Skip to content

Swedish Death Cleaning?

Hey Writer, Scribe, Influencer!

I’m sure you’ve heard of the KonMari method of organization. It’s where you empty a space (closet, drawer, etc.) touch each object and determine whether it “sparks joy.” If it doesn’t, release it with your best wishes. If it does, you keep it.

I tried to like this analogy. I really did. I long suspected my Scandinavian upbringing inhibited my ability to engage in such… things.

Whenever I touched an item and asked it to speak to me, I imagined my Grandma Aaker rolling her eyes. “Oh Bet Ann,” she’d say in her Norwegian brogue, “such a silly girl.”

So, when I stumbled on Swedish Death Cleaning, my ears perked.

In this philosophy, in honor of those who come after you, you dig through your stuff and get rid of stuff everything you don’t want them to have to deal with.

This one spoke to me! Especially since as of late, I’ve been helping my dear mom downsize (yet again!) to move into a senior apartment building.

Oy! Stuff! What a burden!

So, I vowed to touch each book in my personal library (!) and get rid of each one that was outdated, unread, unhelpful, a rabbit hole, or otherwise not on my reading list. All in all, I actually pared down my seven bookshelves to a more reasonable six. (The one I got rid of was the largest one!)

Now my office breathes better. I love looking at the bare wall. And I feel… disencumbered.

Swedish Death Cleaning. Cool concept, eh? Give it a whirl.

Talk later!

Beth 🙂

P.S. Check out Filbert Publishing’s bestsellers!

1. The Mocha Club (Where savvy Creative Entrepreneurs hang out.)

2. Stuck: Transforming Everything You Think You Know About Creative Blocks

3. Bob Bly’s Guide to Freelance Writing Success

4. Pocket Power: Become the Person You Were Born to Be

5. Jumpstart Your Writing Career and Snag Paying Assignments


Do you soak your writing?

Discover why “soaking” your writing can make or break your career. In this month’s Creative Entrepreneur Newsletter, we not only discuss “soaking,” but I talk at length at the number one activitiy you need to do… an important concept you must understand… before you sell anything. And no, I’m not talking writing skills. 😛

If you need thorough, hard core, no fluff info on making a living writing; resources to help make the journey fun; tips to shortcut some processes; and (of course) a bit of biz gossip… check out this link.

Most of all, this is top-notch, timely information; timeless techniques that support the core activities every writer must master to keep the coffers healthy.

What? You haven’t joined us yet? (Good grief, you get all this for less than a mocha!) Get the details here.

P.S. Join this month and I’ll talk shop with you – one on one – face to face!


How Swedish Death Cleaning Can Revolutionize Your Writing Space

I mentioned in the Notes from Minnesota section that I engaged in Swedish Death Cleaning this past weekend. This apparently a Scandinavian thing where you get rid of everything you don’t want your kids to have to deal with. With a gazillion books in my office, I decided to tackle getting rid of a bunch in honor of my dear son.

So, Saturday I pushed aside the huge cat tree (long story, don’t ask) and began the process. It went amazingly well. It was fairly easy. And today? No regrets.

While digging through the shelves, I (of course) thought of you and thought I’d share just a few benefits of paring down your library.

1. Some of my books were OLD! That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But computer books from the ‘90s probably don’t warrant the space they demand.

2. I found more than a few rabbit hole books. When I take on a writing assignment for a client, I generally purchase between five to ten books on their topic so I feel up to speed. I had too many of these mini collections.

Seeing that pile made me glad I eventually specialized in a niche. I kept books on that topic and tossed collections outside my area of expertise.

3. Some publishing books had to go. I adore a certain author. But his books were so outdated, he hasn’t updated them, either, he didn’t warrant a full foot of space. While it stung a little, I had to let ‘em go.

4. Cookbooks! Oy. How many ways could I make mashed potatoes? This one stung, but some of these gems were too good to not pass on to a lucky aspiring mashed potato maker…

5. Anything containing information I’d basically mastered had to go. I had tons of journaling books for fiction writers, copywriting exercises, and nonfiction organizational tomes, it was time to pass them on to another aspiring writer. While some books were tough to release, I love enjoying the wide open space they left behind.

6. Fiction. So many great stories! Once again, I’ve read ‘em and am happy to allow someone else to enjoy ‘em.

Best of all? Along with the lack of clutter, what better way to tell my dear son I love him than to leave behind an organized, tidy collection that’s easier to manage?

Seriously. Give Swedish Death Cleaning a whirl. Or you can go with the KonMari method, too. Just because it didn’t work for me doesn’t mean it’s not awesome…


(If you’re keen to nab immediately timely, useful freelance information (We deep dive into some great topics like soaking, goal setting, online ads, and more), buy me a mocha. Next month, I’ve got a nice surprise for lucky subscribers…


You can use any of these articles free of charge on your own website or zine. Just don’t make any changes and be sure to include this byline:

This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, market smart, repeat. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book “Power Queries.”


Published inWriting Etc.