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The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter | Margareta Magnusson
A charming, practical, and unsentimental approach to putting a home in order while reflecting on the tiny joys that make up a long life. In Sweden there is a kind of decluttering called dstdning, d meaning death and stdning meaning cleaning. This surprising and invigorating process of clearing out unnecessary belongings can be undertaken at any age or life stage but should be done sooner than later, before others have to do it for you. In The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, artist Margareta Magnusson, with Scandinavian humor and wisdom, instructs readers to embrace minimalism. Her radical and joyous method for putting things in order helps families broach sensitive conversations, and makes the process uplifting rather than overwhelming. Margareta suggests which possessions you can easily get rid of (unworn clothes, unwanted presents, more plates than youd ever use) and which you might want to keep (photographs, love letters, a few of your childrens art projects). Digging into her late husbands tool shed, and her own secret drawer of vices, Margareta introduces an element of fun to a potentially daunting task. Along the way readers get a glimpse into her life in Sweden, and also become more comfortable with the idea of letting go.
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freyaheart
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Pickpick

I found this book really helpful. I am still trying to clear out the clutter of living here with my ex for 3 years.

I may need to scale down this cheesecake by a lot...

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Caterina
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My headache from yesterday is still hanging on. Thankfully it's not a migraine and I feel okay when I'm just sitting up in bed reading on my phone/Kindle, but it's driving me a little crazy not to walk. #BFC has got me so active that I can't stand all this sitting around! But when I try to walk my left eye pounds so much that I can't see, so I guess I'll keep reading here. Enjoying this ebook. #BookFitnessChallenge @wanderinglynn

bookandcat Ooh what app are you using to track reading? 8mo
bookandcat Feel better! 8mo
Caterina @bookandcat Thanks! This is just on Libby, the library book app. 8mo
See All 9 Comments
wanderinglynn Hope you feel better soon! 💚 8mo
bookandcat @Caterina oh my library uses CloudLibrary not Overdrive/Libby so I've never seen the Libby app in action! 8mo
DivineDiana The weather patterns seem to be affecting headaches. ❤️ 8mo
BookwormAHN I hope you feel better 🍀 8mo
Caterina @bookandcat I wish it was just a book tracking app that you could use too!! Oh well. The Libby app is lovely. 8mo
Caterina @wanderinglynn @DivineDiana @BookwormAHN Thank y'all, I'm finally starting to feel better and will hopefully feel 100% by morning. ❤️ 8mo
40 likes9 comments
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Exia
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Exia
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Exia
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Exia
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Exia
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Smrloomis
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Pickpick

I finished this and felt it was a pick as a sort of tiny memoir. It‘s not really a method; it‘s more some entertaining thoughts about how you can and should downsize the amount of stuff you own. Definitely not everyone‘s thing, but I found her voice (as in the writing, not just the narrator) to be charming. And I also liked it as an audiobook.

Smrloomis @j.rye this is how I ended up feeling about it. I also agree with both @thebluestocking and @Pandalibrarian‘s reviews. 9mo
thebluestocking Thanks for the tag. Yep. I definitely found her charming but it didn‘t do what it says on the tin. 9mo
j.rye Thanks for sharing! 9mo
Smrloomis @thebluestocking yes, I think the marketing was a little off the mark with this one. 9mo
Smrloomis @j.rye 😁 9mo
64 likes5 comments
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Smrloomis
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Charming so far even though it‘s not exactly packed with tips or a method per se.

j.rye You have to share your final thoughts when you‘re done. I‘m really intrigued by the death cleaning bit. 9mo
Smrloomis @j.rye will do! But I suspect it‘s going to be entertaining but basically the same thing at the end: don‘t make someone else dispose of all your stuff! 9mo
51 likes2 comments
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thebluestocking
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Mehso-so

This book is a somewhat random collection of observations from the no nonsense, aged between 80 to 100, Margareta. While it‘s adorable and short, its advice boils down simply to clean up after yourself before you die so others aren‘t stuck with your mess.

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Pandalibrarian
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A quick read and an enjoyable one. I‘ve also read the Marie Kondo book and like Margareta‘s approach better. I have Gretchen Rubin‘s book “Outer Order Inner Calm” on order so we‘ll see how all three compare. I‘ve been doing a little decluttering and am now inspired to do more.

