Swedish Death Cleaning │Margareta Magnusson

 A few months ago, I read a fantastic book about Swedish Death Cleaning, colloquially called "Dostadning" in Swedish.

I'd heard of this concept years ago but hadn't realized it is essentially minimalism. The Swedish figured out that minimalistic living is the way to live and for good reason.

Swedish Death Cleaning is kind of what it sounds like: it's about cleaning and death. 

Only, it's all good. It's really a way to truly live before death arrives. Here's a definition: Swedish death cleaning is a method of organizing and decluttering your home before you die to lessen the burden of your loved ones after you've passed. Usually older people or those battling a terminal illness partake in Swedish death cleaning.

Since beginning my minimalism quest, I've read many books on minimalism. This one is that, but it deals directly with doing minimalism as a way to alleviate the future pain that you or your family won't have to endure. This book is called The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, written by Margareta Magnusson.

I love this woman's books for many reasons. But one of the best reasons is this: her books are small. They're succinct, to the point, hilarious, and practical. Her pages aren't filled with repeated points, or unnecessary diatribes. Her chapters are organized, and simple, and she gives practical examples and advice.

The bonus? She has a wicked sense of humor.

Unlike other minimalism books, even if the goal is to prevent your family from having to deal with your stuff, this one comes right out and says it from the start. Make your life minimal before death has the chance to take you and leave the miserable task of cleaning up after you.

The point of Swedish minimalism cleaning is specifically so you won't have to deal with your trash when you're dying... nor will your family. It's a way to free yourself (and your family) from a lifetime of clutter and stuff that no one needs or will need.

Magnusson is probably in her 90s, but we're not positive. She doesn't specify that and I think that's awesome. 

If you're 21, read her book.

If you're 91, read her book. 

The Art of Aging Exuberantly book
Then, go on to read her other book, The Swedish Art of Aging Exuberantly. I read this one a few weeks ago. Just as witty and funny as the Swedish Death Cleaning book, this one is filled with more tidbits of minimalism and cleaning, as she opens up about how to live a happy and free life through aging. I loved reading through her experiences. This woman knows how to live.

Though she lives in a different country than the country I grew up in, I see the differences and take them with a grain of salt. But that grain also allows me to see how she lived through her eyes; what she loved; and what she learned through her work, children, husband, and travels.

We may be different but we're more alike than different. And I love seeing those differences.

Regardless of who we are as unique and beautiful individuals, I think we can agree that Swedish Death Cleaning has logic and reason at its core, with a simple, minimalistic, and free life as a result.

Who can argue with a wonderful life like that? I encourage you to read her books. They're funny and full of sagacious advice on living minimally with love and authenticity at the center of it all.


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