My ‘Swedish Death Clean’

I have been lying a little lower on the internet for the last week, mostly because my spare time has been thrown into the concept that is ‘Swedish Death Cleaning’.. or at least my own version of it.  I was told about this at the hen do I went to last weekend and I have grabbed it and run!

What is ‘Swedish Death Cleaning’?

The general gist of it (as I understand it) is that you are meant to imagine you are dead (morbid I know) and think about what your loved ones would be faced with when going through your stuff.  Anything useful or that you love, you can keep.  You are meant to look at the things that you keep for sentimental reasons and consider whether you actually need them to remind you of memories.  The idea is to reduce the physical clutter in your life!

My reason

I have moved house over 10 times in the last 10 years and each time I have dragged with me a whole host of stuff.  I regularly have clear outs and take things to the charity shop and the clothes bank or pass things on to people I know but I still have SO MUCH.  Before my next house move I really want to downsize my belongings

My approach

I have made a list of all the categories of things I have and am slowly making my way through them.  I started with nail varnishes (15 kept and 40 gone!) and have done stationary, art resources, DVDs, clothes, shoes, guinea pig accessories and of course horsey stuff!  I still need to attack my books, the kitchen and, potentially the hardest thing to be ruthless with, my big box of sentimental things!

The benefits

  • I have rediscovered and re-purposed things.  For example, my Jack Wills gilet, that used to be my favourite ‘best’ things but hasn’t been out for years, is now keeping me warm at the yard!  I have also started using this high vis numnah again (after a few years lying dormant in the garage) which, while not really to my taste, is a good thing to use for hacking out.


  • I have ‘let go’.  My favourite yard shorts that have oil stains on them and have had a rip in the bottom patched up unsuccessfully have finally gone in the bin. My ripped, slightly mouldy, not worth repairing and reproofing rugs are also on the way out along with my old, paint stained yard coats that went from being best coats to lambing coats and now to their final destination!


  • I have ‘moved on’!  Beige ‘Pony Club’ style jodhpurs are going to the charity shop along with some polo shirts.  I now have lovely Derby House breeches and various base layers so I don’t need them!  My post hip op dresses have also gone, I won’t be needing those again in a hurry hopefully!


My tips

  • Make a list and tick off each category when you have done it.
  • Think about who would appreciate the things you don’t want and give them away rather than throwing them away.
  • Take your time (because it will take time!)
  • Remember why you are doing it and try to be appropriately ruthless.
  • Rope in a partner, family member or friend to help you because it will be far more entertaining and they might help you to ‘let go’!

Let me know if you give ‘Swedish Death Cleaning’ a go, I would love to hear what useful, useless or funny things you find!

4 thoughts on “My ‘Swedish Death Clean’”

  1. This is a fabulous idea. I am going to do this for sure. In a small way I started today by throwing out all of my knickers and white ankle socks. I went and bought 20 new pairs of knickers and 10 pairs of socks, washed them and put on one pair of the socks to go to the barn. When i get back home in April I am going to do this Swedish thing there for sure. thanks!


  2. I did this last year before our move to the UK and WOW I had SO MUCH STUFF! It’s much nicer now that I have a lot less stuff in my room and in storage!


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