. Swedish Death Cleaning has to do with organization, and I’m sure you could use more of that in your life. But it goes far beyond just cleaning up around you. This article will get you familiar with this method and why it’s something that you should practice at any stage of your life. Think of Swedish Death Cleaning as decluttering.
The big concept behind this is that as you declutter the mess around you, you declutter your mind. That’s the simple concept of it, but it goes deeper. Look at your life at around the age of 50. You would have lived a large percentage of it, and though it may seem morbid, you are closer to the end. This can now become about not leaving a ton of stuff behind that people have to clean up after you. Death Cleaning can be done at any time obviously, but the age of 50 is the ideal time to remove a lot of unnecessary things from your life. This will help you live a healthier happier life but also doesn’t burden those who would have to inherit and deal with all the stuff you’ve left behind. In Sweden, they call this: “döstädning” and it is a combination of the words “dö” and “städning” which means “death” and “cleaning” respectively. Swedish Death Cleaning does sound morbid, but it’s actually about freedom and living a happier life. When you remove excess clutter from around you, you open up the surrounding space.
The things you keep and pass on will be of greater value and more meaningful – as opposed to just a bunch of junk. This helps you to remember that you are not immortal and that there are responsibilities that you will leave behind.
The idea is to leave as little a burden as possible. So that’s a good overview but, again, you need not wait until later in life to apply this.
The sooner you start with removing unnecessary items from your life, the better. You may have heard about removing items that don’t bring joy to your life, and this is a good approach to take here too. Swedish Death Cleaning is taking a good hard look at what you really don’t need. You are looking to permanently reorganize your life to make it more optimal and enjoyable. It is also a good exercise for the mind, and it helps you decide on what is truly valuable to you. You also get a good dose of nostalgia as you get to remember why certain things are important for you. It helps you in remembering the past and appreciating what you have got. Swedish Death Cleaning is also something you don’t want to put off as it may help your mental health. Paring down the items in your life lets you focus on the more important things making you happier. It also helps you to realize that happiness doesn’t come from stuff but from relationships.
The more you focus on material possessions, you are more at risk to be unhappy, anxious, and even have low self-esteem. It will also make you feel more productive and motivate you to tackle other projects and duties. Swedish Death Cleaning also can help you deal with the concept of your own mortality. It’s a tough subject, but many people don’t give it much thought – or avoid it altogether. Acknowledging death is important to get a better sense of your self, how others see you, and how you want to be remembered. This style of cleaning is more than just dusting and rearranging the furniture. You are making conscious decisions to remove a majority of unneeded objects.
The secret here is to not take everything on at once. If you try to overhaul everything in your life right away, it’s just going to leave you frustrated and defeated. Instead, focus on one area at a time before moving on. And start SMALL. A good place is starting with your closets. You can devote all your attention to what you need and don’t need but not as overwhelming as trying to go through the garage or basement. From there, you can move on to bigger projects such as going through the bathroom, then a living room. Take your time with each area and don’t feel that you have to do it all right away. When you devote enough time to each area, you make it more likely to focus and finish it. As you move through these rooms and areas, you can gradually get bigger, such as going through your bedroom. After progressing with these first areas, you should find yourself motivated and encouraged to tackle larger projects such as the basement, garage, or storage unit. And that’s why you want to start small. You need to build up this skill to become more efficient at it. It’s also why you want to save the largest projects for the end. By that point, you should be an expert at deciding what has value and what I do not need. You will have tapped into your emotions that help you decide this and will have become better at letting things go. You can see now that Swedish Death Cleaning is more than just “tidying up.” This is a psychological practice that helps you control your life and prepare you for the future. It helps you consider your own mortality and makes you aware of the impact you have on the lives of others. It also hopefully helps you to take stock of your own life, find out what is truly meaningful, and leave the right type of legacy behind. R.
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