SW-T Same here. I liked both Marie and Margereta, but I cleared out more after reading Margareta than I did with Marie, and it feels more sustainable. Looking forward to reading Gretchen‘s take. (edited) 10mo
21 likes1 comment
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Grrlbrarian
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Uh 😳 This sounds like great advice - but I‘m a bit stunned to receive it from someone who‘s aged between 80 & 100. Also, WHO HAS SIXTEEN... please don‘t answer that. 🤯

Bookladylinda 😂😂😂😂 11mo
Annl Haha! 11mo
SleepyDragon Reminds me of Talk Sex with Sue Johansson. Also, I guess keep the one that sparks joy? (Sorry, couldn't resist!) 11mo
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CouronneDhiver Priorities 🤣🤣🤣 11mo
CouronneDhiver I forgot about her! 😂 @NeesyBeth 11mo
Grrlbrarian Ah well, I guess that makes a certain kind of sense @NeesyBeth - though I SO DO NOT want Kondo‘s thoughts on the optimal number of devices! 😂 11mo
SleepyDragon Hopefully it's less than her idea of optimal number of books ... 11mo
41 likes7 comments
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Grrlbrarian
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Margareta Magnusson knows what‘s up. Also, I like this book‘s advice MUCH more than Marie Kondo‘s. 👌

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pocketmermaid
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😮😮😮 I ... was not expecting this. This lady is a riot!

taraWritesSci 🤣 Stacking this one... 12mo
readordierachel 😆😆😆 12mo
29 likes1 stack add2 comments
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StellarDoc
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I decided I'd better death clean my freezer. I don't want anyone else to find this chocolat en croute, so I had to bake it today. Right?

MaleficentBookDragon 😂😂😂🤤🤤🤤 12mo
26 likes1 comment
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StellarDoc
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"Save your favorite dildo--but throw away the other fifteen!"

I'm laughing so hard at this.

Patchshank 😆 very sound advice 12mo
rather_be_reading oh my! 11mo
19 likes2 comments
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Laura317
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I wish you could see the full drawing from this book. It‘s lovely.

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Laura317
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I love the quirky drawings in this book. The author is a such a spunky woman. However, I really haven‘t read anything new, other than not leaving a bunch of stuff for others to deal with once you die.

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Laura317
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Started this on Libby this evening. Daughter had her wisdom teeth removed today, so we are staying quiet and reading.

rabbitprincess Hope she feels better and is back on solids soon! I was starving the first day or so after having mine out, because soup wasn't very filling 😕 13mo
Laura317 @rabbitprincess Thanks, she‘s feeling much better today. You‘re right - she‘s hungry! 13mo
42 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Samplergal
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She makes excellent points. A quick easy audiobook on ways to get rid of our overwhelming stuff. #2019goals

SW-T She made sense. Definitely stuff to think about. 13mo
Samplergal @SW-T I‘m downsizing for the third time. I guess at 63 I can start thinking this is death cleaning. 13mo
SW-T Good luck with your downsizing! Not a minimalist by any means but I like having less stuff to worry about, maintain, and keep clean. 13mo
Laura317 Wonder how this compares to Konmari? 13mo
88 likes5 stack adds4 comments
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ambam1987
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Pickpick

going to master the art of Swedish death cleaning & then I go shopping for all the Joanna things, right?!

CaitZ Sounds like something I'd do 1y
13 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Krisjericho
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Pickpick

I really like this author‘s voice. She is wise and surprisingly funny and hearing from an Swedish lady “somewhere between 80 and 100 years old” about throwing away your extra dildos and only keeping your favorite one is 💯 worth the read alone. Yes, you read that right. I also really appreciated her practical attitude toward the inevitability of death.

Balibee146 This sounds awesome and I love minimalism in most things... Stacked 1y
Smrloomis 😂👍🏽 I wasn‘t going to read this but now I think I might have to! 1y
32 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Joyfulmimi
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Pickpick

This the first Audible Book that I thoroughly enjoyed and will definitely try to find more like it. The content was perfect, fitting with my place in life and current philosophy of life. Finding such treasures is what makes reading so special and awesome, adding great joy to life. This book was highly informative and life-changing during my daily drive. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

25 likes1 stack add
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LauraJ
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Mehso-so

As someone who doesn‘t own multiple estates and boats, I didn‘t get much out of this book aside from wanting to go to Stockholm next week. Perhaps this is better suited to someone “between 80 and 100” as the author repeatedly refers to herself.

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MaggieCarr
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Pickpick

4☆ one-sitting read

I expected practicality. I didn't expect humor.

Hearing a widow in her 80s talk about keeping only one dildo and getting rid of the rest so your family doesn't find them when you die had me in tears of laughter.

"Training yourself to only look at things instead of buying them is very pleasing and also a good habit. You really can't take everything with you, so maybe it would be better to try not and own it all."

39 likes1 stack add
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LauraJ
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Is it too late to start reading this? Will I be up all night frantically cleaning? 🇸🇪

julesG I'm curious, did you clean all night? 2y
LauraJ @julesG I actually fell asleep reading, which is a rarity. 😴 2y
julesG Is the book that boring? 2y
31 likes3 comments
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atransparenteyeball
Pickpick

A quick and lovely guide to considering how what you leave behind affects others in a way that you can resolve now.

