What is Swedish Death Cleaning?
A Swedish death cleaning guide to eliminating clutter is essentially a permanent form of organising and decluttering your home. Rather than cleaning for yourself, you’re helping family and friends from having to determine what to do with your belongings after you pass away. While this method sounds incredibly morbid, it’s an effective way to remove clutter that mounts up on a day to day basis.
In Swedish, döstädning (pronounced dur-sted-ning) is the name given to the exercise of freeing your life from uncomfortable mess. Magnusson writes that the process of Swedish death cleaning is more than simply dusting or mopping. It’s about enjoying life more by organising your belongings to make things run smoothly. You sort through your possessions to determine their worth and how much they mean to you. By doing this, you’ll start to come to terms with your own mortality and how nothing lasts forever.
So, how do you begin to follow the process of Swedish death cleaning? Let’s find out.
Swedish Death Cleaning Steps
Follow these Swedish death cleaning steps to start decluttering and organising your belongings.
1. Don’t feel the need to do things all at once
Swedish death cleaning is a gentle process that’s meant to be executed over a long period of time. You can start to chip away at decluttering and regularly come back to it to keep your life in order. By continually organising, you’ll avoid mess and clutter in your home, helping you to live a simpler and more meaningful life.
2. Start with your stored belongings
Your stored belongings may be easier to part with as you’re not using them on a daily basis. Begin by going through your things that are stored in your loft, basement or storage facility. As you look at each item, determine if it’s something that you really need to keep. For example, a family heirloom tends to be much more sentimental than your regular pots and pans. If it’s an item that holds no value to you, consider throwing it away or donating it to charity.
3. Throw away any embarrassing items
Discard any items that could cause embarrassment or upset. Magnusson suggests throwing away things that could upset your family members or cause them pain. If you have important items relating to your family, you could put them in a sealed box with a note to throw the box away after your passing.
4. Leave notes on your belongings
If you have ideas of where you want your belongings to go after you pass away, you can leave notes on them to instruct family members. Maybe you have some clothes you wish to donate or items that you wish to be given to specific people. Whatever your intentions may be, attaching a note to each item will help with the decluttering process.
5. Sort through photographs and journals last
If you have any important photographs, journals or love letters, leave these until last. Sorting through belongings with sentimental value can be distracting, preventing you from completing the organisation process. Leaving these until the end is an effective way to continue taking action.
6. Inform your loved ones
If you’re planning on participating in the Swedish death cleaning method, let your family members and friends know. They may want to help you with the process, making it easier on your emotions. Additionally, they’ll know that you have specific intentions with your belongings after you die. Here is our step-by-step guide on what to do when someone dies at home.
7. Take notes of passwords and documents
If you tend to keep digital records, keep a notebook with your passwords and documents. Whether it’s financial or household documents, collecting your passwords will help family members gain access to them.
8. Gift your belongings
You can start to gift your belongings as you sort through your clutter. Be intentional and contemplate gifting items to people that will treat them with the same thought and care as you do.
Free Yourself and Your Family from A Lifetime of Clutter with Perfect Clean
Now you know the answer to ‘what is Swedish death cleaning?’ you can begin to clear your home from unnecessary clutter. Need assistance to help make your life run more smoothly? Our expert team is on hand to help. We professionally clean properties in Scotland and the North of England restoring them to safe and sanitary conditions in the event of death or a hoarding situation. Contact us now to discuss.