Ep 21 | Book Review: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

January 23rd, 2018 · 38 mins 45 secs

About this Episode

Karin and Kristyn explore the Swedish art of death cleaning and how it integrates with the KonMari lifestyle.

In this episode, we review The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson. Instead of “does it spark joy,” we explore the question “will anyone I know be happier if I save this?” We review what parts of Death Cleaning sparked joy and what left us wanting more, as we compare this tool to the KonMari Method. We also apply both death cleaning and KonMari to answer a listener's question about managing clothing and papers.

Now, we want to hear from you. Tell us your burning tidying questions or share stories about how KonMari has impacted your life. Find us at www.sparkjoypodcast.com and click “Ask Spark Joy” to leave a question or comment for a chance to be featured on next week’s show. While you’re there, sign-up to join our Spark Joy podcast community and get notified when each episode airs. You can also join the Spark Joy podcast community on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter at the handle @sparkjoypodcast.

In this episode, you’ll enjoy:

  • Joy checks! Karin consolidated her storage locker space in NYC and Kristyn is moving to a new neighborhood in Chicago

  • The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson

  • How "Dostadning," Swedish for "dealth cleaning," focuses on disposing of things prior to passing on

  • How Marie Kondo feels about death cleaning

  • Margareta Magnusson's background and experience death cleaning after her parents, husband, and mother-in-law passed away

  • Questions that you can use to spark conversation around death and possessions across generations

  • Why you shouldn't assume your loved ones will have the time and energy to examine your items after you've passed

  • The age when you should start death cleaning

  • The exception you may need to make while you're walking through KonMari clutter categories in order

  • What we wished death cleaning included to aid in decision making

  • Our advice for a spark joy listener who struggles with maintaining her tidy when it comes to clothing and paper

  • Practical tips on how you should properly organize or give away your sentimental and valuable possessions before you pass


  • “Will anyone I know be happier if I save this?”
  • “If you can’t keep track of your things you know you have too many.”
  • “If I don’t know the names of the people in the photos, nobody else in the family is likely to.”

You can find Karin Socci at The Serene Home
You can find Kristyn Ivey at For the Love of Tidy