The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta MagnussonThe Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of…

byMargareta Magnusson

Paper over Board | January 2, 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 döstädning, meaning “death” and städning 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.
Margareta Magnusson is a Swedish author, based in Stockholm, but has lived all over the world. She is a graduate of Beckman College of Design. Her work has been exhibited in galleries from Hong Kong to Singapore. Her debut book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, has become a 2018 New York Times Bestseller.
Title:The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of…Format:Paper over BoardProduct dimensions:128 pages, 8.38 × 5.5 × 0.5 inShipping dimensions:8.38 × 5.5 × 0.5 inPublished:January 2, 2018Publisher:ScribnerLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1501173243

ISBN - 13:9781501173240


Rated 2 out of 5 by from Quick read, mostly filler The title of this one intrigued me but may have been better as a magazine article or blog post. The practical advice could be summed up in 3-4 sentences and the rest was filler - personal anecdotes where the author tried too hard to be funny or was completely unrelatable to the average person (the author seems to come from a life of privilege that is not the reality of many seniors today) A quick read if you need some arguments for "why" dealing with the stuff we accumulate is important, perhaps as conversation starter with family, but don't expect much that is helpful in the 'how'.
Date published: 2018-08-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good 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.
Date published: 2018-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from awesome sauce so incredibly well written, my gosh, how do they write so many words! really recommend
Date published: 2018-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not your average decluttering book "Do not ever imagine that anyone will wish--or be able--to schedule time off to take care of what you didn't bother to take care of yourself. No matter how much they love you: don't leave this burden to them." Döstädning is the Swedish word for the concept of "Death Cleaning", the idea that one should work towards downsizing/getting rid of clutter as they get older so as not to burden relatives and others who are left to clear out their homes after they die, . A friend of mine recently bought it, and I was flipping through it after coffee. It's a gentle nudge towards thinking about the what if any value your "things" bring to your life, the likelihood of them being used again in the foreseeable future, and taking care of things yourself, while you are able. It reminds me a documentary I watched some years ago, about an adult son's struggles to death the aftermath of his hoarder mother's death. (Funny enough, I think they were Swedish). It was about the burden (emotional and financial), frustration and ensuing guilt he felt about the anger at his mother. I wish I could remember the title. Regardless, this is a light-heated and helpful book. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2018-01-24

Editorial Reviews

“I realize that Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is all the rage, but I far prefer the charming, empathetic technique of Margareta Magnusson, whose book is a game-changer. I highly recommend it for anyone wrestling with a lifetime of wonderful — and not so wonderful — stuff.”
Amy Dickinson, “Ask Amy”