The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

A charming, practical, and unsentimental approach to putting a home in order while reflecting on the tiny joys that make up a long life.In Sweden there is a kind of decluttering called döstädning, dö meaning “death” and städning meaning “cleaning.” This surprising and invigorating process of clearing out unnecessary belongings can be undertaken at any age or life stage but should be done sooner than later, before others have to do it ...

Details The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

TitleThe Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning
Release DateJan 2nd, 2018
GenreNonfiction, Self Help, Audiobook

Reviews The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

  • LK
    Right. Well, first of all, you can't make available a galley of a book on my favorite guilty-pleasure topic (decluttering), call it "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" and expect me NOT to download it. Secondly - would someone please call their band Swedish Death Cleaning? That cannot just be left on the table.
  • Kathleen
    "Funny, wise, and deeply practical..." Yes, yes, and yes! That last one may throw some people off, but if you're not discouraged by the title or thinking too deeply about mortality, this may be the right book for you. For anyone who is intrigued by the Marie Kondo method of tidying-up, but not on board with the "magic" and "life-changing" aspects, this book is probably a good fit for you if you're drawn to a more practical philosophy on why you s...
  • Sheri
    A nice reminder to occasionally pare down your possessions and discard those that no longer have value. In short, be considerate of those who will have to deal with your things once you’re gone. At least make a start so it isn’t so overwhelming for your loved ones to deal with someday. A quick and inspiring read about a seldom thought of, yet relevant topic. 3.5 stars
  • Lisa
    Other than being utterly adorable, this book doesn't offer much insight beyond "get rid of your stuff before you die." My two favorite quotes from the book:"Life will become more pleasant and comfortable if we get rid of some of the abundance.""I have gone skiing in a bikini on a wonderful, sunny winter day."
  • Vivian
    Alrighty, so not what I was looking for. This is a gentle nudge about getting your house together with basic breakdowns of clothing, furniture, knickknacks, and personal items. Unfortunately, either I have my act together or am way more neurotic that this provided nothing new for me. I routinely clear out closets and always have three piles: keep, throw, and donate. Since other members of my household tend towards hoarding I implemented a rule: B...
  • Erin
    Upon spying me talk about this book on Instagram and Facebook, my mother asked if she should be worried. I was like "Mom, take this as advanced notice that you and Dad need to declutter the basement, the two woodsheds and like your entire house. My sibling and I would really appreciate." Sibling response " Haha, yeah right, I am not helping! Isn't there a reason you were born first?" Ladies and gentlemen, all kidding aside it is for this purpose ...
  • Bonny
    I was excited when a great reading friend brought The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning to my attention. The title made me laugh, but it really does make sense. Döstädning is the Swedish word for the concept; dö is translated as death, and städning means cleaning. This can mean clearing out after a loved one has died, but it's so much more. Margareta Magnusson encourages people to downsize and begin to responsibly clear out their own thing...
  • Diane
    This is a quick and gentle read on ways to declutter your home, with the spirit of making it easier for your loved ones to deal with your possessions after you die. I was a bit anxious about reading this book, because my mother passed away two years ago and I still have a lot of her possessions that I need to sort through, but I was relieved by the author's calm and soothing tone. She tells stories of the "death cleanings" she's experienced, and ...
  • Emily
    "Save your favorite dildo--but throw away the other fifteen!" is a jarring bit of advice from this brief and rather charming book by Swedish granny who gives her age as "between eighty and one hundred years old." In it, she explains her philosophy of downsizing and giving things away to reduce the work (emotional and otherwise) of cleaning up after her death.I've never read the primary comp title for this book--The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying ...
  • Trish
    I read about this in the New York Times awhile ago and it sounded like it might be the right thing for members of my family. Margareta is a friendly guide but she can be refreshingly tart. She’s completed death cleaning three times in her life, twice for other people. She is matter-of-fact about death, the most predictable thing about our life. She allows us to see how this death cleaning can concentrate the experience of life, and can often in...
  • Tracy
    I loved this book. The gentle voice of the writer reminded me so much of my German mother in law. It was lovely and inspiring. It is funny because I disliked Marie Kondo’s book so much I really couldn’t read it at all. But this I loved. It is kind of inspiring and I feel like I need to do some death cleaning of my own.
  • Wanda
    I’ve been practicing döstädning (death cleaning) for years without knowing it. My two sisters and I were responsible for cleaning out our parents’ home 20 years ago and we were all inspired by that experience to cut down (or at least try to cut down) on our own clutter load. We’ve had varying degrees of success.Spring may arrive someday soon here in Western Canada and I needed some inspiration to get me back in the swing of things, purgin...
  • Janelle
    This book is a helpful, fun, quick read for anyone intrigued by the Kon-mari craze of "tidying up." I have watched my parents "death clean" after their parents and one of their siblings (although they did not use that term). They were overwhelmed by the tasks left to them and seemed determined not to let history repeat itself with their own belongings. Only time will tell if they succeed, however. It already seems that as each year passes, they b...
  • G.G.