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CKtheLibrarian
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Loved this and want to start death cleaning now! I didn‘t expect to laugh through this book but Margareta is damn witty! Reading a book like this always makes me want to purge contents out of my house that is not needed. Husband—you‘ve been warned.

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SW-T
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Pickpick

Quick and easy read, with a bit of humor mixed in. Simple reminder that none of us lives forever, to pare down our belongings along the way, and leave notes or discuss what should be done with your things when you‘re gone. Act of love for those you leave behind. #humor #practical

5 likes1 stack add
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SW-T
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“Do not ever imagine that anyone will wish - or be able - to schedule time off to take care of what you didn‘t bother to take care of yourself. No matter how much they love you, don‘t leave this burden to them.” #quote #quoteaboutlife

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Quasifesto
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Mehso-so

Not really a very good book. I finished it. Your mileage may vary. It's not a bad idea, but this is a very old, obviously wealthy woman, that does not recognize her privilege. Also, there is an unnecessary story of her putting down a dog. Short and cohesive, but I found it condescending and obvious.

78 likes1 stack add
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CherryPie
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Mehso-so

I like the illustrations. That seems to be my reaction to all of these lifestyle books. 😝 This book is like having a tea date with a pleasant 93 year old neighbor. I didn't learn anything new. I guess I wanted to learn something? I don't know. Nice lady, though. 👍 I didn't want to read about Taxes the dog. Why are people always torturing me with their dog euthanasia tales?

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CherryPie
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Just started it. After cleaning out three inherited estates, I can't believe I'm still interested in the subject.

Leftcoastzen That can be really hard .Done 3 myself all family but only one immediate family. 2y
34 likes1 comment
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BeththeBookDragon
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I had an old co-worker who ran a side business that helped people do just this... what a sweet book!

51 likes1 stack add
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JanuarieTimewalker13
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Pickpick

Quick read and I loved it!! The author is adorable and “somewhere between eighty and one hundred years old.”

55 likes3 stack adds
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
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Pickpick

Author admits to being somewhere between 80 and 100 years old. Even though it's focus is more about later years it has some valid points for everyone. The most important one is that we are all responsible for sorting out our stuff. Because in the end, regardless of whether or not we have children, someone will have to do it. Don't put that burden on someone else. #sortyourstuff

SandyW I went someplace entirely different based on that title (too many suspense/true crime reads in my past). 😲 2y
36 likes2 comments
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Crinoline_Laphroaig

Chapter 23 - If It Was Your Secret Keep It That Way - Nothing quite like hearing Juliet Stevenson read:
"Save Your Favorite Dildo but throw away the other 15."
?

Bookishthoughts Wow!😮😉 2y
AlaMich 🤣🤣🤣 2y
32 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Lindy
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Pickpick

This book & The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up are both about de-cluttering, but the two are far apart in tone. I really like Magnusson‘s practical style. She‘s “between 80 & 100” & encourages us to get rid of excess stuff BEFORE we die, so it will be easier for loved ones after we die. Her advice on books: keep what you want to reread & what you haven‘t yet read. #Audiobook by Juliet Stevenson (also the voice of many hours of Middlemarch).

readordierachel Juliet Stevenson can read me the phone book if she wants to. She's amazing. 2y
Lindy @ReadOrDieRachel Yes, she‘s great. Middlemarch stands out, and other audiobooks that I remember her performing include Sweet Tooth, The Paying Guests, The Magician‘s Elephant, & The Signature of All Things. 2y
readordierachel @Lindy Just added those to my tbr! I've listened to some of her Austen performances and Wuthering Heights. 2y
Lindy @ReadOrDieRachel After Middlemarch, my next favourite is 2y
52 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Lindy
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Magnusson saved only three recipes. One is for Red Beet Sherry, made by fermenting sugar and raisins in broth from cooked beets, adding rye bread and yeast to crank it up. I kind of want to make this, just to have a taste.

saresmoore It sounds like it could be weirdly wonderful. 2y
46 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Aleida
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I swore it read “how to free yourself from your family”.

20 likes1 comment
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PictureandBook
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So excited to start this! Been waiting for ages to get it from the library.

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CoffeeK8
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Pickpick

Not quite the book for me (we are fairly minimalist already) but it is the perfect, gentle and respectful book for someone who needs to downsize their life and isn‘t sure how to start.

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CoffeeK8
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True in “Swedish Death Cleaning”, true in life.

