Do You Need Swedish Death Cleaning In Your Life? (hint: you don’t need to be Swedish, or dying)

If you’ve ever wasted time rifling through a stack of takeout menus and bills just to find your keys, or opened a cupboard to be greeted by a pile of sweaters falling on you, Swedish Death Cleaning is for you.

Swedish Death Cleaning starts with the premise that we’re all going to die one day – and when we do, it’s our loved ones who are left to deal with all those movie stubs and mismatched Tupperware lids. Essentially, you sort through your stuff before you die, so they don’t have to do it after. Sounds a bit morbid I know, but hang with me!

It doesn’t have quite the same fuzzy vibe as Marie Kondo’s ultra-popular decluttering trend, but Swedish Death Cleaning is a unique way to create more space and clarity in your life.  

The best part is, you don’t have to be on your deathbed to benefit from it (*phew*). Preparing for the end (even when the end is hopefully a long way off) helps you let go of what you don’t need and get clear on how you want your life to look right now. Everyone can benefit from that!

Want to learn more? Come to our upcoming Crossover Café presents: Swedish Death Cleaning workshop where Professional Organizer Jeff Orr and I will walk you through it all!


Own your stuff instead of being owned by it


Whether you’re already a decluttering boss, or more of a “wherever it lands is where it stays” kinda soul, why not give Swedish Death Cleaning a whirl and experience the benefits for yourself?  You’ve nothing to lose, except a bunch of broken pens, unread books, and clothes you forgot you even had.

What happens after you Swedish Death Clean your house? You feel like you just put fresh sheets on your bed, except the bed is your whole life. You take charge of how much stuff you have and how much space you give it in your home, so you own it, instead of it owning you.


Does letting go feel hard? Don’t worry, it’s perfectly natural


De-cluttering can be unexpectedly stressful. You find yourself sitting on your couch, gripping your high school copy of Wuthering Heights with white knuckles because you absolutely cannot part with it.

This is totally normal. Sometimes the whole exercise feels so overwhelming and time consuming that you’d far rather shove the excess clutter in a closet and ignore it.

That’s why I recommend decluttering one step at a time. Pick one thing (books, clothes, your desk, and work on that first. There’s no need to start with sentimental items like photographs though – Swedish Death Cleaning isn’t about getting rid of items with deep sentimental value, just those that don’t serve you any more. 


Declutter for death – enjoy life!

By asking what you really want to leave behind when your time eventually comes, you get super clear on what matters right now. You give yourself permission to let go of things you don’t need, and the stories attached to them (like those ballet shoes you kept, even though you know your plié days are long past.) The end goal? To only keep things in your home that have meaning to you or serve a purpose.

And once you’re done? You can celebrate your lighter, clearer life, with the added bonus of knowing you’ve made it a bit easier for the loved ones who’ll have to sort out your underwear drawer when the time eventually comes.