Swedish Death Cleaning: It's Not as Grim as You Might Think
Okay, a little less grim. But a lot less grime.
Dostadning, otherwise known as, “Swedish Death Cleaning,” is the latest, somewhat morbid, Swedish trend that’s sweeping the masses. Pun intended.
Spooky though it may sound, SDC is anything but. The idea is drawing attention thanks to Swedish writer, Margareta Magnusson’s upcoming book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning. All you organizing freaks out there, keep reading. You’re going to eat this up.
Simply stated, Swedish Death Cleaning encourages those in their early-to-mid 60s to begin the process of slowly and systematically decluttering their homes. The decluttering process should be maintained throughout the remaining years of ones’ life. The idea is that, by doing so, you can free your friends and family from the responsibility and/or burden of managing a lifetime of accrued material items (read: clutter) after you're gone.
If you think this all still sounds a bit daunting, you’re not alone. Magnusson's tip? Start small. Get rid of the obviously unnecessary stuff — donate clothes that no longer fit, toss gadgets that no longer work or eliminate anything that no longer brings you joy. Take it one step at a time.
So what do you think? Would you give Swedish Death Cleaning a go, or no?
Expired or Unidentifiable Medication
Dispose of old prescriptions and anything you can't identify — but — because meds are considered hazardous waste, it's important that you follow the FDA's guidelines. Also, check with your local pharmacy or law enforcement agencies, many offer year-round or seasonal drug take-back days so you can safely drop off unwanted meds for proper disposal.
Last Year's Gift Wrap
You probably refresh your wrapping paper supply while Christmas shopping, anyway, so go ahead and recycle the old stuff. If you can't bear to part with it, try keeping it organized in a rolling mesh laundry basket. You can also turn last year's leftovers into festive decor.
Old Chargers and Cables
A friend or relative might be able to use a spare USB cable or an old charger. Anything you can't give away can usually be recycled in electronic stores or online. Keep unruly cords organized by using media boxes that are divided into "cubbies" with scraps of cardboard. Label each section, so you'll never confuse the camera cord for the phone charger again, and give the boxes a bit of color by decorating the cardboard with scrapbook paper.
Properly sealed (read: air-tight) paint can last for up to 10 years if kept at an even temperature and prevented from freezing. However if, like most of us, you store leftover paint in the garage or shed, the temperature swings will cause it to break down much quicker. If you have old paint cans with bulging lids, leaky seams or, once opened, a thick layer of dried paint on top, it's time to give that can the toss. But, before tossing, research safe disposal steps by contacting your local household hazardous waste center. If the paint is still usable, you may even be able to donate it to a local charity, like Habitat for Humanity or even a local scout troop or school that could use the paint for crafts.