The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

How to Free Yourself and your Family From A Lifetime of Clutter

Book - 2018
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Funny, wise, and deeply practical, Swedish artist Margareta Magnusson offers advice on how to declutter your home and minimize your worldly possessions so your loved ones don't have to do it for you. This charming and unsentimental approach to putting your life in order - years or even decades before it becomes urgent - is infused with humor and celebrates the importance of living.
Publisher: New York, New York : Scribner, ©2018.
ISBN: 9781501173240
Characteristics: 117 pages :,illustrations ;,23 cm.

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It's amusing that there are several copies missing from the Tulsa library. Do you suppose they're lying around in piles of stuff to be sorted through someday Real Soon Now in peoples' homes? People who didn't read the book? I do.

AveryG_KCMO Apr 29, 2019

This book is more of a companion for coping with the process than a practical guide to cleaning, but her gentle frankness about death is helpful. It's a quick, manageable read that might help readers come to terms with the end of life. Orientalism popped up a few times in the book and detracted from my enjoyment of it.

j
Joanneli010
Mar 26, 2019

I loved this book. It's a realist approach to decluttering. This lady is funny, charming and smart. I loved her ideas more then Marie Kondo.

i
Indoorcamping
Jan 09, 2019

Everything you need to make your world a better place. It's Marie Kondo, but from the other end of life (looking back), and from a Swedish perspective rather than Japanese. It's sweet, it's like a grandma telling interesting stories that make you want to get up, clean up, and give things away. All while feeling like everything in the world is good, right, happy, and everyone has a good side, life is amazing, you need what you already have and you don't need what you don't, death isn't scary, and cleaning is fun.

LPL_PolliK Jan 07, 2019

If you're currently into Netflix's "Tidying Up" with Marie Kondo, you should take a look at this little book. The author makes a deeper exploration of what it means to accumulate a lifetime of items (and memories) and how to deal with our mortality (and mess) at the same time. Charming and straightforward advice from a woman "above 80".

p
pamelafrederick
Nov 21, 2018

This book was a good, quick read. While it isn't exactly eye-opening, it is enormously helpful to consider why we keep and accumulate what we do. I appreciate that she doesn't downsize for the sake of minimalism in and of its self. Oftentimes, there is an almost religious quality to minimalism books, as if you will eventually minimalize yourself into happiness. This author wants her items to serve her and not the other way around. She says she is between 80-100 years old and she seems like the sort of person who intends on living her remaining years well. You can't live well in the present or future if you are crippled by the culmination of the indecision of your past.

SPL_Sonya Oct 22, 2018

Please see Summary section for a full review of this book.

s
sneha
Sep 20, 2018

A rambling, disorganized book. Marie Kondo's book is more interesting to read and more useful for actually cleaning out your stuff.

s
sunnyfeline
Jul 31, 2018

A nice, short and simple book to read about reducing things in your home. Author Margareta gave some helpful tips such as how to start with the easiest things first and save difficult things like photographs and cards/letters to sort through later on. She said this kind of cleaning can take years to do, so it's best to start early if you can so you can make it easier on your loved ones when you pass away. It was nice to get to know Margareta a bit by the little things she shared about her life throughout the book. One thing that disturbed me was how they put down their dog, Taxes, because they were moving overseas and didn't think he could handle it plus spending months in quarantine. I understand he was an old dog with some health issues, but he still had more life left to live. Animals should never be put down unless it's absolutely necessary. They are sentient beings, not objects to be discarded (put down) when you're done with them. If your circumstances change, PLEASE rehome your pets instead of putting them down if they still have more life left to live.

ArapahoeMarla Jul 06, 2018

A truly gentle read on an inevitable topic. It will walk a person through the process of leaving your world's accumulations to your heirs in a thought out manner. Appreciation of your efforts now will replace the dread of them having to take their time to deal with all the stuff when you're gone.

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cherokeetears
Jan 31, 2018

cherokeetears thinks this title is suitable for 21 years and over

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SPL_Sonya Oct 31, 2018

In The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, the author reminds us of the common courtesy of cleaning up after ourselves. In a frank but charming and humorous manner, Margaret Magnusson encourages and guides readers to rid themselves of unnecessary possessions to enhance their own lives while not leaving a burden for their loved ones.

In addition to making life easier, she sees the practice of death cleaning as an opportunity to start a conversation with loved ones about the inevitable and to address it with ourselves.

Her methods allow for the careful and thoughtful disposal of possessions. Once completed, it frees us up to spend more time with family and friends and the activities we enjoy.

She suggests that the practice takes time and ideally shouldn’t be rushed as a result of a crisis. She recommends starting with the large items in your home and finishing with the small. She provides advice on how to sort through clothes, photographs, books, letters, kitchen things and tools. She also stresses the importance of destroying secrets which might cause your loved ones unhappiness after you are gone.

Magnusson introduces the clever concept of a "throw-away box". It is a labelled box, no bigger than a shoe box, within which we can place items which have no value to anyone else but ourselves. It can simply be thrown away once we are gone.

The wisdom in this book is not only helpful to those in their later years. It is a philosophy which can be useful at any age. In the words of the author, "Life will become more pleasant and comfortable if we get rid of the abundance."

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