In Sweden there is a kind of decluttering called dostadning, do – meaning “death” and stadning – meaning “cleaning”. This surprisingly invigorating process of clearing out unnecessary belongings can be undertaken at any age or life stage but should be done sooner rather than later, before others have to do it for you. In “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” artist Margareta Magnusson, with Scandinavian humor and wisdom, instructs readers to embrace minimalism. Her radical and joyous method helps families broach sensitive conversations and makes the process uplifting instead of overwhelming.
Margareta suggests which possessions you can easily get rid of (unworn clothing, unwanted presents, more plates than you’d ever use) and which you’d 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 introduces an element of fun to a potentially daunting task. Along the way readers get a glimpse into her life in Sweden and also become more comfortable with the idea of letting go.