Dostadning? What is it? Why am I talking about it?
It’s the Swedish practice of de-cluttering but the reason for this de-cluttering is different. Read on to find out more about how I came to talk about the practice of Dostadning.
When I’m thinking about writing a blog or talking about a topic for my podcast episodes I let my mind wander so that I am open to what comes in to my mind. I randomly read and research articles, and the internet and suddenly there it is, my eye is drawn to a word or phrase and this becomes my topic.
This way of choosing randomly is called ‘stichomancy’ and when you have my inspirational, motivational, empowering books or even when looking for a YouTube video on my channel – I ask you to choose randomly. For my books, treat them like a friend on the shoulder, there when you want or need. Just flick through the pages and stop. You will find content that you need to read at that moment in time. Do the same with my YouTube videos – look at the titles and see what catches your eye and believe me you will hear something that helps you in that moment.
This random way of thinking brought me to my topic today as my eye was drawn to an article on Dostadning.
I mention earlier that Dostadning is a particular type of de-cluttering. Dostadning is a Swedish word that translates to ‘death-cleaning’ (do meaning death and stadning meaning cleaning). Now please don’t be put off. Read on to find out how this Swedish practice not only clears material clutter but frees your mind and those of loved ones. Dostadning is the practice of sorting through your personal belongings before your death based on what objects will be of value to your loved ones after you are gone.
The media has many ads on organising your funeral so that your family is not burdened with the cost, etc. Why not practice Dostadning? The practice was mentioned in a book by Margareta Magnusson called ‘The Gentle Art of Swedish Death-Cleaning: How to Free yourself and your family from a lifetime of clutter’.
When you do this no-one else has to deal with all the stuff you have accumulated. This author started cleaning the clutter as she says, in preparation for her death, but also said that she got a lot of satisfaction and pleasure out of it too.
I decided to de-clutter recently and funnily enough my daughter said to me (jokingly) ‘you’re not dying are you’!! I said of course not (or I hope not!). Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a bit of a hoarder, particularly of books. Recently I decided that I did not need the hundreds of books on my shelves and that others could benefit from them so I de-cluttered the shelves and gave many away to people studying the particular subject and others to charity. However, when I look at my book shelves now I can’t really see the difference that this de-cluttering made! Despite that it was very worthwhile as like the Swedish author I found it very satisfying and got a lot of pleasure out of it. I continue to de-clutter clothes and other material things.
Of course I know how difficult it is to let go, to get rid of some things, particularly those that evoke memories but take a moment to think about people who lose everything in fires and floods – you will hear, those with a positive mind, say that they are grateful they are alive and that they have their memories.
One Swedish lady in her late 80s de-clutters every week and she says she gets a feeling of relief to get rid of stuff and it also makes her calm.
Try to start a mantra for de-cluttering: If you don’t love something, lose it. If you don’t use it, lose it’.
Also when you go through material things, ornaments, books even clothes it brings back memories.
Remember too there is a difference between death- cleaning and after-death cleaning where family members and friends are left to sort through belongings and although this too can bring memories it can be a heavy task as we all accumulate far too many material things.
Why not relieve the burden and start de-cluttering while you are still alive so your loved ones don’t have to deal with the burden and mess of going through all your belongings.
Take a moment to consider this blog – do you have an attic or basement packed full of stuff you haven’t seen for years and don’t even remember or use?
Start thinking about what you are accumulating – are you collecting too much stuff? If so, start the de-cluttering now. If you have clothes you don’t wear, then there are many people around the world who need them.
You can’t live forever. Think of Dostadning in a positive, light-hearted, fun way.
You will be more organised, you will feel good and your lifestyle will improve.
In the words of Magnusson ‘most people who have old parents and a busy life would like to go through less of their parent’s stuff when they are gone… and will be grateful for the amount of de-cluttering their parents did’.
Smile and laugh, they cost you nothing.
Virtual hugs to all