Posts Tagged ‘death cleaning’

Battling My Stuff

March 6th, 2018

My life has long been equivalent to Chrome with two dozen tabs open. My response is to kick into straightening and discarding…when it interferes with the quotidian.

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson is the guide of the year. Last season’s was The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. While numerous other decluttering books, but you needn’t go beyond these two. Plus each is physically small, and the former is just over 100 pages and the latter just over 200.

If you have that puerile, emotional fear of dying, don’t pick up Death Cleaning. The author is 90 or so and accepts her mortality. The advice tells how to clean up your act so your heirs don’t have the many burdens of sorting and clearing out your crap.

As a bonus, as Magnusson learned following her long-term husband’s death, death cleaning makes downsizing and moving manageable mentally, physically and financially.

Another plus to her book is the set of Swedish terms and their underlying concepts. For one example, she set up a “fulskåp — an ‘ugly cabinet’ used to display, for reasons of diplomacy, all the unloved gifts you receive.” Stuff you feel you can’t toss or re-gift…yet, but too hideous to use.

On the other hand, Kondo is very type A (can you be type AA or AAA?). Her guide is overly detailed in many areas, like how to sort and store your clothes. She seems to have control issues. Then again, she does organizing for others professionally. She’s good enough to get paid for controlling.

I think you can get what you need out of Death Cleaning alone. Even if you expect to live another 40 or 50 years, the piece of mind and efficiency of her methods read like great habit and mindset.

If you really need someone to boss you around, in micromanagement, look to Tidying Up.