleasant
Edition Language:English

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • LK

    Right. Well, first of all, you can't make available a galley of a book on my favorite guilty-pleasure topic (decluttering), call it "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" and expect me NOT to down...

  • Kathleen

    "Funny, wise, and deeply practical..." Yes, yes, and yes! That last one may throw some people off, but if you're not discouraged by the title or thinking too deeply about mortality, this may be the ri...

  • Vivian

    Alrighty, so not what I was looking for. This is a gentle nudge about getting your house together with basic breakdowns of clothing, furniture, knickknacks, and personal items. Unfortunately, either I...

  • Sheri

    A nice reminder to occasionally pare down your possessions and discard those that no longer have value. In short, be considerate of those who will have to deal with your things once you’re gone. At ...

  • Lisa

    Other than being utterly adorable, this book doesn't offer much insight beyond "get rid of your stuff before you die." My two favorite quotes from the book:"Life will become more pleasant and comforta...

  • Bonny

    I was excited when a great reading friend brought The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning to my attention. The title made me laugh, but it really does make sense. Döstädning is the Swedish word for...

  • Emily

    "Save your favorite dildo--but throw away the other fifteen!" is a jarring bit of advice from this brief and rather charming book by Swedish granny who gives her age as "between eighty and one hundred...

  • Alex ? Deranged KittyCat ?

    I thought this would be something like Marie Kondō's throw away everything style, but I'm not ready yet for death cleaning. Maybe some other time. *shrug*...

  • Tracy

    I loved this book. The gentle voice of the writer reminded me so much of my German mother in law. It was lovely and inspiring. It is funny because I disliked Marie Kondo’s book so much I really coul...

  • Janelle

    This book is a helpful, fun, quick read for anyone intrigued by the Kon-mari craze of "tidying up." I have watched my parents "death clean" after their parents and one of their siblings (although they...