Decluttering

Swedish Death Cleaning

Swedish Death Cleaning: A Savvy Celebration of Life (Really!)

Swedish Death Cleaning Clears Space for a satisfying Second Half in Life!

Swedish Death Cleaning, or “Döstädning”,  has rapidly garnered interest all over the world! Yet it’s not a new Swedish phenomenon. And despite the ominous sounding name, it is not about cleaning or dusting after someone has died! 

Instead, it refers to a national steadfast approach of streamlining your own stuff when you reach the second half of your life. After all, what will become of the possessions we have accumulated over our lifetime? Who will deal with all our stuff?

So is it a movement that makes sense for us? Margareta Magnusson, renowned author of “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” thinks so! And what a gem of an author, who described herself as “somewhere between 80 and 100 years of age!”

To be clear, it is actually considered to be a joyful process! You retain things embedded with the best memories and release items associated with negative experiences. You sort through, making decisions with what stays and what goes. 

Today's post shares the 3 Swedish Death Cleaning steps Margareta recommends to enhance this popular process. 

the gentle art of Swedish death cleaning
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1. Announce Your Decluttering Intentions

Declaring your Swedish Death Cleaning plan creates accountability for you to follow through!

Just like boldly stating a New Year’s resolution to shed a few pounds, share your plans to begin your döstädning process. This alllows your family and friends to support you along the way.

And as you progress, your everyday life feels smoother and more efficient. This will also provide momentum to keep going strong.

Moreover, the resulting byproduct of a simpler and better organized life is not reserved for just those over 50. Folks of all ages are encouraged to adopt this decluttering practice!

After all, the sooner you take stock of what you’ve accumulated, the quicker you hone in on what matters now.

what is Swedish death cleaning
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2. Embrace Your Swedish Death Cleaning Phase

Understand that this is a slow, deliberate process.

It’s not a marathon! It should not be rushed.

In truth, the Swedish Death Cleaning process is really a revisiting of your life. You are examining what gave joy and what caused sorrow; what is meaningful and what is no longer relevant.

By taking your time while examining your possessions, you honor your past. You reflect on what has shaped you thus far. And you begin to formulate where you want to go in the future.

In a way, you can think about Swedish Death Cleaning as an ongoing personal retreat with therapeutic benefits!

Swedish death cleaning book
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3. Reward Yourself Frequently

Because this is not a race, your Swedish Death Cleaning sessions should be reasonably short.

Therefore, allot a specific amount of time. Focus on a particular small area, such as a drawer or a closet. Then immediately follow your session with a favorite activity. For example, every 60 minute clearing session might be followed with 30 minutes of reading or walking.

Ultimately, the point is to remain upbeat and energized after your sorting sessions. After all, you’re still in your prime years when you start the process. There is time to rewrite your narrative if you so decide.

In other words, you can change your direction! 

You can be more in control than ever with the legacy you leave to your loved ones. How empowering is that?!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This Post Shared 3 Swedish Death Cleaning Aspects Which Clear the Way to Your Next Life Chapter!

Your turn!

  • Have you started examining your own possessions?
  • What do you want to happen with your stuff when you’re gone?

Share your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!

decluttering your house

Decluttering Your House Demands Fearlessly Facing 3 Constant Challenges

Most would agree that decluttering your house is an activity we can all add to our to-do list. Who doesn’t have more than they need or use. Gosh, we can all readily point out lots of those extra things in our own homes!

But if you’re having a hard time with actually following through, why does it feel difficult? What’s holding you back?

Today I’m exploring 3 common reasons why we accumulate too much: family legacy, storage capacity, and consumerism.

These challenges are roadblocks to releasing stuff that doesn’t need to stay any more. Understanding when they are at play is the first step in the decluttering process. Then we can learn how to overcome them and begin streamlining our homes. 

Are you ready to create serene space and retain just your favorites? Read on!

This post reveals 3 roadblocks to conquer when decluttering your house!

how to declutter your house
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Challenge #1: Family Legacy

When you’re decluttering your house, the sentimental value of things from your loved ones is one of the hardest challenges to face! I’ve seen folks hang on to all sorts of things because they were handed down from a beloved family member.

Think Grandma’s crocheted afghans or Aunt Millie’s costume jewelry collection. Others were raised to maintain a certain type of household, which includes a good set of silver, damask tablecloths or Waterford crystal.

Now don’t misunderstand: I believe in honoring our loved ones!

But when things are collecting dust … when their taste is not our taste … when our lifestyle does not embrace those items … wouldn’t it be time to let them go? 

