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5 steps to help you start death cleaning

The Swedish tradition of a final tidy up might sound depressing, but it will lighten your load physically, mentally and spiritually.

By Fiona Tapp


Are you ready to pare down a lifetime of paperwork and tchotchkes? Here are some practical steps to help you begin death cleaning.

1. Go through each room of your home and methodically attack clutter and mess.

2. Dispose of anything that sparks bad memories, such as angry letters or unwanted gifts.

3. Donate or recycle what isn’t valuable, useful or of sentimental value.

4. Consider giving sentimental items and family heirlooms to loved ones now.

5. Create a box or folder of essential information that your family may need upon your death. Include any passwords, account numbers or phone numbers for insurance policies and attorneys. You can also put personal letters to your family here and lay out any of your final wishes, which should also be reiterated in your will and legal documents.

Have you considered a death clean? Tell us about it in the comments below.



Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!

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