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My caregiver journey is now essentially over. I have posted before about cleaning out a 3 floor house chock full of 4 generations of stuff. Many of us worked for 17 days straight, many rolloff dumpsters, garage sales, keeping some things....I have worked on final clean out for the last 6 months by myself....kept finding things like school board minutes from 1969...club scrapbooks spanning 70 years.....treasures then, but having little meaning now. All the participants are long passed away. House finally empty and sold.


Friends please learn from our mistakes....if you are over 60 or caring for elders, please go to the library and reserve this book!!!!! Here is a preview of what it is about!!


Döstädning, or the art of death cleaning, is a Swedish phenomenon by which the elderly and their families set their affairs in order. Whether it's sorting the family heirlooms from the junk, downsizing to a smaller place, or setting up a system to help you stop misplacing your keys, death cleaning gives us the chance to make the later years of our lives as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Whatever your age, Swedish death cleaning can be used to help you de-clutter your life, and take stock of what's important. Margareta Magnusson has death cleaned for herself and for many others. Radical and joyous, her guide is an invigorating, touching and surprising process that can help you or someone you love immeasurably, and offers the chance to celebrate and reflect on all the tiny joys that make up a long life along the way.

Going to order this for my Kindle reader. I have a friend who is ready to downsize and has hoarded out her house pretty badly--is a widow and in bad shape. She needs help--and I told her I would do all I could, but it would be up to her to make all the decisions. Hopefully this book will give me the "language" to help her.

BTW, the book I referred to earlier is KonMari--the art of decluttering. Amazing read and good approach to helping me making decisions. (Although it was an epic fail trying to help mother.)
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Sounds brilliant.

I have become wary of adding to my ever-rising pile of books and magazines and guides to successful decluttering... :/

... but I will certainly have a good look at this one. Thank you!
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Just finished the book. It was a fast and easy read. The writer has led an incredible life. She’s very correct in saying save the photos for last, that’s exactly where I am now, photos and keepsakes of my children growing up. Much to wade through there...
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LisaLouWhoOG - funny that you mention that. I'm starting to do the same thing.

I've started going through my parents' photos - mom was a major shutterbug, never without a camera in her hand - so there are a LOT of photos. I've started a tote for each of my siblings and my kids so that all photos, mementos, etc that will fit in the tote can be designated for them. These are just the things I *know* they'll want. Next month, we'll have a day together where we go through the rest of Mom and Dad's personal belongings - old watches and jewelry, etc. Nothing of any real monetary value, just sentimental stuff. I've already given some of it to them, but the personal items from their dressers and such are what's left. I'd just like to get it done and out of the way. Dad's been gone 5 years, Mom's been gone almost 2 - it's time.

My kids' totes include their school papers, artwork or such they did in school, photos and some of their baby clothes that were special and saved for them. It makes me feel like I'm getting something accomplished towards my own decluttering when I do this - one less thing to go through later.
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There was an article in our local newspaper several months ago about "Swedish Death Cleaning." I purchased a copy immediately after reading the article. It has been a tremendous help and I'd recommend it to anyone who has a house full of stuff. My dh and I are now empty nesters and I have begun the process of decluttering, donating, throwing away and recycling all of the stuff we have accumulated throughout the years. I have made a box for each child of the things I think they would like to have. It's their decision what to do with the box after I give it to them.
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I have this book on hold at the library and look forward to reading it. We sold our larger home last year and bought a smaller one though we’re nowhere near retirement. We both felt a need for less, and we’ve been doing a lot of getting rid of since. It’s not a one and done thing though, paring down is continual, and being honest with yourself about what you’ll need, enjoy, and use is often hard. I have a brother who’s a hoarder and seeing firsthand how chaotic his world is, and the avoidance of it by others, makes me especially sensitive to not wanting too much accumulation. I’ve heard the book is light and humorous while still helpful so hoping to dig in soon
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I read the fine art of decluttering a few years ago (can't remember the exact title) but had the same concept--decluttering our lives from the many possessions that "don't bring us joy". Wow. I know I tossed about 1/3 of my possessions and it was so freeing.

We're at the pre-retirement stage. I am READY to declutter this tiny house again, find the retirement home-- NO STAIRS! and I am being squashed by DH who doesn't want to move--ever. We have a split entry that is just not working for us.

Back to the Swedish Death Cleaning--when my folks were forced to sell the huge family home and move in with my brother, it took us 3 years to clean their old house. Now mother has completely packed the "newer" house with so much stuff. She has bins and bins and bins packed in storage unit, hundreds of scrummy scrapbooks that are literally falling to pieces---she refuses to throw out anything, and is always shopping for that one "perfect" piece of furniture that will suddenly organize her life.

I know after she dies, we will be crazy cleaning, as there is really nothing of any value. She says her possessions make her feel loved and snug. Well, b/c of her junk, nobody can fit in her house, so she never has human visitors--no place to sit.

My MIL is as kooky as they come, but man, should she ever die, all we'd have to do is move out her clothes and slap a for sale sign on the house. It's so empty, if you didn't know someone was living there, you wouldn't really be able to tell.

Yep, I am planning in leaving very little behind.
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Thanks for sharing your experience.

No you don't sound preachy, but the preview does sound a bit like a sales pitch. Haha.

My house really needs de-cluttering. I'll check out the book.
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I hope my post was not "Preachy"......I just wish I had read that book about 15 years ago.....I wish that I myself had not procrastinated the process.

Please share your thoughts on this!
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