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The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter
Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
Length: 2 hrs and 37 mins
4 out of 5 stars (130 ratings)
Regular price: £12.99
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Summary

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.

©2017 Margareta Magnusson (P)2017 Canongate Books Ltd

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I laughed, cried and got on with the task at hand.

I listened to this as I tried to solve the waves of clutter that have built up in my house over the years and found it a strangely moving and practical book. It was recommended to me by a poet friend. It is aimed at the over 65s who are gently encouraged to think about what will become of their stuff when they are no longer around. I don't fit this age bracket -- I am in my 40s -- but I thought this was an unusual book that was so refreshing to find in the midst of the dumbed down 'get a trash bag and a donate box and begin' field of offerings. Not at all boring as one review suggested but rather meditative and philosophical about the practicalities of preparing for the leaving of life and for the ongoing renegotiation of how to live with less. The writer is a really interesting person and her background as an artist and mother underpins her insights, stories and suggestions. She deals well with how to negotiate the minefield of personal possessions such as photos and letters. She writes thoughtfully about the giving of gifts across generations. It is also a memoir concerning her own loss and this thread that runs through the whole makes this an intense and moving experience to listen to. She is so astute on the relationship of a life to ones possessions. She gently reminds us they are not the same! I laughed, cried and got on with the task at hand. Compelling narration by Juliet Stevenson.

42 of 42 people found this review helpful

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Just what I needed to encourage me to clean for my death

With the threat of breast cancer I feel I need to put my house in order out of love for my husband and daughters. I feel reassured after reading this book that this is not morbid but the right and loving thing to do.
Thanks Juliet, you have brought to the fore many of the worries I already had about leaving a big mess behind.

26 of 26 people found this review helpful

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Awesome book!

A very enjoyable book. I definitely gleaned much wisdom from it! Author is funny and narrator is engaging.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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I'm glad I read it

I would recommend everyone at every age to read this book. Thankyou to the author.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Excellent...

Exceptional book. A pleasure to read and listen. Beautiful advice for everyday living. Thank you.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A tad boring

I was hoping for some inspiration but found it a very boring book. The premise of the book is excellent but simply too anecdotal and not very engaging.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Interesting but a little dull.

Although 'gentle' it was also somewhat maiden aunt - possibly due to style of narration.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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brilliant

I'd decided not to buy this book for obvious reasons. but after reading it, I might just treat myself and get a beautiful copy to revisit time and time again. simply spot on.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Straightforward advice

This book is really aimed at the over 65's but has some advice for the families of people approaching the end of their lives or their later years. Some good practical advice about how to tidy up your belongings and affairs as you age or perhaps in the case of a terminal illness. Fairly upbeat considering the subject matter, gently and kindly handled.

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Both whimsical and no nonsense

if that's possible. It isn't morbid..
There's a lot of crossover with Marie Kondo. I loved the anecdotes and the understated humour.
The only downside was not seeing the spelling of Swedish names e.g. the Swedish for man cave is man nursery (but the upside is you hear the pronunciation) Juliet Stevenson is a charming narrator.

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  • Elizabeth Skroeder Soerensen
  • 28-06-18

useful when cleaning!

I loved listening to it while cleaning. my livingroom is now clean! and I'm halfway done with my bedroom that is hiding all the clutter we didn't want the public to see