What is Swedish Death Cleaning?
Swedish death cleaning (or "döstädning" in Swedish) is a Scandinavian way of routinely organizing your life and decluttering your belongings with the intention of only keeping what you need and value most so that your loved ones never have to deal with the excess when you pass away.
This practice has been a tradition in Scandinavian cultures for a long time, but the idea became popular worldwide recently with the publication of the 2017 book Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by author Margareta Magnussen.
Though the process has us consider our mortality, the focus isn’t just death – it’s also really about keeping your priorities clear and arranging your life in a way that centers what you value most now.
This blog will dig into how Swedish Death Cleaning can bring more peace and purpose, while improving your physical spaces and emotional wellbeing.
Why Swedish Death Cleaning?1. This process helps you to declutter and organize your life with a real intention behind it. This makes it a more positive experience, while reducing stress and making space to appreciate the items we have around us daily.
2. It helps us to focus on what truly matters most by requiring reflection. This can also be great for our emotional wellbeing as it clarifies what we value most in life and why.
3. Emotional wellbeing is also promoted through this process as it enables us to have conversations with loved ones while we are still here about our memories and what we value. This can provide a deeper understanding in relationships.
4. Organizing and decluttering takes the burden off of loved ones in the event of our death.
5. It can help us wrap our minds around the inevitability of our own mortality and to embrace life and live more presently right now.
How Do You Practice Swedish Death Cleaning?
1. Look at your current personal possessions and categorize them based on their usefulness or importance to you. Ask yourself, does this item get used a lot or truly hold some significance? Is it adding to your life in some way or just taking up space? Could someone else use or appreciate this item more than I can?
2. Let go of what you don’t need in a positive way. Hold space and have gratitude for an item and the purpose it once served, while acknowledging that it may no longer be needed physically in your life any longer.
3. Give your items that you’ve decided you no longer need either to loved ones or donate them so that they can be used and appreciated by someone else.
Getting Started With Swedish Death Cleaning
The mindful practice of Swedish Death Cleaning isn’t just something to consider towards the end of your life, but a tradition you can incorporate on a yearly basis at any age to stay organized and clear on what matters most to you.
If you’re ready to get started, but the process still sounds overwhelming in terms of where to actually get started, don’t worry. Starting with your paperwork first can be a great entry into the practice throughout the rest of your life.
The Nokbox is the perfect Swedish Death Cleaning tool, specifically for your essential life information and important documents. Each Nokbox comes with prelabeled folders with thorough checklists and instructions that cover 15 core life categories to the make the process straightforward.
As you work through each category in your Nokbox and fill out the forms, you can then move to the physical items associated with each category to practice Swedish Death Cleaning throughout the rest of your life.