The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

What will happen to all your stuff when you die? Will your spouse have to spend years mucking out all the junk in the house? Will your kids send it all off to a dump? 

Margareta Magnusson suggests a better way in her new book (coming in January 2018) The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: take your own stuff into your own hands. Don't keep stuff you don't use anymore. Find good homes for the things you don't need. Make it easier for your family after you're gone.

The author starts out by describing the cleaning she does after loved ones' deaths, and then outlines what she has done to make it easier on her family one day. If you've read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, this book is another, more practical, take on the same idea. 

I'm not planning on dying for quite some time, but what Magnusson says still makes sense. Keep your life in order. Write down your passwords. Make a will. Pare down your belongings as your life phases change. Preserve the memories you want to pass on, and destroy the ones you don't. Not just because you'll die one day, but because you'll have a better life meanwhile if you keep things in order and you aren't drowning in excess objects.


  1. I already told my cousin Mercedes that she's getting my car. My daughter is getting the hard drive with my book. As for me, when my parents are gone, I'm hitting up the antique dealers for sure.

  2. I'm a pack rat in my deepest heart, and I must fight constantly to beat that pack rat away and embrace simplicity.

  3. I have to get this for my mother. She lives with me and was born in Sweden as was my father. She is a junk collector clutter bug.