Releasing family keepsakes does not mean we are rejecting our heritage!

There are ways we can be true to our roots yet avoid filling our homes with things we don’t need, use or love. By all means, pick a couple of items that speak to you. Display them, whether in a photo montage or on an end table.

However, if the item truly doesn’t suit your style …if you’d rather set it back in the closet or drawer … you’re likely keeping it out of guilt.

Recognize that your beloved relative and the item are not one and the same! Instead, release the item to someone who will appreciate and use it.

 

declutter your house
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Challenge #2: Storage Capacity

 

Let’s face it: when we have room to keep something away, we do it! And Americans revel in way more housing square footage than almost any other nation. We have more rooms with dedicated purposes. Think dining rooms or guest bedrooms. 

Fortunately, home builders are moving towards including “flex rooms”. And “great rooms” and “eat-in kitchens” are in vogue. Yet when the day comes that we are ready or need to downsize, it’s eye-opening to look around and see how much we thought we needed, isn’t it?

And when it comes to buying, we may tell ourselves that the new item will replace an old one … but does the old one really make it out the door?

Sometimes, we buy another thing to stock up or just in case. But how hard would it be to wait and buy it only at the time we need it? It seems we have a fear of being unprepared. (OK, maybe one can’t have too much toilet paper!)

Are we really too busy to clear things out, but not too busy to buy new things?

Here’s a thought: consider reflecting on the purchases you plan to make. Is it to replace or to add to what you already have? Do you need it right now? Do you enjoy the thrill of having something new?

This leads right into challenge #3!

 

how to declutter your house in one day
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Challenge #3: Consumerism, Baby!

Today’s consumer hardly stands a chance in the face of pervasive marketing at every turn. Whether TV commercials, infomercials, billboard or magazine ads … it’s everywhere!

And now, nothing is as powerful as social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok barrage us with recommendations to buy something which will make us more attractive, thinner, hipper, happier, you name it.

Every season, there is a new fashion rule for what we should wear. We have pre-holiday sales, holiday sales, post-holiday sales, clearance sales, and even “oops, our mistake, here’s a discount from us” sales!

It’s non-stop and it’s exhausting. It’s also expensive!

But what if we turned off the noise? What if we unsubscribe from retail newsletters and email lists? (We can always sign up again to snag a discount … just unsubscribe afterwards!)

What if we didn’t buy the latest version if the older version we own is perfectly fine?

Know that I am not advocating that you never buy something different! Instead, I am suggesting you purchase mindfully.

My 3-part trademark mantra is this: “Do I need it? Will I use it? Do I love it?”

Then, add to that, “Do I need it right now?” and “What else could I do with these funds?” In other words, thoughtful questions lead to thoughtful purchases!

Now off to decluttering your house!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: Today was all about decluttering your house by starting with your "why"!

Figuring out why we have too much stuff in our homes will allow us to start decluttering in an easier and more mindful manner. 

Additionally, we can maintain a newly streamlined space which feels soothing, when we know the obstacles that can stop us in our tracks! 

Your turn!

  • Which challenge is hardest for you?
  • How do you keep decluttering anyway?

Drop your thoughts in the comments below … and thanks for stopping by!

Decluttering your life

Decluttering Your Life Is Essential for 3 Surprising Reasons!

The benefits of decluttering your life …. well, aren’t they obvious?

On the surface, yes: less stuff to deal with…boom!

But have you ever realized just how insidious clutter really is? It’s more than just having too much physical stuff in your home. In fact, it negatively impacts your life in many other ways, too! 

Once you understand how it slows you down, you’ll want to start releasing the things that no longer support where you’re at. And more importantly, you’ll want to begin releasing the stuff that holds you back from where you want to be!

So let’s take a look at how decluttering improves three areas of your life: your health, your relationships, and your productivity.

Decluttering Your Life
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This post delves Deep into why decluttering your life is a necessary practice for your total Well Being!

declutter your life checklist
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1. Decluttering Your Life | The Effect on Your Health

There are numerous studies that have examined the impact of clutter on our health and the verdict is in: it causes stress!

No shock there, right? I mean, all we have to do is look around our homes. When we see the excess stuff, who doesn’t feel their anxiety rise?

Now don’t get me wrong: of course our homes look a bit “lived in” as we go about our daily lives. Hardly anyone I know has a completely pristine, perfectly organized home 24-7.

But it’s the cabinets, drawers, and closets filled with what we don’t use or need that really turn the pressure on.

