A few years back, I stumbled upon something called the Swedish death clean (SDC). Being one half of a middle-aged couple without dependents, I thought, why not give it a go? I mean, the thought of someone sifting through heaps of useless papers and random trinkets seemed as awkward as dancing naked in public!
The Swedish Death Clean, also known as "döstädning" in Swedish, refers to the practice of decluttering and organising your belongings as you age, to relieve your loved ones from the burden of dealing with your possessions after you pass away.
According to her book "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning", Margareta Magnusson, refers to several benefits of engaging in the process:
Lightening the burden: By taking the responsibility of decluttering and organising your things, you alleviate the burden on your loved ones after you're gone. They won't have to spend significant time or effort sorting through your belongings and making difficult decisions.
Simplifying your life: The Swedish Death Clean encourages you to evaluate your possessions and only keep what truly matters to you. This process can help simplify your life and allow you to focus on what brings you joy and fulfilment.
Preserving memories: The practice allows you to reflect on your life and cherish the memories associated with your belongings. It allows you to share stories and pass on cherished possessions.
Personal control: Engaging in the Swedish Death Clean gives you a sense of personal control over your belongings and how they will be handled in the future.
Leaving a positive legacy: By consciously decluttering and organising your possessions, you leave behind a positive legacy for your loved ones. They will remember you for the thoughtful consideration you put into ensuring a smoother transition.
It's a practical and mindful approach to managing your belongings as you age.
Beyond the practicality of decluttering, the impact on your mental and emotional well-being can be surprising. Through the decluttering process, you cultivate a conscious and mindful relationship with material possessions. You become more mindful of your purchases and learn to let go of unnecessary things. This newfound mindfulness extends to other areas of your life, helping you prioritise what truly deserves your time.
As you liberate yourself from unnecessary possessions, you also free your mind from past mistakes and wasted opportunities. You gain a greater awareness of what lies within your control and what does not. This clarity brings peace and contentment to your life.
Reflecting on my own two-year journey of decluttering, I am filled with gratitude for the transformative power it has had on my well-being. It has not only simplified my physical environment but has also profoundly impacted my mental state. I now live with intention, embracing the present moment and letting go of what no longer serves me.
In essence, the philosophy behind the SDC mirrors what strategic psychotherapy does for the mind - setting achievable goals for improved mental wellness. It's about converting dreams or goals into processes.
If you're interested in making positive changes to achieve your goals, click on the link below to find out more.