Less is more – My own story

It started with a hedge!

Many years ago I was engaged in the most arduous garden job of cutting the hedge. The hedge that grew at an insane speed. Little did I know that this hedge would change my life! Whilst busy getting frustrated, I noticed a large clearance van outside a neighbors house quickly being filled with household contents and furniture.

The elderly lady had passed away a few months before. I knew she had no local family and her only child was a son that normally lived some distance away. I could see him overseeing the removals. The property had been sold, and the van quickly became crammed with her possessions.

It really hit me that as the men shut up the doors, how final it all was. That van was filled with a lifetime of possessions and furniture unwanted by the son or anyone else.

  • You do not know what is around the corner.
  • You cannot take it with you

I had many questions – What was the point? Why did we all work so hard to maintain houses? Why did we buy or acquire so many things? What should or could we do with those things? Over a lifetime many items will become lost, broken or worn out and will be replaced. However some items can hang around for years. We may notice and enjoy them….but sometimes not!

House moves are stressful

House moves are stressful but can often result in unopened boxes in a loft leftover from a house move from several years before. I’ve known people that have moved those unopened boxes from one house move to another.

We all have our own experiences and points of view of essential items. (If I’m ever able to possess a pair of Manolo Blahnik killer heels, then yes I probably would consider them essential!!!)

How many of our possessions when we die, realistically get taken by a friend or family member? At the time of my personal enlightenment the Swedish word ‘Dostadning’,  translated as ‘death cleaning’ in English was unknown.

Something really shifted inside of me that day. A seed was planted, a snowflake settled. Over time they gathered momentum, and my life looks very different now. I still don’t own a pair of Manolo Blahnik’s, but I do possess a smaller property without a hedge!

Dostadning’ from the the book by Margaretta Magnusson, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

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