The Swedes do it. They call it death cleaning. We can do it, too.
Jura Koncius, author of the Washington Post article Americans are pack rats. Swedes have the solution: ‘Death cleaning.’, writes that the concept of decluttering before you die, a process called “dostadning,” is part of Swedish culture. It may seem morbid, but the trend is spreading:
“If your family doesn’t want your stuff when you’re alive, they sure won’t want it when you’re dead.
That’s the blunt assessment of yet another self-help author from abroad who is trying to get Americans, who have an addiction to collecting and storage units, to clean up their acts.
The latest volley in the decluttering business comes from Stockholm, where 80-ish artist Margareta Magnusson has just published a slim yet sage volume, “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.” The book will be published in the United States in January.
The concept of decluttering before you die, a process called ‘dostadning,’ is part of Swedish culture. (It comes from the Swedish words for death and cleaning.) Karin Olofsdotter, 51, the Swedish ambassador to the United States, says her mother and father, who are in their 80s, are in the midst of it back home.
‘My parents and their friends are death cleaning, and we all kind of joke about it,’ Olofsdotter says. ‘It’s almost like a biological thing to do.’ Olofsdotter says part of Swedish culture is living independently and never being a burden to anyone. How you keep your home is a statement of that.”
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