Lifestyle, organization

I Tried The Swedish Death Cleaning Method & This Is How It Went

As blunt as it may sound, we are all going to die one day. And all that stuff you’ve accumulated over the years can’t be taken with you. I recently decided to try out the decluttering method called Swedish Death Cleaning to further understand this morbid decluttering technique & see if this mindset is beneficial to downsizing our lives.

What Is The Swedish Death Cleaning Method?

According to the spruce.com, Swedish Death Cleaning is a method of organizing and decluttering your home before you die to lessen the burden of your loved ones after you’ve passed. Typically, those of the older generation or those battling terminal illness will lean towards this method of cleaning. But I say, you can never be too old to downsize your belongings. From personal experience, the reasons I’ve leaned towards more minimalistic ways of living was due to family members passing on & then having to find new homes for their “cherished” items. It really placed things into perspective. And I think this method goes beyond the idea of becoming a burden to others & instead allowing yourself to free your space of excess clutter in a guilt free manner.

As morbid as it may sound, I truly think this method of decluttering can put perspectives on what you find important. Instead of simply asking yourself, “does this spark joy?” You are furthering it by asking, “would my family want to have this in their lives?” Now this isn’t saying you should just get rid of everything you own that makes you who you are. Obviously, we are all different & what we may enjoy may not be special to someone else. So, I think an even better question to ask yourself may be , “is this item worth holding onto / storing?” I recently went through my sentimental items again to see if I could condense the containers even further since my storage space is rather limited. It’s so fascinating to see what we deem as so near & dear to our hearts. I’ve talked about ways to declutter sentimental items in the past. Recently, I downsized said keepsakes by taking digital photos of the item instead of letting the physical belonging age in storage. And in other cases, I tried to see if I could repurpose or display the trinkets somewhere in our home. A quick take away I tell myself is, finding ways to give life to said items instead of having them collect dust in a box in the back of a closet.

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It Allowed Me To Examine My Home From Top To Bottom

The Swedish Death Cleaning Method has you question every aspect of your life. And I realized, I still hold onto items just in case I need it one day. And we know from my previous decluttering post, those “What If I Need It One Day” Items are such a waste of space. For example, in our spare closet, I kept our Halloween costumes from last year thinking we would MAYBE wear them again this year. And in all honesty – we never wear a costume more than once. So, during this decluttering session, I let those go. And as silly as it may sound in the middle of July – I also went through seasonal decor for both Halloween & Christmas. Most cases, I wait until that season to let go of broken or unused decor, but this method of decluttering allowed me to go through those areas here & now so I am not burdened by the clutter a few months from now. I also was able to take inventory of wrapping supplies & came to the conclusion, we don’t need to purchase any new supplies this year. Yay!

Giving Items New Life / Purpose

If we cherish an item so much, we should allow it to have significant meaning to our lives, right? Books should be read, journals should be written in & toys should be played with. It’s sad when belongings get stored away never to be used again. Think of the Pixar movie, Toy Story – wouldn’t you rather give those items a chance at a second life? We almost grow this sick attachment to your stuff for an array of reasons. But the Swedish Death Method allows us to understand the importance of only keeping what we truly need, use or want. Everything else has the luxury to be used by someone else. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, right? And finding purpose for something sparks so much more value than having it sit unused. For example, when I moved out – I was gifted a few ornaments that hung on our family Christmas tree. It always makes me happy to see those ornaments being used & passed down so when we have a family of our own – our kids can enjoy them as much as I did.

It’s Not Just a Burden To Others

It becomes a burden to you! And so, why can’t we just let those items go? According to the Swedish Death Method, reasons for having difficulty letting things go can be due to fear, our clutter instinct & our hoarder instinct. And as I said before, us humans have the tendency to hold onto items “just in case”. Swedish Death Cleaning grants us this freeing & eye opening perspective to let go of that burden for once & give yourself the gift of space.

The Longer You Hold On To Something The Harder It Is To Let Go

There are items I’ve had in my possession for YEARS! And some of those items, I can’t even remember why I kept it in the first place. But because I’ve had it forever, I just assume it’s for a good reason & so, there it stays in a storage bin or drawer. And the tough reality is a lot of items hold a certain form of value. Whether it was a gift from someone, holds a memory, reminds you of a special someone – these reasonings cloud our judgement. For example, when my dad passed away, I decided to take a few of his shirts home with me. I would sometimes wear them for comfort, but mostly – I’d just store them in my dresser as a security blanket if you will. It was almost like having his clothing made the feeling of him being gone sting a little less. Over time, I realized having those pieces of clothing was actually making the grieving process more difficult. And in all honesty – I don’t think my dad would really care if I had his clothing or not. So, a few weeks ago I ripped the bandaid & donated those few t-shirts. And I feel a lot better. A great reminder to myself is , “the item is not the person”.

