The passing of a loved one is never easy. One of the more difficult tasks after a person’s passing is going through their belongings and deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. Sorting through a lifetime of belongings is overwhelming enough as it is, but doing so while mourning the passing of the person whose things these were can be unbearable.

For this reason, the practice of döstädning has risen in popularity all over the world. Döstädning is a Swedish word that literally translates to “death cleaning.” It’s the concept of going through and organizing your belongings in preparation for your own death so as not to place the burden on your loved ones.

While it’s more popular among those who are older, it’s still a great idea to manage your belongings and keep your home organized. Learn more about how to put döstädning into practice, and contact Mattapoisett Self Storage to reserve a storage space for your belongings that you’re ready to pack away.

Things To Get Rid Of

When you start looking at all of your belongings, you may feel more sentimental about them than you realized. While so many souvenirs and trinkets have fond memories attached to them, you probably don’t need those items to remember the event or trip you purchased it on.

Hold onto those memories, but don’t let your home become cluttered with these items. If you’ve found that you have a large collection, you don’t necessarily need to get rid of it, but you don’t need to keep it in your home. These are the perfect items to organize and keep in a storage space, making them easier for family members to handle in the event of your passing.

Finding A Starting Point

There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong place to start your death cleaning process, but there are items that may be more difficult to go through than others. If you can start in an area of your home where you know you have things that you don’t use anymore, it will be easier to start getting rid of things or at least putting them in a storage space.

Try not to start with belongings that you have a lot of emotional connections to, such as photographs, home videos, and things like that. You can address these items down the road once you’ve gotten used to the death cleaning process.

When To Start

There isn’t an age restriction on when to start the death cleaning process, but considering it’s geared toward older adults who are wanting to get their affairs in order, starting at around age 65 is recommended.

You don’t have to wait that long if you want to get started now, though! Some people hold onto a lot of belongings from an early age, whether it’s clothing they’re attached to or childhood keepsakes they’re fond of. If you’re looking for ways to organize your life, döstädning is a great practice to try out.


A great way to get rid of some of your belongings is to re-gift them to people who’ve already expressed an interest in them. Give your extra sets of linens, towels, and dishes to family members just starting out on their own. Give your silver tea set to your niece who is always hosting guests. Donate your book collection to the avid reader in your group of friends. 

Not everyone is going to want everything you own, but gifting belongings to people who you know will appreciate takes the burden off of others and it’s something the receiver of your gift will appreciate.

People Don’t Want Your Belongings

This may sound harsh, but the belongings that are precious to you may not be appreciated by others. Design trends change regularly, so while you consider some of your furniture pieces to be classic and timeless, they probably won’t match your grandchild’s modern apartment.

Keep these items in good condition by renting a storage space that has climate control. This environment will keep them in the best condition possible until they can go to a better home.

Don’t Overwhelm Yourself

While death cleaning may sound like a process of purging, it can be more of an organization and storage process if you’re not ready to get rid of things yet. 

Rent a storage space to keep things organized and out of the way to make things easier for you and others to go through down the road. Contact Mattapoisett Self Storage if you’re looking to rent a storage space.