“Death cleaning,” or dostadning in Swedish, is literally just that. It’s cleaning up your home so that your loved ones won’t have to do it before you die.
However, you don’t necessarily need to be at death’s door if you want to do some death cleaning. All it takes is knowing the underlying philosophy that makes death cleaning an effective form of cleaning.
It’s about getting rid of unnecessary things
According to Swedish artist Margareta Magnusson, author of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, the task can give you a lot of benefits that you’ll reap while you’re still alive.
She shares, “Generally people have too many things in their homes, I think it’s a good thing to get rid of things you don’t need.”
She adds that she always did it “because I want to have it nice around me, keep some order.”
“Don’t collect things you don’t want,” she shares. “One day when you’re not around anymore, your family would have to take care of all that stuff, and I don’t think that’s fair.”
Give away the things you don’t need
The key to death cleaning, Magnusson shares, is to keep the things that you love and get rid of the things that you don’t. She advocates giving the things you don’t want to your family and friends as gifts instead of simply throwing them away.
When it comes to old letters, photographs, and other sentimental objects, she recommends keeping those things in a “throw-away” box, which is a box that her family can throw away once she passes without worrying that it might contain some important documents.
Death cleaning isn’t just a way to prepare for your death, it can also be a good way for you to start getting more organized, especially if you’re facing a big change in your life, such as if you’re having a child, moving to a new home, or planning on starting your family.
Cleaning has a lot of benefits
In addition to getting your home organized, doing some cleaning can also help lower your stress levels. Getting your house in order can also give you some peace of mind, knowing that you’ve made your home more livable and better for your family.
Clutter decreases your productivity, and almost everyone knows how overwhelming it feels to suddenly notice a lot of clutter in your own home. That’s why it’s important to make cleaning and organizing an ongoing process in your home. Make cleaning and decluttering a habit, and you’ll see your house slowly becoming more organized each day.
Cleaning is also something important that you’ll need to teach your children since once they’re all grown up and have houses of their own, they should be capable of managing their households and making sure that everything’s in order.
READ: 7 Tips to make cleaning your home less of a hassle