Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up + Hygge + Estate Planning = Döstädning


If your social media feed is anything like mine the past 4-ish weeks, it's been filled with all sorts of people trying to change their life through the magic of tidying up, thanks to Marie Kondo and / or getting cozy at home through a different kind of magic called hygge. In other words, a new year.

Boiled down to their essence (if you're not familiar and don't want to click thru to those previous links), I see Mare Kondo's efforts as as pretty extreme yet intentional decluttering (a "conscious decluttering," if you will) and hygge as cuddling up warm and cozy with your loved ones to endure the winter.

Last week, a client came in to discuss estate planning and told me they were doing their own version of "Swedish death cleaning." I had no idea what they were talking about so after the appointment was over, I turned to "Encyclopedia Google." And faster than you can figure out how to spell it, I about döstädning and promptly bought The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson so I could learn more.

Döstädning literally translates from Swedish to English as death cleaning. In addition to the "death cleaning" I was already familiar with (what loved ones do after someone dies), döstädning is also something that you do yourself in preparation for your own (eventual) death - much like the "downsizing" we see empty nesters do when the kids are all grown and moved away from home.

But within reading just a few pages of Margareta Magnusson's book, I realized that it's more than just downsizing cleaning. It's about decluttering (Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up); it's about being cozy, comfortable, and at peace with and in your space as you move into this next phase of life (hygge); and it's also about getting your affairs in order to make things easier on your loved ones once you're gone (estate planning). And it's a process that can (and maybe in some ways, should) take years to accomplish.

As you're considering what items spark joy (Marie Kondo-style) and/or getting hygge with your loved ones this winter, maybe take it a step further and do some döstädning, too. If you're ready to get going on estate planning, you know where to find me. Or if you're ready to get going on thinking more seriously about estate planning, the Estate Plan Accountability program might be just the thing you need.

Not ready to commit to either of those (or already have estate planning covered)? Check out the links below for other info & topics.