In fact, if we take this a step further, there are actually 3 sub-aspects to how clutter stress can play havoc with our health.

- The Physical Impact of Clutter

Firstly, elevated stress leads to high levels of cortisol. Of course, we all experience occasional flashes of stress during the day, some days more than others. But when it’s a prolonged state, it can lead to high blood pressure, increased fat accumulation, loss of calcium from bones, and elevated blood sugar.

Oh my gosh, this sounds like a daunting recipe for aging. doesn’t it! So clearly, we benefit when we take a few minutes daily to remove household clutter from our homes.

- The Mental Impact of Clutter

Secondly, when we have way too many things coming at us, the stress hormones released harm our peace of mind. This can lead to depression, anxiety, and even reduced cognitive abilities.

Have you ever heard someone say (or said it yourself), “I need a mental health day!” Clutter is one major reason why!

- Emotional Impact of Clutter

Thirdly, long-term clutter causes sleep disruption and mood swings. Feelings of agitation, restlessness, and fatigue make our daily routine feel heavy. Our energy is not at its prime. Everything feels like such an effort to complete.

Yikes! Clearly, when our physical surroundings are cluttered, our brains feel that way, too!

declutter your life book
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2. Decluttering Your Life |The Effect of Clutter on Your Relationships

Naturally, when we are feeling under siege, our relationships sputter and stagnate, as well. It’s difficult to focus on nurturing and strengthening our personal relationships when we ourselves are overwhelmed.

Joint activities and shared interests are challenging when we don’t know where things are. Divorce rates rise. Children or others living in the household pick up on the tension, too. To put it differently, clutter is like a virus that infects us and those we love!

Even our friendships can be impacted negatively when clutter gets out of hand. Folks are embarrassed about the quantity of stuff in their homes. They become resistant to having friends drop by. It’s harder to maintain close connections when our stuff gets in the way. 

And oh, our girlfriends are SO important! They support us, they advise us, they laugh and cry with us! They ARE love! Who would ever want clutter to interfere with the fellowship we crave and enjoy?

Who wants to prioritize things and stuff over the people and experiences? No one willingly … but it happens when our stuff holds us back.

 

declutter your life
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3. Decluttering Your Life |The Effect of Clutter on Your Productivity

Lastly, our productivity, or ability to move ahead smoothly and efficiently with our tasks and goals is compromised by clutter. It tugs at our attention when important papers, notes, and contacts are scattered across our tables, hidden amongst our emails, or buried in texting threads.

Oh sure, I’ve read that some of the most brilliant, famous minds like Albert Einstein or JK Rowling are among the most disorganized folks around! Yet I can’t help but think that they are in the minority of those who can be messy yet manage to concentrate fully on their craft.

We are given only so many hours in each day. How do we want to spend that time: hunting and searching for lost or misplaced items? Sifting through stuff we no longer need or use? Who want every task to take longer than necessary because our things get in the way … anyone?

If you think about it, when we spend our time and energy wading through clutter of all kinds, it slows us down and prevents us from realizing a fair return on our efforts. Who has time for that?

 

The Wrap with Mary V

The Wrap: This post shared 3 key areas where decluttering your life will provide a phenomenal return!

Ready to start removing clutter from your life?

Not sure when you’ll find the time? Try fitting in a decluttering session right before or right after another habit you already perform.

This is called “habit stacking“. The association of the two activities helps with making decluttering a part of your regular routine.

Even blocking out as little as 15 minutes a day will add up to noticeable results!

Your turn!

 

  • What is your biggest obstacle to getting rid of clutter?
  • Do you live with someone who can’t let things go?

Share what’s on your mind … And thanks for stopping by!

decluttering strategies

Decluttering Strategies To Clear Out 5 Small Spaces For Immediate Impact!

When we use savvy decluttering strategies, space clearing does not have to be an all-day project!

And one component of a savvy method is when it takes less than hour from start to finish. If you can carve out more time than that, wonderful! But it’s not necessary. 

In other words, when we employ quick decluttering strategies to clear out high traffic zones, we can get immediate gratification. We will see and enjoy the fabulous results daily, as opposed to clearing out our attic or basement.

Small bites with this approach will then motivate us to keep going. Maybe now we’ll feel ready to tackle the attic! More doing, less delaying … how good is that? 

So let’s get to today’s handpicked 5 small spaces! 

decluttering strategies

Today is all about using smart decluttering strategies in tiny spaces to achieve big results!

extreme decluttering

Decluttering Strategies | #1: Handbag or Tote

Start with your workhorse: the survival bag which contains the things you [think you] need on a daily basis. Is it possible that the bigger the bag, the more extras you lug around?

