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Swedish Death Cleaning

No, it's not an extreme sport, though it kind of sounds like one.

Swedish Death Cleaning is a term coined by Margareta Magnussson in her book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family From a Lifetime of Clutter, released in 2018,

In Swedish the word is döstädning, a combination of "death" (dö) and "cleaning" (städning). Although it sounds morbid, the principle is rooted in the love we have for those we leave behind, and the desire to ease their burden after we pass. For any of you who have had the task of going through a loved ones possessions after they've died, especially while you're grieving, you'll appreciate the care behind this practice. For the person engaging in döstädning, it is also a way to relive memories and reflect on life lived thus far.

The concept of acting out of love and concern for others is beautiful, and often highly motivating.

My question, though, is why not do this for ourselves? We'll often give ourselves permission to do something for others that we won't do for ourselves. As a pale example, when was the last time you bought yourself flowers to brighten your day?

So, why not give ourselves some love and concern, and gift ourselves a living space free from the anchor of the past? As spring approaches with its promise of renewal, it's an excellent time to release ourselves from the drag of stuff. Give yourself permission to pass on items that no longer serve you, but could bring others joy, help or peace.

Relive the memories, remind yourself of past joys, then permit yourself to realize that life is about moving forward.

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