“Death cleaning”, the Swedish concept to put your life in order

A somewhat gloomy name for a concept of storage Again, this is what the death cleanse offers. It comes to us directly from Sweden and consists of making a first big storage before our death. If the idea may seem a bit strange, the reality is quite different. We present this concept to you with Cynthia Deroover and Katrin Schimmelpfennig, two Belgian local organizers.

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When saving too much becomes a problem

Since the pandemic, more and more Belgians are turning to local organizers. The reason ? Confinement and our desire to have a pleasant space to live. “With the lockdown, everyone wanted to feel good at home. really everyone“explains Cynthia Deroover, manager of home organizer.

However, in older people, do the big grading sometimes it can be difficult. Whether before a death or a departure to a nursing home, emptying out a senior’s home is often a headache for home organizers, as Cynthia Deroover explains: “The elderly are the most complicated clients. Simply because for them everything is a memory“.

Even when these people are no longer around, the concern is still very present. “Older people don’t always think about what they will leave behind when they go. When houses are very crowded, it can quickly become a problem for children.“, begins Katrin Schimmelpfennig, manager of passion house. “Heirs sometimes have trouble dropping items. There is a sentimental aspect. Children sometimes feel guilty about emptying the house“, She continues.

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The Solution: Cleansing Death

To spare our family this heavy sentimental chore, some engage in what is called “death cleaning,” the act of tidying up your house before your death. The goal is to live in a more minimalist way during the last years of our lives. This would be an additional step in the preparation of our departure: “In case of death, we think about certain things such as insurance or inheritance. But we must also think about everything that clutters our house“, continues Katrin Schimmelpfennig.

Some tips to get started

A cleaning of death is something that is organized little by little and is learned. For Cynthia Deroover, the important thing is in the motivation: “I motivate people to order the unnecessary, to have the happiness of organizing and gathering the things important to their hearts.“.

Katrin Schimmelpfennig, for her part, advises detaching yourself from the sentimental aspect: “Don’t feel guilty throwing things away if you really don’t care.He also advises talking about it with the people around you: “The older ones can ask their family if there is any object they want“. For the home organizer, it is important to plan ahead: “When you’re grieving, it’s hard to make decisions. If the desired items are already in the hands of the heirs, it will be easier for everyone“.

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Finally, always according to Katrin Schimmelpfennig, the important thing is to go little by little, in the long term. “People are often a bit confused about what to keep, what to sell, what to give, what to throw away when it comes to a loved one’s belongings.“, She continues, “so it is easier when the decision has been made with the person directly affected“.

According to the cleansing of death, to know whether or not to keep an object, you have to ask yourself if it would make someone happy or not. Depending on the function, you will know if you should throw it away, keep it, give it to a loved one or donate it to an association. Everything to facilitate the mourning period of your loved ones.

Obviously, this method is not reserved exclusively for older people. Other people do it in a symbolic way, as a way to turn the page on a past that we want to bury.

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