Death Cleaning

We have all heard about the latest decluttering craze to hit us: the Kon-Mari method, but have you heard of the latest trend? Death cleaning. A slightly more morbid and less sunshine and rainbows approach to decluttering – but you just might like it.

In fact, I happen to like it a whole heck of a lot maybe because I have had to go through loved ones things after their passing and it was rough. Not just because of all the memories but because my mother was a little bit of a hoarder herself. Which meant not only was I having to go through all the stuff I had there but all the things she has kept over the years from newspapers to old bills. It was a mess and there was so much stuff that it really overwhelmed me and left me throwing things out left right and center.

I couldn’t slow down to collect the things I might have missed – there was no way to focus in the mountain of stuff. So when I saw this article about the Swedish concept of Death cleaning and was totally head over heels for the idea.

The whole idea is to declutter with the idea in your head that one day people are going to go through all of your things. To only hold on to things that those who love you would want to keep themselves, to collect and purchase with the sole question of: “who could I leave this to…” or “who do I love would appreciate this as a memory when I pass.”

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Is it a morbid concept? YES

Does that make it somehow less valid or useful than the cheery Kon Mari method? NO

Different strokes work for different folks and this way of cleaning really spoke to me. Not only on the level of someone who has had to sort through a crazy amount of stuff, but also as someone who has a bit of a hoarding issue herself. This really does make you stop and think before you purchase and it really does make you question WHY you have so many pairs of leggings!!!

One day we all will pass and one day our loved ones will go through everything either with joy or sheer overwhelming panic. I will be cleaning with the intention of not leaving my kids and family with that panic feeling. I will not leave piles of garbage to sort and memories to waste away – today is the day that I start sorting, preserving and compressing my items ladies and gentlemen.

Have you ever heard of Death Cleaning before?

1 Comment

  1. I’ve not heard of this until reading the article but I can say that I can relate. I too have had to go through a deceased loved one’s personal belongs and it was difficult because things that they cared about enough to save we not really important enough for us to keep. It’s hard to draw the line with what we keep and what we don’t. Sometimes we have to be ruthless though.

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