Wait! My Y75 : Project may be a chic name for what the Swedes call döstädning, or death cleaning, according to the Washington Post in a feature on Margareta Magnusson, an “80-ish artist” whose book, “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” will be released in the US in January.
“Death cleaning. Isn’t that harsh?” asked my cousin, Hacsi Horvath, a noted medical researcher (ret.), who lives in Marin County. “I prefer the 19th-century phrase: Getting my life in order.”
I prefer Y75. If feels more flexible to me. My goal is to not just toss away, but to reshape what was and start anew. For me, one such action is retiring from my volunteer boards of directors and advisors and instead work on short-term projects that solve problems.
Forget “joy” – take a look at “gentle art”
The death cleaning article has some good tips (don’t start with photos or you’ll get bogged down in memories), you don’t have to fold, you just have to do it, do it, do it. Don’t miss the encouraging, funny video that Magnusson filmed with one of her daughters.
….she [Magnusson] talks about why she decluttered and how it’s not a sad process, but more of a relief. Her daughter asks whether her mom would help her begin death cleaning. They go to a storage locker overflowing with luggage and clothes and blankets topped by a garden gnome.
“Oh, my God. What are you going to do with all this crap?” her mother says in perfect English, taking a look around…