Sorting, classifying, cleaning up, “death cleaning” is all that at once. This concept, originating in Scandinavia, addresses the needs of older people to change in order to tidy their house before death.
In her apartment, Hélène organizes her things in a methodical way. This big fan of Marie Kondo tries to optimize her space to keep only the essentials. As with this 36-year-old Parisian, this obsession with storage has reached unprecedented proportions in recent years, reaching the oldest among us.
We then speak of “death cleaning”. “A process of cleaning, sorting and reorganizing for this last phase of life”, says Carmen Jean-Baptiste, home organizer and death cleaning expert. One of the first to carry out this activity in France.
Swedish concept, “death clearance” is popularized by the publication of the book The gentle art of Swedish death cleansing by Margareta Magnusson in 2018. “Death cleaning isn’t about dusting or mopping; it is a permanent organizational form that makes your daily life more fluid”writes the Stockholm-based author. “A way to keep the living space from becoming cluttered”justifies Carmen Jean-Baptiste.
“It’s up to you”
The one based on the Swede’s writings insists she doesn’t find this course of action sad or embarrassing. On the contrary. “The more we are aware of death, the more intensely we live”she said on the phone.
In fact, the “death cleaning” varies according to the customers. Some want to get rid of objects and clothes that have been collected for years, others want to clear up to mark a new phase in their lives, while still others want to lighten the sorting work of their children when they will be dead. Whatever the reason, the organizing at home is there to support. “It’s up to you”says Carmen Jean-Baptiste.
For example, his last client was only 30 years old. Alice, then in the middle of a move, wanted rearranges his head. And it starts with my father”, she explains in a video on the expert’s Instagram account. Her nursery was full of clothes and papers. “Packing, removing and sorting things, I notice that this requires many steps”said the young woman. While with Carmen Jean-Baptiste, “I was sorting when you brought me things. In the end it was great”†
Since the pandemic and the arrival of Marie Kondo, there has been a need for storage. People are not afraid to call in professionals to get started. the New York Times reports, for example, that the Covid-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for many elderly people who have had to put their lives in order.
(ETX Daily Up)