From "Home, Space, and Reason", Kristina Browning gives her favorite tips from "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" by Margareta Magnusson. While death can be a dark topic, it ultimately affects the loved ones of the deceased most. Swedish Death Cleaning is a meaningful way to declutter your l
Publish Date: Apr 08, 2021
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From "Home, Space, and Reason", Kristina Browning gives her favorite tips from "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" by Margareta Magnusson. While death can be a dark topic, it ultimately affects the loved ones of the deceased most. Swedish Death Cleaning is a meaningful way to declutter your life and give back to your community.
as a realtor. I've walked through homes that are on the market because someone has passed. And sometimes the amount of things inside those homes is intimidating, and buyers can't see through the stuff to understand what kind of home there even buying. And in those cases, the question often arises. Have they even cared for this home or done any maintenance? In the book that I referred to earlier, The gentle art of Swedish Death Cleaning, Margarita Magnus and the author says, Quote, If someone has lived in a home for many years, where Children, grown ups, relatives and guests have stayed and felt welcome. That same someone is often so busy that they never think of reducing the number of things in the household. And so the number of possessions grows and collects quickly over the years. Suddenly, the situation is out of control, and the weight of all those things can begin to seem tiring. End quote. In this book, she recommends thinking of things in terms of categories and then starting with one that you know is easily handled with a specific intent of feeling an accomplishment at the end and then moving forward without going down the steep and emotional hill of the photos, letters and personal documents category. She recommends saving that for last. Another interesting tidbit that I learned from going through this process is when someone passes, leave their cell phone on a minimal plan because to access many of their accounts make payments, change account names, etcetera. You'll need to go through a two step verification process that likely involves a text message to their phone number. And if you turn off the phone, you've just made things harder on yourself. This is especially true if the person who has passed is the only person logging into this account on behalf of both people. Take my parents, for example. He paid the bills exclusively, so she did not have logins set up. One might extract from this as far as Swedish death cleaning goes to make sure you and your partner both have log in access to all accounts so it doesn't leave the other blowing in the wind, struggling to find out what's happening and who to pay or what is owed. And before I get to the questions, I want to mention one thing you can do today, find one thing you've been meeting to get rid of and either listed on the buy nothing Facebook Group page or literally set it in the passenger seat of your vehicle to donate it, figure out a group that could use it a nonprofit that can sell it or a site it can be listed on. Just do that one item baby steps. And now, for the questions to ask yourself about your home space and your reason. Get your pencil question number one. What stuff do I have? That could be life changing for an organization like the paint supplies that went to the veterans organization? That Mark talked about helping PTSD veterans so you could donate them and feel good about it instead of feeling bad or negative about it. Question number two. If I were to get hit by a bus tomorrow, look around what would be the biggest burden in terms of things for my family. Take care of that first question Number three. Do I have a will and if so, when is the last time I updated it. Regardless of how much money you have, a will ensures your priorities are heard. It outlines that whatever personal belongings and assets you have will go to the beneficiaries that you list. If you have minor Children, A will ensures that you get to choose your Children's legal guardian should you pass before your Children are adults. You can also name an executor, which is the person you trust to have the authority to be sure that your wishes are carried out and to ensure that all of your things are in order from paying bills to canceling credit cards without a will. A court makes these decisions on your behalf through a lengthy and usually stressful process called probate. And if you get hit by a bus tomorrow and don't have a will, you will inadvertently subject your family and loved ones to unnecessary confusion and anxiety during an already difficult time. There's so many places online that have this available, and it doesn't have to be complicated. Question number four. What do I have stored either in the attic or in the basement that I haven't touched for years? Can I go through this as a project? For example, all those baseball cards you've been hanging onto from when you're a kid, can you get them out and look at them. Have them evaluated and perhaps sold or auctioned. Baby steps just one step at a time. Question number five. Lastly, if you find yourself on the other end of this as a younger person trying to get yourself a kitchen table, keep in mind as you choose things that these things, if chosen wisely, can last a lifetime. And those storage spaces you have that are currently empty do not have to be filled. Living lighter has so many advantages. As always, you can find the link to the gentle art of Swedish death cleaning in the podcast notes. If there's one thing that absolutely works for me, no matter what the topic is, it's a checklist with a defined timeline. If I know my big picture goal broken down into what I need to do and by when you can count on me. So give yourself a structure for your death cleaning journey by listening to Episode 50 for a boot camp for your house. Creating a home that thrives means embracing evolution, continuing to tweak your home to function better or differently as the seasons of your life shifts in the simplest terms, it's imperative that your home helps you to feel better about life and the ease at which things happen within the walls of your home, if you