I have been “death cleaning” but did not realize it!
Over the years I have watched my friends fret as they anticipated turning 30, 40, 50 or 60. I never understood why they got so up tight. To me those milestones were just another birthday.
But this spring I turn 70 and that is a milestone I find hard to accept.
70 – I can no longer count myself in the middle age group. I’m old!
Thinking about this milestone in my life I have found myself looking around at all my “stuff” accumulated over the years and suddenly it just seems like too much “stuff.” I have had an irresistible urge to clean house – to declutter.
While I certainly expect to live many more years I have looked around and thought:
Why am I hanging on to stuff I no longer need, want or use?
Why leave all this for my children to have to sort through deciding who gets what. Or, what is really more likely, to not want any of it but feel guilty putting it in a yard sale or toting off to Goodwill?
Since my kids are grown, why do I need so many pots and pans, so many dishes?
Since it is now just my husband and me, do I really need two televisions, four recliners?
Talking to my husband he agreed that it is time to clean house, to declutter. My daughter says I sound like a pregnant woman who is nesting just before her baby comes.
So we have started going through our home and making decisions.
We have listed several items on the local swap websites and have been able to sell several items.
Our garage is full of boxes all ready to be priced and sorted for our community yard sale this spring.
While I thought this was just my own unique experience I found out recently that there is a new book being published this month by Margareta Magnusson called The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning. Translated from the Swedish döstädning the concept is not a negative focus on death. It is just recognizing that maybe you should start shedding the baggage of life rather than leave it for your children to deal with.
Also – and this is where I am right now – having too much “stuff” can raise stress levels as you age and do not have the energy to keep it all looking neat and in order.
Besides, while I still have a lot of good years ahead, I realize there are more years behind me than ahead and I want to enjoy every minute of those remaining.
Instead of spending time and energy dusting, cleaning, I want to:
dance and enjoy fun times with my husband
enjoy some road trips
and spend some romantic evenings just enjoying being together and watching the sun set.
So – as I begin this death cleaning, I find I am already feeling much better – somehow freer to enjoy the years ahead.
So sorry kids! Besides spending all our money on those road trips, now you find out there won’t be much else left in the house when we bite the dust!
And it gives me a great feeling as the rooms look bigger without so much “stuff” in them.
Love it! So true! We are doing the same thing. We have a room called “the cold room” that anything and every thing was put. It took us 4 days to go through it all. But now it is done and it feels so good !
The rooms in my house are starting to look bigger with less furniture in them.
I just saw something about this in an episode of The Middle! Whatever your age, it feels great to clean things out and get rid of clutter. I like to do it periodically, too.
I’m feeling so much better and the rooms in my house look bigger now without all the extra “stuff.”
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Haha döstädning! Never heard that in Swedish but makes total sense!
And I am feeling so much better as I do my “death cleaning.” Even getting some extra money as I am selling stuff on local sale swap site.
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Reblogged this on Grandma's Ramblings and commented:
When I wrote this post I was only thinking about downsizing to make life a little easier. I had no idea that it would really pay off when we moved several months later – not just to a new home, but to a new state. I recently read statistics compiled by The SpareFoot Storage Beat that were amazing: there are between 45,000 to 52,000 self-storage units in the USA – much more than there are McDonald’s or Starbucks stores. The annual revenue for the industry is $38 million. Almost 10% of households rent a self-storage unit. BecomingMinimalist.com shares that 65 pounds of clothing are thrown away annually by typical Americans. Having less is proving less stress for me!