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The Gentle Art of Swedish Death (what?!) Cleaning: A Book Review

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning is a book that everyone should read. You read that correctly - EVERYONE. This book would benefit seniors, family members of seniors and friends regardless of age. The title may seem a little callous. Death is a hard subject for many people. Especially the idea of preparing for death. Margareta Magnusson does a great job bringing lightness to a subject that most people avoid.

She explains that “Death Cleaning” is “a term that means that you remove unnecessary things and make your home nice and orderly when you think the time is coming closer for you to leave the planet.” This can happen when you are 50 and your children have just left the nest or when you are 75 and downsizing to a smaller home that is more manageable. The point is: it’s never too early! You don’t have to wait until you fall ill to start to declutter your life.

The act of waiting to part with an item in your home because you think that someday someone will want it is the most common practice that we know. Everyone thinks that their family or friends will want their stuff eventually. This essentially makes their home a storage facility. Magnusson plays the “tough love” card on this topic. Sometimes, there should be no beating around the bush. She explains that if your family or friends want an item of yours, they would take it from you ASAP. If that item lingers in your home for months or even years, they’ve lost their chance and they probably only said they wanted it originally to avoid hurting your feelings.

Magnusson discusses her methods on Death Cleaning with humor and wisdom. She’s a straight to the point kind of gal. After reading The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, you will have learned how to start your decluttering journey, which resources to use in your community, how to navigate difficult conversations with your family members and last but definitely not least, how to make the whole process enjoyable and uplifting.

The general method in this book is just that: general. Magnusson explains that a set order of execution in “Death Cleaning” your house will never work for everyone. All people are different and what is difficult for some, is easy for others. She suggests that you “choose a category that you believe is easy for you to handle. An easy category is one with many items to choose from and without too much sentimental connection.” By choosing a group of items like this, you are guaranteed success. You’ll rid yourself of many items clogging up your home and at the same time, you’ll motivate yourself to continue.

Continuing education is important to the Brogley’s team. We are constantly looking to expand our knowledge in regards to helping our clients with their transitions. This means that we read a lot of books! This particular one was found to be outrageously helpful. It’s informational in a way that molds to each person’s specific needs. Magnusson makes a daunting task (or long list of daunting tasks) seem totally attainable. She is motivating and delivers the facts that need to be heard in a compassionate and kind way. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, a family member of a senior, or need some help to pave the way for a senior move management company like Brogley’s, check this book out! Find the link to order below.

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