Another Trend?

Trends come and go. They get us excited. They can cost us money. They illustrate to others that we are "on point." They also aren't for everyone.

The trend in organizing in the last couple of years has been minimalism. And if minimalism is your thing, you might want to consider Swedish Death Cleaning.

Sound kind of morbid? Well, that's one way to look at it. Swedish Death Cleaning is about two things...getting rid of your excess to live a more pleasant life, and getting rid of your excess so as not to burden your surviving loved ones after you pass.

In her book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Make Your Loved Ones' Lives Easier and Your Own Life More Pleasant, author Margareta Magnusson talks about her journey of ridding her parents' home (and her in-laws') of belongings after they passed. In Swedish, the exercise is döstädning — a combination of the word “dö” (which means death) and “standing” (which means cleaning), she explains in the book.

Along the way, Magnusson talks about the burden excess belongings have on our psyche, calling them distractions which prohibit us from living a better life. This is a topic touched on by many organizing experts, and it really is true.

One other piece of Swedish Death Cleaning is involving others. It starts with telling people of your plan to declutter, which is a great way to hold yourself accountable. Additionally, it begins a conversation about your wishes for certain belongings to be passed along to specific people, and that conversation isn't always an easy one to begin. And finally, it is helpful for others in that you will be gathering and storing important documents and passwords so they are readily located after your death.

There are other small tips and tricks shared throughout the book, but none that haven't been shared before in many of the other organizing trends and books I have reviewed. For that reason, I'd target the audience of this particular trend as those of the age of 65 or older. That's not to say that there isn't value in following the suggestions in your life now, no matter what your age, but the focus here is really on managing the items of your "estate" so they aren't a burden to those who will have to deal with it.

I'll be taking the next two weeks to refresh and renew, and will not be blogging. I will be available by phone or email, however, so if you need help with your belongings, please let me know.

Enjoy your week.