What I've Read and What I'm Reading Right Now
This month, I'm digging into Swedish Death Cleaning and failure. Read along with me, if you are so inclined. Instagram: @lucacusolito
Book: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning
Author: Margareta Magnusson
TL;DR Summary: "If you own stuff, you should take care of your stuff routinely and habitually before you get too old to deal with it and/or die. Also, grieving advice. Also, a dash of nihilism and a cheesecake recipe."
Luca Says: I am going to reread/listen again to this one so I can provide a more thoughtful review. I totally appreciate the mindset behind this approach to stewardship of one's possessions. This topic has been trending and I was intrigued. I pulled the thread and am glad I did! The book provided useful recommended procedures for disbanding belongings in cycles, from clothes to photos to....ah...jouets sexuels? Please be advised there is a whole chapter discussing coming across a stray pair of old panties and novelties in your family's drawer. The conversation quickly shifts to ensuring your loved ones don't come across sensitive stuff in your keep should you unexpectedly kick it. Hey, I took, like, three hours to listen to this book. I'm just letting you know what's up ahead. The book also administered drifting, folksy stories where even the author would catch herself dispensing off-topic antidotes and then insist on finding her way back. There were a few pieces of advice that made me wince, such as wrapping up odd tchotchkes from your home that you no longer want to give to a *new* friend instead of taking the customary wine, bread, or flowers as a host gift for the first time. Yikes! Then there was another section that advised inviting younger family members over (boxes or bags cleverly on hand by the door) to send them off with discarded kitchenware and other household items that you no longer want. What if the younger family member is too shy to decline and now ends up with a box of stuff that they themselves will not use? Or know how to disband of? Or feels guilty and hangs on to it for YEARS and SEVERAL MOVES (*cough*)* It is all too common for well-meaning people to pass on what they consider usable items that are often worse for wear, outdated, or...well...just kinda gross to share secondhand. No offense to anyone reading this, but I just want to offer another perspective when regifting! Give your family an out if you want to regift by knowing how/where to donate locally, including Freecycle and Facebook Groups.
You'd be surprised how much good you can do within your own community as you disband unused items. As I said, I'm going to reread and then put more thoughts together, including my steps in ensuring that my Swedish Death Cleaning experience goes as efficiently as possible! I am documenting the process, and sharing on: Instagram @lucacusolito YouTube @lucalito
If you have an opportunity to read/listen and are motivated to start working through your mortal possessions ahead of calamity, I think it is worth a read. This book came in under 3 hours to listen to through Audible.
This Book Is Recommended If:
You are currently helping a family member downsize or working with other family members to disband a deceased family member's items and need a context to talk about the hard stuff
If you need the motivation to start working on downsizing before retirement, during a lifestyle change, or to get into better possession stewardship at a younger age.
You want to hear about how others approach death and better living with their loved ones
Book: Fail Fast, Fail Often
Authors: Ryan Babineaux and John Krumboltz
TL;DR Summary: "...happy and successful people tend to spend less time planning and more time acting. They get out into the world, try new things, and make mistakes, and in doing so, they benefit from unexpected experiences and opportunities."
I am just starting to listen to this so check back!
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