Off The Grid

Living off the Grid on a west coast island

a new name

7 Comments

The Swedes call it dostadning, death cleaning. The cleaning which happens after a relative dies and you have to clean out their house and dispose of all of their belongings. Except with this concept, you do it now, in your sixties… Simplify your life and get rid of all of, for lack of a better word, the crap which you have been carrying around with you for years. You thought you might need it, or should keep it for sentimentality… but you don’t. I don’t .. Time to get rid of it all!!!

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson, suggests it is now the time to declutter.. in the extreme sense of decluttering.

The house reno is under control when I can spend the whole day in the garden.  Time not spent desperately trying to hack back the over growth but to hang up bird feeders and take pictures of flowers. Hours sitting under the shade of the umbrella watching the fish and the frogs and the butterflies and well just listening to the deafening silence interrupted by the occasional bird’s song.

I honestly don’t think we spent one hour in the garden last summer. But this year we are under control and the property is, if not spotless, pretty darned tidy.. Tidy!! Can you imagine… after what this place looked like last year? For months and months we stepped over demo debris and reno materials and tools and tools and tools!!!! No more, it’s as clean is it is ever likely to be…

We have even emptied the studio out and death cleaned. We sorted the massive amounts of boxes which came from our house, and my Moms house,.. For months we couldn’t even close the door to the studio… Now, the boxes are sorted and all of the materials (tiles, flooring) we were able to save from the original house for a future bunkie are stacked neatly out of the weather.. Well, most of it….

We had our last burn pile.. It lasted three days. We burned papers which we found in the studio which we have been carrying around for years.. E’s Dads papers, my kids report cards, mortgage papers from houses we haven’t owned in this century…Receipts for dental work on a dog who died four years ago..

After living in such a state of disarray for the last year. I am done! Done with mess! Anything left on our property which isn’t of immediate use, beautiful, alcoholic, aromatic or made of cheese is no longer welcome.

Although this death cleaning concept is brilliant and my house is finally going to be decluttered. I admit the concept could use

a new name

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Author: Off Grid Islanders

We are a retired couple living on an off grid island on the West Coast

7 thoughts on “a new name

  1. Woohoo!!! That is so awesome Moira! We definitely need to do some death cleaning around here. I keep saying to Dave that if something happens to us we don’t want our kids to have to deal with all of our “crap”.
    I like your list of keepers. 😊👍🏻
    Now it’s time for you to celebrate with somethings thats alcoholic and has cheese! 🎉🍷🍸🧀

  2. I love the “made of cheese” comment! Funny and brilliant – thank you for introducing the concept.
    Gail

  3. Ahhh, a beautiful thing. After moving twice with in the last 4 years, I thought that I would have accomplished the declutereing. Unfortunately there is more to do. You have inspired me, but I won’t throw out old report cards!

  4. It must be in the air.
    Like when I began unconsciously “nesting” while pregnant, I feel the need to sort, organize, de-clutter, minimize ( which is a word you never would have heard from me).
    I turned 60 in December; maybe that’s the turning point?
    Now I need some young people to come and haul it all off!
    Enjoy the sights and sounds of your life in the garden.
    Winter, like birthdays comes too fast anymore!
    Cheers

    • There is great relief in simplifying life.. I wish I hadn’t spent so much time accumulating things which I now have to get rid of :)… Enjoy the warmth of summer!!

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