Americans are pack rats – we have too much stuff and we refuse to get rid of it. When we die, our loved ones are left to deal with our junk. Some people simply can’t stomach the thought of getting rid of their stuff (i.e. hoarders), while others actually believe their loved ones will want their stuff (i.e. delusional). If your family doesn’t want your stuff when you’re alive, they certainly won’t want it after your death. A recent Washington Post article (Americans are pack rats. Swedes have a solution: ‘Death Cleaning’), focuses on a decluttering process the Swedes call “dostadning” – which comes from the Swedish words for death and cleaning. The main emphasis is to take responsibility for your stuff and don’t leave it as a burden for your loved ones.
Swedish author, Margareta Magnusson, suggests age 65 is a good time to begin death cleaning. Her book to be published in January- “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” hopefully will help motivate Americans to stop leaving their junk behind.