Download The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter Audiobook

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter Audiobook, by Margareta Magnusson Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Margareta Magnusson Narrator: Juliet Stevenson Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2018 ISBN: 9781508243823
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A charming, practical, and unsentimental approach to putting a home in order while reflecting on the tiny joys that make up a long life.

In Sweden there is a kind of decluttering called döstädning, meaning “death” and städning meaning “cleaning.” This surprising and invigorating process of clearing out unnecessary belongings can be undertaken at any age or life stage but should be done sooner rather than later, before others have to do it for you. In The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, artist Margareta Magnusson, with Scandinavian humor and wisdom, instructs listeners to embrace minimalism. Her radical and joyous method for putting things in order helps families broach sensitive conversations, and makes the process uplifting rather than overwhelming.

Margareta suggests which possessions you can easily get rid of (unworn clothes, unwanted presents, more plates than you’d ever use) and which you might want to keep (photographs, love letters, a few of your children’s art projects). Digging into her late husband’s tool shed, and her own secret drawer of vices, Margareta introduces an element of fun to a potentially daunting task. Along the way listeners get a glimpse into her life in Sweden, and also become more comfortable with the idea of letting go.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Witty, useful and oddly profound.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “A fond and wise little book…I jettison advice books after I’ve flipped through them. This one I will keep.”

    New York Times

  • “A slim yet sage volume…straightforward and unsentimental (with a bit of humor).”

    Washington Post

  • “One of the most charming, funny, and motivating books I’ve read in some time…Magnusson is an absolute delight. This book is so much more than lifestyle tips. It’s full of life. Magnusson’s candid humor and unassailable spirit comes through on each page.”


  • “This practical book, narrated persuasively and gently by the golden-voiced Juliet Stevenson, takes the sting from the title and replaces it with a pragmatic truth: We are all leaving the planet, and if we don’t deal with our clutter, sooner or later someone else will have to…Stevenson sounds like she’s reading a charming story and captures all the poignant humor and wisdom of this book.”


  • A Vogue Pick of Nonfiction Books to Change Your LIfe
  • A 2019 Audie Award Finalist for Best Narration in Business/Personal Development

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About the Author

Margareta Magnusson is, in her own words, aged between eighty and one hundred. Born in Sweden, she has lived all over the world. She graduated from Beckman’s College of Design in Stockholm, and her work as an artist has been exhibited in galleries from Hong Kong to Singapore. She has five children. The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning is her first book.

About the Narrator

Juliet Stevenson has won the prestigious Audie Award and numerous Earphones Awards for her narrations. She is a British actress on stage and screen and notably a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has also appeared in popular films such as Bend It Like Beckham and Mona Lisa Smile. She was honored as a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. She received further recognition when she was nominated for several BAFTA Awards, and she earned an Olivier Award for her role in Death and the Maiden.