The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family of a Lifetime of Clutter is a simple guide to cleaning house and ensuring your family does not inherit a house of clutter, junk and memories to sort through after death. It is a simple, quick read with reminders and suggestions to tame the stuff of everyday lives.
Margareta Magnusson describes herself as being between eighty and one hundred years old. I picture her as a spry octogenarian who has kept current with technology. She described getting help to organize her computer and recommended organizing pictures on a USB key which might not be common for her age demographic. She shares her experiences cleaning the homes of loved ones after they passed and her own experience downsizing her own things.
The ideas in her book are simple, de-cluttering, considering purchases and organizing. It makes a reader consider the possessions that are important to us, those that we would want to give to others, those that might end up in the dump and those that might be embarrassing when found! I joke with my kids that I don’t want to see my signed book collection ending up in a big garage sale!
This book reminds me of the monumental task that Plum Johnson had as she described her experience clearing her family home in They Left Us Everything. It also makes me consider the story of Stone Diaries and how Daisy’s life in a long-term care home was reduced to a drawer with a few items once the family home is sold, the children have grown up and spouses are deceased. The three books make one consider their possessions and focus on what is truly important.
This is a quick read and one that I would recommend borrowing from the library. The ideas are simple and common sense so it is more of an inspiration to get more organized and get rid of clutter.