What We Should Know About Swedish Death Cleaning

Nowadays, there are already many different tips and styles of cleaning and decluttering your areas. There is the KonMari Method and some other methods like the Four Box Method, Minimalist Game, and many more. Currently, there is another new method of cleaning and decluttering, and it is making its way to the hearts of the people. This method is called Swedish Death Cleaning. But what does this new cleaning style mean, and how do you do it? In this article, you will know more about Swedish death cleaning. 


Popularly known as “döstädning” in Swedish, the Swedish Death Cleaning is a new cleaning and decluttering method introduced to us by Margareta Magnusson, a Swedish author, and an artist. She proposed this cleaning method after the death of her parents and her husband. Magnusson was trying to figure out what to do with her family’s possessions, so she came up with this idea of döstädning. Döstädning is a Swedish word that means “death cleaning.” Magnusson designed this cleaning approach as an easy way for children not to be overburdened by the belongings of their old folks after they pass away. It can sound morbid, but it is a bright idea. Practicing the Swedish Death Cleaning does not mean getting rid of all your prized possessions. It is all about slowly simplifying your things and your life until what’s left are the things that make you happy. Swedish Death Cleaning is a permanent type of organization that will help you live your life smoothly. 


numerous mugs in different colors, pile of plates, wooden shelf

1. Identify things that you want to keep. 

Most of us are fond of holding on to things as souvenirs. We like keeping certain items that could remind us of our fun trips in other countries, memorable experiences with our family, anything that we want to cherish forever in our hearts. However, we honestly do not need to keep many souvenirs from a particular place. One item will do. Check your kitchen cabinets. Are you sure you need all the glasses and plates you bought from your trip to China? Chances are you don’t. So, try getting rid of some of your things, and you’ll be able to do one step of the Swedish Death Cleaning. 

2. Take note of your important files and documents. 

One important note when practicing the Swedish Death Cleaning method is to involve other people. It is nice to share your plans and wishes after you pass to your family. You can take note of your important documents and gather them together. It is difficult to find private information after your death. So, keep a record containing your passwords and relevant information for any financial associations and other institutions. 

3. Start giving your things away.

Get rid of clothes that you no longer use and items that do not fit you anymore. Give them to your friends or family members that would like to have those items. Instead of buying them gifts at the mall, hand them the things you own that they admire. Undoubtedly, they will gladly accept them. Now, you can start cluttering, plus you also made your friend happy. 

4. Will they be happier if I save this?

It is an essential question you must ask yourself before getting rid of your things. Will they be happier if you save these items? If yes, keep all those things inside a box or a drawer. Ensure that the items you keep are relevant not only in your life but also in your family’s life. Items like these will help them remember you and reminisce all your happy memories after your passing. 

5. Make your cleaning habit last. 

The Swedish Death Cleaning approach is a slow process. It is never easy. It takes a person almost two months to adopt a new habit. Remember that when you try this cleaning and decluttering approach, it would always take time. It is an ongoing process, so you must stay dedicated to doing it. Take note that it is not just cleaning, but it is a change in your lifestyle. When you reach a milestone, it is essential to reward yourself. However, do not buy yourself some things that would add to the clutter in your home. Instead, you can treat yourself to your favorite meal, a mani-pedi in your favorite salon, or a nice movie night. 

6. Swedish Death Cleaning is therapeutic. 

Death cleaning is not all about dying. It’s all about remembering your life before and only keeping what’s relevant. As you declutter your possessions, you will relieve some of your experiences and memories, see how blessed you are, and keep your majestic possessions in life.