Tidying up can be a life-changing event. It can be a philosophical expression, placing an importance on joy, practicality, and order. Creating a pleasant, organized space is about simplicity for the living, but it also serves to spare loved ones the burden of sorting through your possessions upon your death.
Tidying up is all the rage with the help of the popular KonMari method, featured on Marie Kondo’s Netflix series, “Tidying Up”. People have been cleaning out their closets in hopes of embracing her motto of ‘choosing joy’. Marie Kondo is also the author of the New York Times best-selling book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. Her goal is to help simplify and organize our homes. Her approach is not the typical room-by-room method, but instead encourages tidying by category: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous, and finally sentimental items. The idea is to only keep things that speak to the heart and to thank then discard items that no longer spark joy. It is an effective philosophy that isn’t just about clutter, but about being mindful.
Marie Kondo’s Japanese method can also be compared to the Swedish trend of ‘Death Cleaning’. “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter”, is a book by Margareta Magnusson. Magnusson, a Swede, writes about the Swedish idea of döstädning, which translates to death cleaning. Dö means death in Swedish and städning means cleaning. An important part of Swedish Death Cleaning is to involve others. Sharing your plan with loved ones helps you stay accountable. It also becomes a good time to share with your family your wishes for after you pass…and may help siblings avoid a heated, grief-ridden fight over some sentimental possessions after a death occurs.
There are many de-cluttering businesses available to help us downsize or organize our personal or work lives. Our After Care Specialists help connect families with community resources when a death occurs. Our battle with ‘stuff’ in life is not something we want to pass to our loved ones once we are gone. Embrace your cherished items and learn to share your joy. Learn to let the rest go so that when you are gone, your loved ones can grieve instead of feeling overwhelmed with the daunting task of having to tidy up.
If you are looking to take your tidying up one step further by coordinating your estate affairs, please feel free to reach out to our Pre-Planning Team for assistance with final planning.