I just finished The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson. The author describes herself as being “between eighty and a hundred years old,” and she has a very practical and sustainable approach to maintaining the possessions we own. I went into this book expecting it to be sad, but it takes a very positive attitude about being responsible for what you leave behind.
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with or endorsed by the publisher or author, and am receiving no compensation for writing this article. The opinions expressed here are my own.
Swedish Death Cleaning
This Swedish death cleaning book uses personal experiences of the author. She has taken care of the possessions of her loved ones who have passed away. She talks about how her mother did a lot of her own death cleaning. Her mother left notes pinned onto clothing about where it should go and who would be expecting the items. This removed the mental burden from her family during that difficult time. Everything had already been decided with clear instructions.
Minimalism at Any Age
Her perspective was fresh and in direct contrast to a lot of the materialistic culture. While the minimalist movement has become more prevalent, it is typically represented by younger voices. Margareta’s perspective about letting go of items that are no longer serving you and will later create a burden for your loved ones gives insight and shows kindness.
The Hungry Shredder
I loved Margareta’s personification of her “hungry shredder.” She talked about her shredder as though it was a dear friend and helper. I got the sense that she finds satisfaction in watching it tear up old papers she no longer needs. Its appearance in various chapters of the book brought a light sense of humor that I enjoyed.
Internet and Technology at 80+
I also loved the way she described technology as something that brings a lot of opportunity into her life. She seems to truly embrace all that life has to offer, even when her opinions may be unpopular among her peers.
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning
I enjoyed this read. It was light, full of wisdom and humor, and I think the perspective could be beneficial to many readers. I recommend that you check out a copy for yourself.
Looking for another great self-help book? Check out Essentialism.