On the heels of the wildly popular The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up craze comes a new approach to simplifying: döstädning, which literally translates as “death cleaning.” Author Margareta Magnusson, identifying as being between the ages of 80 and 100, explains this traditionally Swedish concept with great humor, wisdom and patience. The purpose of death cleaning is to start paring down possessions years or even decades before death so as not to burden loved ones with the task posthumously. Topics include giving away sentimental objects to those who might appreciate them, using and keeping what you love and getting rid of the rest, and holding people and experiences in higher regard than things. In between these bits of advice, the author weaves in endearing memories of her own family, as well as the challenges she experienced when cleaning out the homes of parents, in-laws and husband after their passing. American culture tends to avoid talk of death, making Magnusson’s philosophy refreshingly pragmatic and candid. Giving a copy of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning to an older adult could be one way to open up dialogue about this sensitive subject and enact a plan for the overwhelming task.