Margareta Magnusson con El arte sueco de ordenar antes de morir
Funny, wise, and deeply practical, Swedish artist Margareta Magnusson offers advice on how to declutter your home and minimize your worldly possessions so your loved ones don’t have to do it for you.
In Swedish there is a word for it: Döstädning, “dö” means “death” and “städning” means “cleaning.” The idea behind death cleaning is to remove unnecessary things and get your home in order as you become older. But this word also can be applied whenever you do a thorough cleaning, to make your life easier and more pleasant. It does not necessarily have to do with age or death. If you can hardly close your drawers or shut your closet doors, it is time to do something about your stuff.
Margareta Magnusson death cleaned after the passing of her parents, then her in-laws, then her husband, and she happily downsized from a five-bedroom house on the West Coast of Sweden to a two-room apartment in the city. From the attic to the basement, kitchen to the bedroom, Margareta tackles the whole house in The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning and suggests what you can get rid of (unworn clothes, unwanted presents, more plates than you’d ever use) and what you might want to keep (photographs, love letters, a few of your children’s art projects). Digging into her late husband’s tool shed, and her own secret drawer of vices, Margareta brings humor and an element of fun to this potentially daunting task. Along the way readers get a glimpse into her life in Sweden, and also become more comfortable with the idea that “you can’t take it with you.”
A practical book based on personal experience, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, like Marie Kondo’s bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, makes the process uplifting rather than overwhelming. This charming and unsentimental approach to putting your life in order—years or even decades before it becomes urgent—is infused with humor and celebrates the importance of living.