Conclusion

I personally love the concept of The Swedish Death Cleaning Method. I find it so freeing. I love how it allows myself to really ask myself, “does this item serve a purpose?” & “would someone else want this when I’m gone?” And in turn these simple questions can give you the push to let a few extra things go. And ultimately – you can stop the excess clutter from affecting your life in such negative ways.

What are your thoughts on the Swedish Death Cleaning Method?

if you are interested in learning more about this decluttering method, be sure to check out Margareta Magnusson‘s book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.

-B

organization

Overcoming “What If I Need This One Day” Type of Clutter

One of the biggest questions that runs through a lot of people’s minds during decluttering is, “what if I need this one day?” Even I’ve battled with such obstacles from time to time. Those “just in case items” seem necessary to hold onto because you think you are saving money. “What if I need this quesadilla maker on the off chance I want to make a quesadilla?” “What if we go to Paris in the near future – this beret [ i’ve never worn before] may come in handy at that moment!” What if the person who gifted me that item [ I never use] questions where it is when they visit?” The scenarios could go on & on. And if you let this category of item get to you, you’ll find yourself in the midst of becoming hoarders.

The Scarcity Mindset

Sometimes the reason we develop clutter is through fear. We are afraid we won’t be able to attain said item again in the future. Many times this correlates with socioeconomic status & the growth from lower to higher income. It’s a subconscious fear you won’t be this well off forever. So, you decide to hold onto things with the notion you won’t be able to attain it later. But regardless of your socioeconomic status, everyone should follow the 20×20 rule instead.

What is the 20×20 Rule?

If you can replace the item in 20 minutes with $20 or less, you should probably donate or sell said item. From my experience, anytime I finally get rid of something, I rarely regret or need a replacement in the future. For instance, over last summer we hosted an engagement party at our home. We purchased a bunch of paper plates, foil pans to hold the food selection & plastic cups & utensils. We ended up only using not even half of the supplies, so I stored it in a cabinet for a while. This May will be a year since we hosted said party & we haven’t used the items since. The paper plates have begun to yellow & quite honestly in our town home, we don’t have the best storage space. So, although I thought, “we could use this for our next get together or party.” I ended up donating what was still useable to a local shelter. I’d much rather let those items go now & repurchase supplies when we do decide to host another party. Now, we have plenty of space for other necessities in this cabinet.

Doesn’t That Waste Money?

A lot of the reason for hoarding is due to the thought of “saving money.” If you hold on to xyz now, you don’t have to spend money later. But what I found with the kept party supplies was, they became unusable over time. Nobody wants to use paper plates that are discolored or broken plastic utensils. Who’s to say, when a get together did arise, I wouldn’t have purchased new supplies anyway? I find, when we fill our home with clutter – we aren’t truly saving money. We are losing time & energy, we are purchasing storage bins to keep the clutter contained. We are purchasing more cleaning supplies to keep the chaos of our homes at bay. I’d much rather let go of the unused items & spend a little cash in the future than fill my home with unnecessary things.

Conclusion

Even though you may think you need to hold onto every little thing you decide to purchase. In reality – there is a slim chance you’ll ever use that just in case item anyway. Save your home from the clutter & finally let those items go. Do you still own any items that make you say, “will I need this one day?”

-B

Minimalism, organization

30 Items You Don’t Need In Your Wardrobe

Out of all the places in my home, my closet & dresser drawers are spaces I declutter most frequently. Although I’m more of an intentional person, I do love fashion & trying out different styles ever so often. With that, I tend to accumulate quite a few clothing pieces throughout the year. I no longer have the mindset of having a certain number of items in my wardrobe, but I’ve discovered types of items you definitely truly don’t need in your closet. I’ve shared a shorter list in the past on my blog, so check out that post here if you are interested. But today, I’ll be sharing with you 30 items you don’t need in your wardrobe. Yes, 30!

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1. Items That Don’t Make You Feel Confident

Life is too short to own clothing that doesn’t make you feel your best – get rid of them!

2. Items That No Longer Fit Your Present Body Type

I get it – sometimes you want to save those jeans you swear you’ll fit back into. Or on the opposite token, you save those pieces for those times you think you may need to up a size. Unless you are saving maternity clothing because you plan to have another baby soon, I don’t think it’s fair to yourself to be playing such mind games to your body. Keep what works for your present body type & leave it at that.

3. Damaged, Torn or Stained Items

As I’m writing this, I’m wearing an old t-shirt with a hole in the arm pit so it’s a reminder to myself & my readers to think twice in keeping clothing pieces of this nature. You deserve fresh ones.

4. Items That No Longer Represent Your Current Self

As we grow & evolve, so does our style sometimes. Honor those changes with regular clear outs. Say goodbye to your past self & styles.

5. Items You Are Saving For Your Future Self

In the same token, sometimes we save items for our future selves. Now, I do find this helpful in some cases, but it can also get out of hand & take up space in our closets. So, really ask yourself why you are keeping said item.

