The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter

Margareta Magnusson

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson (Hardback ISBN 9781786891082) book cover

Available as Hardback, eBook, Downloadable audio

You embraced hygge and mastered konmari; now meet Döstädning, or death cleaning: the Scandinavian art of shedding unnecessary things to make our lives as joyful as possible, at any age

Döstädning, or the art of death cleaning, is a Swedish phenomenon by which the elderly and their families set their affairs in order. Whether it’s sorting the family heirlooms from the junk, downsizing to a smaller place, or setting up a system to help you stop misplacing your keys, death cleaning gives us the chance to make the later years of our lives as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Whatever your age, Swedish death cleaning can be used to help you de-clutter your life, and take stock of what’s important.

Margareta Magnusson has death cleaned for herself and for many others. Radical and joyous, her guide is an invigorating, touching and surprising process that can help you or someone you love immeasurably, and offers the chance to celebrate and reflect on all the tiny joys that make up a long life along the way.

“One of the most charming, funny, and motivating books I’ve read in some time… Magnusson is an absolute delight. This book is so much more than lifestyle tips. It’s full of life. Magnusson’s candid humor and unassailable spirit comes through on each page… The best way to prepare for death is to live a good life, which Magnusson has done. We’re lucky that she shares so much of it — in stories of gratitude, family, work, and love”

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“Proustian… A primer on how to winnow your belongings before you die, so you don’t burden your family… Ms. Magnusson is the anti-Kondo, who takes us on a charming and discursive tour of her own stuff”
Penelope Green
new York Times

“Packed with positive and practical suggestions, this slim volume could change your life”
Juliet Stevenson

“For those planning to declutter, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning tackles the subject with charm and wit … Margareta Magnusson mingles practical tips with memoir and wisdom”
good Housekeeping

“[A] frank and honest approach to mortality, and our complicated relationship with hoarding”

Margareta Magnusson

Margareta Magnusson was born in Gothenburg in Sweden. She has worked for many years as an artist and has had her work exhibited as far as Singapore and Hong Kong. She has death cleaned many times, for herself and others.

Margareta Magnusson is somewhere between 80 and 100 years old, she’s death cleaned for herself and many others, and here she explains a little about what death cleaning is, and why it’s such a positive, useful thing to do.