Swedish Death Cleaning Is About Life
The Swedish practice of helping loved ones organize and redistribute their belongings well before their passing may be called “death cleaning,” but it’s actually a celebration of life. Learn more about this custom and what it has to do with real estate—and you—in this recent #GTK article. If you’re currently preparing for a move or sale of a property, get in touch today to find out how I can help.
Every culture has its way of dealing with the impending passing of a family member or dear friend. There are wills to direct the distribution of valuables and real property to heirs, but there may not be a clear directive for trinkets, furniture, dishes and cookware, decorations, and other items no longer needed.
The Swedes have a pre-emptive solution that is widely accepted, not only by their culture, but by others who agree that their way of handling the circumstances makes most sense. It’s called Swedish death cleaning, a period during which loved ones help an elderly or infirm relative sort through their belongings to keep, give away or donate non-essential items well in advance of that person’s passing. This is viewed by the Swedes as a celebration of life—a way to share memories, laughter and affection among the family while helping to make tough decisions. It relieves others of the burden and guesswork of what to do with belongings in the event of an unexpected passing. It’s also a relief for the loved one to have such a difficult job accomplished. And who doesn’t enjoy attention from loved ones?
What does Swedish death cleaning have to do with real estate and you? You’ll have better mental health and well-being while preparing for a major transition, such as moving. You’ll enjoy being surrounded only by things that bring you joy in your new home. Last, your real and personal property will be easier to maintain.
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