    Recently one of my sisters told me that our mother had started sorting through her desk and throwing out old photos—those she could no longer recall where they’d been taken and/or who was in them. “You know, that Swedish death cleaning thing,” my sister said. Just after that conversation I happened upon Trish’s ( excellent review of Margareta Magnusson’s book and decided I needed to read it for...
  • Emma Sea
    I love Magnusson's voice in this: very unique and quirky. I'd like to be like her when I am "between 80 and 100".
  • L.A.
    More a why-to than a how-to, but definitely gentle.Readers expecting the next Marie Kondo guide will find themselves disappointed by this short, sweet little treatise on tidying up. Everyone else will be charmed by Magnusson's musings on mortality, and the pearls of wisdom that come scattered therein. Death-cleaning is a thing Swedish people do: it's very important to them not to leave a mess behind for other people to deal with. From their pov, ...
  • Dianna
    What will happen to all your stuff when you die? Will your spouse have to spend years mucking out all the junk in the house? Will your kids send it all off to a dump? Margareta Magnusson suggests a better way: take your own stuff into your own hands. Don't keep stuff you don't use anymore. Find good homes for the things you don't need. Make it easier for your family after you're gone.The author starts out by describing the cleaning she does after...
  • Edgar
    It might seem macabre to read about getting rid of excess items from your life in preparation for your death, but really - look around you. If you were to die tomorrow and your partner or child had to go through your stuff, would it be a pain in the ass for them? Would they say to themselves, “Why the hell did Dad have 2 cast iron pans?” or “Why did he keep this DVD player when he already had 2 Blu-Ray players?” Ok those are me specific. ...
  • Susan Underbrink
    A big thank you to NetGalley and Scribner for the ARC for my honest review. The name may be off putting but it is well worth the quick read that it is. I had just gotten back from a trip to Sweden and the name caught my eye. What the heck? I have been to Sweden loads of times and have never heard of curiosity aroused I requested it. I have just gone through an unwanted divorce and so am clearing and cleaning out my house. Not for the sa...
  • Annemie Van Winckel
    Pfff. Dat was even zweten de eerste hoofdstukken: traag, soft, belerend. Maar eens het ritme beet kwam er een warm gevoel boven voor deze vrouw ‘tussen 80 en 100’ die niet van plan is om snel dood te gaan maar die ruim de tijd neemt om haar geliefden veel leed te besparen. Want is opruimen wat je ouders nalieten geen vervelende klus? Ja. En ik weet het uit ervaring. Het wordt pas heilzaam en mooi als je tot de essentie van hun leven komt: de ...
  • Grandma
    I loved this. My kind of person. I've already completed most of the steps in her book. However, I still need to transfer all those photos to the USB flash drives I bought for this purpose a couple years ago. Taking this a bit further, I've written my obituary, have notes with links to buy a coffin at Costco, etc. I did the death cleaning for my mother, step-mother, father and I too don't want leave this burden to those dear to me. Thank you Marga...
  • Vicki Cline
    This is a very short and interesting book about cleaning up your stuff before you die, although we could probably all use its advice no matter where we are in life. Basically, look over stuff you no longer want and try to give it to family, friends, charities or just trash it. One unusual suggestion was to have a box where you put things you like to look at and reminisce about, perhaps, but which no one else would be interested in. Just label the...
  • Kendra
    Yes I read this old person cleaning book, don't judge me.
  • Theresa
    This short book introduces the concept of Swedish dostadning (i.e. death cleaning) as a way to organize your home at any life stage. Magnusson, who describes herself as between 80 and 100, brings a wealth of experience to this topic. While raising her family, she moved internationally a number of times with 5 children to further her husband's career. She's also cleaned out many homes after the death of loved ones and vows not leave the same onero...
  • dirt
    I'm not sure how someone could pass up a title like this. I'm pretty confident the power chords and blaring drums of Entombed (or maybe Dismember) must play in the background every time you read the title.You might expect some kind of hybrid between Marie Kondo and hygge, but it's just another get rid of stuff book with ABBA references and typically Swedish stories about sailing the coastline and skiing in swim suits. Plus advice like don't iron ...
  • Amanda
    This book is written like a grandmother telling her grandchild the important things to do as you age. It is not like the cleaning books that are very self centered about doing everything for yourself. This encourages you to not only thing about yourself but of those that are going to left behind to take care of all your items. I am not even middle aged yet and I really took a lot away from this book about how I live my life and the items that I h...
  • Anne M.
    A sweet little book with tips, memories, tales, and tiny drawings from an "older woman" on dealing with the accumulated objects and memories of your life. Good for one at any age. I will loan it to my parents.
  • Marjorie Elwood
    Imagine your eccentric great-aunt writing a book about organization/getting rid of possessions…this is it.Döstädning, Swedish for death (dö) cleaning (städning), means trying to lessen the chaos after you die to make it easier on your loved ones, who would otherwise have to go through all your possessions. It involves going through your items, remembering them, and then giving them away.Magnusson’s voice is matter-of-fact and quite conver...
  • Jim Angstadt
    The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and your Family from a Lifetime of ClutterMargareta MagnussonThis charming, easy to read book, is filled with helpful guidance that is probably one or two steps away from minimalism.The author and her family have lived in various locations around the world; she has lots of first hand experience keeping the needed, and losing the clutter.Self described as being between eighty and one h...