In Swedish, the word is "Döstädning" and it refers to the act of slowly and steadily decluttering as the years go by, ideally beginning in your fifties (or at any point in life) and going until the day you kick the bucket. The ultimate purpose of death cleaning is to minimize the amount of stuff, especially meaningless clutter, that you leave behind for others to deal with. Who can resist doing something called Death Cleaning anyway....
I think that a big part of this is cleaning up your life so that your family doesn't have to deal with it after your death, practical right. Magnusson says that the first secret to effective death cleaning is to speak about it always. Tell others what you're doing so they can hold you accountable.
She writes: "If you vocalise it, it will come. Or something like that." Pass on your belongings in order to spread the happy memories. The second key point is not to fear death cleaning:
"Death cleaning isn’t the story of death and its slow, ungainly inevitability. But rather the story of life, your life, the good memories and the bad. 'The good ones you keep,' Magnusson says. 'The bad you expunge.'"Finally, Magnusson encourages those engaging in Swedish death cleaning to reward their efforts with life-enhancing pleasures and activities, such as going to watch a movie, spending time in the garden, or eating an enjoyable meal. Besides, you need to enjoy yourself after purging all those belongings. I am pretty sure I would enjoy this book, but I'm not ready for it.
I have to say that personally I can't picture this happening with me, if you know me and you've seen my home you know I love all my 'things' and can't imagine life without all of these memories around me. You can pick up anything in my home and I have a story behind it... many of those stories include how I hide any of my thrift shopping from my husband.
And don't tell my husband about it... I will never hear the end of it.
link to purchase book here
link to full article on Treehugger here