Next Decluttering Practice: Swedish Death Cleaning

While people around the world embrace Marie Kondo’s method of what sparks joy to declutter, those into their 50s and beyond are practicing the Swedish Death Cleaning method (SDC) or döstädning. In Swedish, dö is “death” and städning is “cleaning.”

Sounds downright scary doesn’t it? I mean it has the word “death” in it.

The SDC philosophy is all about editing out unnecessary objects and clutter in your home over time to be left with only what’s useful or a good memory. You slowly edit out items before your children or loved ones have to do it for you after you’ve died.

It’s the ultimate plan to be organized, but after death.

Although SDC advocates say clean it up now, it is really a philosophy of living.

It can start anytime, ideally in your 50s, beginning with small steps that involves organizing and purging out stuff daily, getting down to a minimum, and leaving behind a decluttered home.

While people have been scrutinizing their relationship with stuff lately, this method has been around for about two years, practiced by an aging generation.

From their 20s to 60s, the Baby Boomer Generation made good salaries, bought inexpensive homes, cars, and spent their wealth during the extravagant 1980s. All this stuff now packs their homes.

And many of those born in the 1940s, brought up in wartime, know what it is to lack. Therefore, many keep things that may come in handy. This can get out of control.

I’m generalizing here, but through either experience described above, many Baby Boomers have become collectors. They have stuff. And they expect their offspring will want it when they are gone.

Not so fast.

Their children are Generation Xers, and they have enough stuff. Excellent consumers, they can buy lots with cheap manufacturing, and as a result, have tons of clothes, furniture, and electronics. And now with online shopping, it’s even easier to make our consumerism easier, faster, and more efficient.

They are collectors too. But also discarders.

Gen Xers get rid of their stuff in search of getting a better, updated, newer version.

Bottom line is most likely, Gen Xers won’t want all your stuff.

Not that everything has to go. The SDC minimalist lifestyle still means you keep items that may have sentimental value to you or relatives. The point is that whatever’s left is not a burden on the family someday. Or you.

That gives SDC followers time to travel, watch movies, go to the theatre, or create elaborate meals. This is how priorities shift, when you spend less time shopping, collecting, and taking care of what you own.

When you think about it, Swedish Death Cleaning gives you more time to enjoy life. I like that.