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slategreyskies
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book. I shared it with my mom, and she loved it so much that I bought her a copy of it, and she‘s very excited about death cleaning her house! It‘s a relatively short book, and it doesn‘t go into great depth, but it does have a lot of helpful ideas. Highly recommended!! :)

robinb I need this! 😊 2y
61 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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slategreyskies

That moment when you realize you‘re the first person to have ever opened this particular copy of a hardback book, because it makes that wonderful new book cracking sound where the spine meets the cover. *happy sigh*

minkyb ❣️ 2y
Betty My copy just now arrived from Amazon and it had the same brand new cracking 2y
45 likes2 comments
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slategreyskies
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Up next!!

And yes, for those of you wondering, my Christmas tree is still up. 🎄✨

hermyknee 🤣🤣🤣 I NEED THIS! 2y
DivineDiana Unfortunately, our main tree is still up as well. My husband just does not want to let it go! 2y
slategreyskies @hermyknee it looks great! I‘ll let you know if it lives up to my expectations!! :) 2y
See All 8 Comments
slategreyskies @hermyknee Your sweater postcard came today!! OMG it‘s my favorite! Thank you!!! 💕 2y
slategreyskies @DivineDiana it would drive you bonkers to live here! I leave mine up until Valentine‘s Day every year! Haha 😂 2y
DivineDiana @slategreyskies I don‘t think I‘ll tell him that, or ours will be too! 😀Enjoy your tree! 🌲 (edited) 2y
Dragon I was watching a sitcom, The Middle, and the whole episode was based on this book. 😂 2y
Zelma Mine too. I am currently mulling starting to take down ornaments tonight but so far I made hot cocoa and read a little instead. 😆 2y
57 likes8 comments
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marlenabea
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Pickpick

Reading this book is like your oldest, wisest friend giving you advice. I love how she advocates for cleaning out the clutter as a slow, thoughtful process in order to reflect on the things you love and why you loved them. And after a nice trip down memory lane with all the things, she shows us, you don't have to feel bad about letting go of them!

robinb Welcome to Litsy! 😊 2y
DrexEdit Welcome to Litsy! Thanks for the follow. I've been wanting to read this book. So much I need to get rid of! 😊 2y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Welcome! I think I need this book. It‘s past time to do this!! 2y
See All 7 Comments
BarbaraTheBibliophage Welcome to Litsy!! 2y
DivineDiana Welcome @marlenabea ! You‘re going to like it here! Thank you for the follow! 📚 2y
DivaDiane I wish I‘d had time for a nice leisurely trip through memory lane when I had to clean out my dad‘s house. At least he hadn‘t died, but I only had a week. 2y
DivaDiane Welcome to Litsy!! 2y
73 likes11 stack adds7 comments
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marlenabea
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Loving this author. The simple drawings accompanying the texts really enrich this little book.

JoRead That's cute indeed! Welcome to litsy! 2y
mabell Welcome! 🎉 2y
Bklover Welcome to Litsy! You will love it here! 2y
See All 10 Comments
Kimzey Welcome to Litsy! Adding this one to the stack in hopes it will inspire me to clean! 2y
tpixie Welcome!! Check out @LitsyHappenings and #LitsyTips Happy Reading!! 2y
DivineDiana Welcome to our community! I have heard of this book, and I like the premise! 2y
CrowCAH Welcome to the Litsy community!!! 2y
Smrloomis Welcome! 🎉 2y
marlenabea Thank you, thank you! This is so fun. 2y
58 likes2 stack adds10 comments
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Markblum
Mehso-so

A quick read full of anecdotes suggesting how to downsize one's possessions and accumulated detritus. Anyone who has helped a parent downsize will appreciate the thoughtfulness of this approach.

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TheWordJar
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After a year of slowly Kondo-ing my belongings, I was introduced to Swedish “death cleaning” today in the morning paper. “Doestaedning”—clearing out your belongings so someone else doesn‘t have to after you die. Brutal, but also a lovely idea. I‘ve been trying to get my mom to do this for years! The book pubs in January and is geared toward an older audience than the Kondo books. I‘ll be checking it out...I need all the help I can get!

slategreyskies I need this book! 2y
TheWordJar @slategreyskies Oh, me too! I talk about my mom, but THIS apple didn‘t fall far from THAT tree! 😂 I‘m sure my kids would appreciate a similar courtesy in the (hopefully distant) future! 2y
Wife I kind of like this concept. And know many people who have been stuck cleaning out their parents belongings or dread the day that they have to. I will check this out. 💀💀💀 2y
TheWordJar @Wife It sounds morbid, but I think it‘s a lovely idea. The review also mentioned that in addition to saving your loved ones the trouble of cleaning out, it also eases the aging process somewhat...less to clean/take care of as you may be less able to so, and more enjoyment of the things that actually mean something to you. 2y
44 likes4 comments