6. Items / Gifts Others Have Given You That Are of No Use To You

As appreciative as it is, sometimes gifts [ especially clothing ] from other people don’t represent ourselves. It’s ok to get rid of any of these items especially if you 100% plan not to wear them ever. What do people say, “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.”

7. Items That Hold A Memory But You Never Wear

Either place the item in a sentimental keepsake box or get rid of it. The item is never the actual memory.

8. Trendy Items You Just Don’t Wear Or Aren’t Practical

I personally, love to stick with classic & timeless clothing pieces, but sometimes the trends get the best of me. Anything you see you are done wearing, get rid of them.

9. Colors of Items You Just Don’t Wear

I used to think I had to own every color of the rainbow & color coordinate my closet accordingly. I no longer have this mindset. If I don’t like the color yellow on me, you won’t see me in anything yellow. Period.

10. Items That Aren’t Comfortable

Whether it’s an itchy sweater, tight pants or tops, shoes you can’t walk in – yea, get rid of those items.

11. Items You Spent Tons of Money On But Don’t Wear

I know you may feel guilty for spending a certain amount of money on something, but it actually feels worse when you just let the item sit in your closet with the tags still on.

12. Outfits You Wore Once & Won’t Wear Again

Those dresses you wore to a wedding or anything you wore literally one time & will never wear again. Yea, let those pieces go to a better home.

13. Duplicates You Don’t Wear

There are some moments where having duplicates is nice in a wardrobe – like if you have a favorite sweater & want it in multiple colors. But I try to be careful with this, because it’s a fast way to feel like you have no variety in your wardrobe.

14. Clothing Pieces That Remind You of Sad Times

There’s no sense to hold onto physical baggage. Believe it or not, these material items like clothing can actually mentally cause us to hold ourselves back from moving forward.

15. Shoes That No Longer Fit

This goes along with #10 about being comfortable. There’s no sense in owning shoes that are impossible to walk in. I don’t care how pretty they are!

16. Graphic Shirts You’ve Retired To Your PJ Drawer

It’s good to give your old t-shirts a second life. But I try not to overdue this because it can quickly result in an overflowed drawer filled with shirts.

17. Robes You Never Wear

I’m not the biggest fan of robes. I just don’t really understand the point. But I think owning one is efficient if it’s your thing. Otherwise, it seems a bit excessive.

18. Slippers You Never Wear

Again, owning multiple pairs of slippers seems excessive. So, be sure you are wearing all of them on rotation or go through the collection.

19. Holiday Attire You Won’t Wear Next Year

I try to find holiday shirts that I know I’ll wear multiple years in a row. But the truth is, especially around Christmas, I always end up with tons of holiday shirts. It’s a good time for you to go through these items & get rid of ones you know you won’t wear again.

20. Socks With Holes In Them

This goes with #3 but I know [ me included] it can be easy to keep those socks with holes because it’s so easy to accumulate so many! They usually get mixed in the group & I don’t realize there’s a hole until I’m half way out the door!

21. Items You Know Someone Else Could Love

It’s better to give items you aren’t using to those who will love it even more!

22. Items That Need Fixed But Haven’t Been

Those coats that need a new zipper or those tops that are missing a button. If you haven’t yet gotten those fixed, I honestly doubt you ever will.

23. Brands You No Longer Want to Support

Whether you are trying to be more sustainable or you find a companies’ message not up to par with your morals, maybe it’s time to donate those brands & start fresh with ones that are.

24. White T-Shirts That Are No Longer White

I always like to replace my white t-shirts every season or so. Owning white t-shirts that have lost its crisp shade just aren’t fresh to wear.

25. Cheap Accessories

I try not to purchase cheaper jewelry because they usually turn my skin green or they break so easily. It’s worth investing in a few nice pieces of jewelry.

26. Belts You Don’t Use

I’m not the biggest belt person, but I feel like it’s easy to accumulate this accessory. I like to say owning a black, brown & one other shade [ possibly one with some sparkle or buckle ] are plenty for your essential wardrobe.

27. Hats You Don’t Wear

Same mindset as the belts – it’s better to have hats you definitely wear. I like to have at least one knit hat for winter time, a ball cap & a sunhat for the beach.

28. Bras or Undergarments You No Longer Like

You should only keep bras & undergarments that are flattering to you, comfortable & make you feel confident. Everything else should go. Period.

29. Clothing That Has Lots of Years On It

I’m guilty of holding onto some items for longer than expected. For example, I have a bag that is over 10 years old & has a small hole at the bottom. Maybe it’s time to replace it?

30. Items Other People Like on You, But You Don’t

It’s nice to wear certain pieces others may like on you, like a romantic partner for example. But you don’t want this to get out of hand. You want to dress for you & no one else at the end of the day. It’s called your closet for a reason.

Conclusion:

I hope this list provides the decluttering inspiration you may need to cull a proper capsule wardrobe of items you absolutely love!

-B