Fashion rules waffle between oversized Neverfull totes and compact Gucci clutches. Regardless, taking 10 minutes to sort through the contents makes sense. I mean, who doesn’t accumulate crumpled tissues, loose change, stray mints and other miscellaneous passengers that need to exit?

And go ahead and file (or shred if not needed) those receipts. Toss the scraps of paper. Remove the old makeup products. When you’re decluttering and organizing your bag on a weekly basis, like on a Sunday night, you’ll be ready for the start of the week, Monday morning!

In fact, you may even conclude you don’t need to carry such a large handbag. Or, you might revel in using the same but albeit much lighter bag…you choose!

 

decluttering techniques
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Decluttering Strategies | #2: Makeup 

Isn’t it amazing how cosmetics seem to multiply like bunnies in the bathroom drawers? These small spaces quickly get jam-packed. We accumulate free samples. We try different colors. Or we snag the latest celebrity endorsed makeup. Before you know it, you have more products than you will ever use!

But what if you set into a box or a specified drawer only the items you currently used in the last few weeks? It might surprise you to see how many remain behind that you just don’t touch. How many “some day” or “just in case” items do you need? Think about it!

 Whatever you don’t plan to keep, consider donating unopened items to a local women’s shelter. Everyone deserves a chance to look their best, don’t you think?

And don’t forget: all products have a limited shelf life. Consider replacing your makeup every 6-9 months. Because no one wants a skin or eye infection … these are supposed to be beauty enhancers, not detractors!

 

decluttering and organizing
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Decluttering Strategies | #3: Kitchen Counter

Why is the kitchen counter such a magnet for stuff unrelated to cooking? You walk in the door and automatically deposit things there!

Mail, keys, receipts, sunglasses … any number of miscellaneous items land there. Unfortunately, many never leave and then there’s barely any work surface for meal prep.

My suggestions? Start designating specific homes for the things you use and carry back in every day. Have a decorative bowl or hook where your keys go. Take 5 minutes to sort through the mail and do this right over the trash can so you can immediately toss the junk mailers. Anything that needs action, set in a designated folder for review later. Consider a specified day/time to handle that paperwork.

Decluttering a room in 30 minutes becomes super easy when you create daily routines to put things where they belong the first time. Then you can actually get cooking when it’s meal time!

where to start decluttering
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Decluttering Strategies | #4: Nightstands

Here are more small spaces which become catchall surfaces. And in a room meant for rest and relaxation! If you think about it, the only things that really belong here should be supportive for a good night’s sleep or a romantic interlude.

However, most folks tend to deposit their phone or electronic device next to the bed. It’s the first thing they reach for when they wake up. It’s not a healthy practice! You might be surprised how much it actually interferes with your mood and mindset.

The first time I left it in the kitchen felt very odd … like I was missing a body part, lol! But now, it feels liberating to have it in another room. And I’ll admit, I am better at springing out of bed in the morning … so I can get to my phone!

Take five now and remove all the odds and ends that have landed on your night stand. Imagine how refreshing it will be to see a calming vignette of what matters when you wake up in the morning. You’ll never want to turn out the light on a cluttered nightstand again!

declutter a room in 30 minutes
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Decluttering Strategies | #5: Refrigerator

Lastly, think about how often this appliance gets opened and what may have overstayed its welcome inside. Generally, the doors are chock full of condiments rarely if ever used. Fruits and veggies have the shortest lifespan of your fridge contents so turnover is critical in the produce drawers.

Pausing to clear out and wipe down the surfaces is a smart way to take inventory before heading on your next grocery run. And it never hurts to pitch the items of temptation if you’re embarking on a clean eating regimen, does it!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: Today we considered just a few of the many small spaces you can dig into when you are ready to kick out decluttering strategies in an hour or less. 

Take a stroll around your home and make note of small decluttering zones that you could conquer in less than an hour. Then when you’re ready to kick on some short but effective decluttering and organizing, refer to your list and get going!

To avoid getting distracted, have a bag or a bin to deposit items that belong elsewhere. Put those items away where they belong at the end of your session. Afterwards, enjoy the sense of accomplishment…you’ve earned it!

For more tiny tips, start with reading 

Clutter: What Exactly Is It & How Do We Collect So Much of It? 

Or check out this video on eliminating visual clutter over here!

Your turn!

  • Which small spaces are clutter magnets in your home?
  • How do you plan to tackle those hot zones?

Drop your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!  

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