Lesson Learned: I first became acquainted with the Swedish term döstädning this summer when friends from Sweden mentioned it to me. Literally translated, it means death cleaning. This term generated quite a lively conversation when my friends described what the term meant. I quickly realized that the act of death cleaning was actually quite similar to our concept of downsizing.
Two days after our conversation about death cleaning, I learned, to my surprise and amazement, that Margareta Magnusson documented her own history with döstädning by writing a book entitled “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.” Thanks to another friend, who obtained a copy of the book while on vacation, I now have my own copy. Regardless of what you call the concept, the thoughtful removal of stuff that one doesn’t like, want or need yields many positive dividends. Margareta’s book, which is now a New York Times Bestseller, outlines her process, which is almost identical of the one Senior Transition Services uses.