Updated: Feb 1, 2018
by Bonnie Kallenberg
January is National Get Organized (GO) month and we’ve had professional organizers give weekly workshops at our Furnishings location. One organizer shared a book title that interested me so much I ordered via phone app immediately, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson. It’s a quick read with practical advice with the overall message being “don’t leave your loved ones a mess to clean up when you die!”
Having helped numerous friends who have lost a parent go through the family home after the death, I agree with Magnusson’s message! The generation that grew up in the Great Depression tended to hang on to everything from the family home to every family photo and everything in between. Clothing was rarely purged because it may be needed one day, things given kept for good manners or memories, and attics and basements filled with things the kids may someday want or need.
But people are living longer overall, affluence has allowed people to buy their own things in their own taste and today’s young adults? They just don’t want the burden of stuff. So, it all sits until the inevitable happens and a house is left with a lifetime of stuff and somebody has to deal with it all. Often due to the time constraints of the relatives responsible, things just end up in dumpsters! Other times it has taken 100's of trips to the donation center of a thrift store business.
If only it could have been handled as suggested in the book, slowly, thoughtfully, meaningfully, mindfully….and burdening no one. Things given away to people who truly want them while the giver is alive and well. Unwanted things put back in the universe for someone else to find, purchase, love and enjoy. Donations made so those in need can have.
There are things we don’t want or need in all of our lives from clothing to furniture. What can you give away? What can you sell? When you clear space you create energy for something new and not necessarily a new “thing”. When you sell unneeded items you generate a nice cash flow to tuck away for something special. Consignment is a great way to get started in this process and once you get used to keeping the flow of items moving out of your house, it will become just a part of your housekeeping routine.
Finders Keepers is here to help you and your loved ones will thank you!