Scandinavians have always been trendsetters. In the 1960s, the Northern Europeans led the charge on designing sleek, teak mid-century modern furniture. In the late 20th Century, Swedes democratized fashion and furniture with big box stores like Ikea and H&M, which offered affordable takes on upmarket designs. And, more recently, Canadians have been smitten with the Danish concept of hygge – introducing coziness, comfort and conviviality into the home.
Now, the Scandinavians have gifted the world with a new concept: döstädning. The Swedish de-cluttering trend has created a buzz this side of the Atlantic, convincing many Canadians to part with their unnecessary junk. But what is döstädning? How can it help you, or your loved ones, create a better living space?
What is Döstädning?
Döstädning literally means “death cleaning.” It describes the process of de-cluttering and downsizing your possessions as you get older, with the ultimate goal being to leave few precious things behind when you die.
It may sound morbid, but in its native Sweden, the concept is viewed as a practical response to a fact of life. For elderly parents, döstädning is a way of planning for their eventual passage that doesn’t burden their children. For the children, it’s a way of helping their parents organize and downsize as they get older.
In Sweden, döstädning doesn’t wait until late in life. Many people start the process once they hit middle age, gradually making efforts to purge their home of clutter. It's never too soon to begin seeking out organizing or downsizing services in Toronto – like Neatspaces – either for yourself or a loved one.
A Pragmatic Approach to an Emotional Topic
Understandably, topics surrounding death can be emotional for both parties. Part of the brilliance of döstädning is that it approaches death pragmatically. It’s a natural part of life, and making preparations for it is a reasonable thing to do.
If you are trying to convince a parent to de-clutter or downsize, introduce them to döstädning. View it as a way to cooperate and communicate around the topics of home organization and downsizing. Spark a conversation about what you truly want from your parents’ home, versus what they think you want. You can also lead by example: de-clutter your own space with the help of a professional organizing company.
How to Downsize Effectively
With de-cluttering comes rethinking your space. When older adults feel their home is too big for them, many get excited to move to a new, smaller residence like a retirement home. This is the perfect opportunity to put döstädning into practice.
The most effective way to de-clutter and prepare for a move is to enlist the help of a professional downsizing company. These companies specialize in compassionate, hands-on support, helping you – and your loved ones – sort, organize and dispose of your belongings to facilitate an easier move. An end-to-end service, professional downsizing companies do it all: they pack, unpack, coordinate and oversee the movers, reserve the elevators, provide packing supplies, and help set up the new home.
Döstädning may seem like an unusual concept at first, but as a means of thinking about living space, legacy and enjoying one’s twilight years, it can be immensely helpful. Call a professional organizing and downsizing company today, and start planning pragmatically for the next chapter.