What Is Swedish Death Cleaning?

Thursday 27th July 2023

Ellen Warren

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CONTENTS

Decluttering a home after an unexpected death is an overwhelming and traumatising task for some. Although you can never predict the passing of a loved one, decluttering a home before death occurs is cathartic and unburdening – this is known as Swedish death cleaning.

For all cleaning needs regarding the death of a loved one, you can rely on ICE Cleaning’s trauma cleaning services to take over. Our discreet and sensitive cleaning procedure ensures a swift and thorough outcome, allowing you to process events at your own pace.

Read on to learn more about Swedish death cleaning and how it helps you prepare.

What is Swedish death cleaning?

This term and cleaning process comes from a book by Margareta Magnusson called "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning." The book covers a decluttering method called “döstädning,” which encourages older people to begin sorting through their belongings with their families.

This type of decluttering encourages people to dispose of unwanted items and keep the sentimental or important objects their family members may want. It allows individuals to confront an uncomfortable topic easily and relieve family members of decluttering after a loved one’s death.

What is trauma cleaning?

Trauma cleaning is a specialised type of cleaning that deals with undiscovered or traumatic deaths. Although emergency services will attend the scene to take the deceased away, the aftermath of a site is not their responsibility. This is where trauma cleaners step in to help.

These professionals are experts in discrete and sensitive cleaning, tackling scenes that include accidents, murders, undiscovered deaths, and suicides. The tasks involved cover biohazardous cleaning, where fluids and infectious materials are safely removed.

How can decluttering a house help trauma cleaning?

When a loved one has passed away unexpectedly, many cleaning tasks come afterwards. If this individual has an accumulation of objects or they were a hoarder, decluttering can be more stressful and even dangerous.

With hoarders you may need assistance, which is traumatic and even embarrassing for some. However, if you decide to declutter a home before a death occurs, you will relieve yourself of any future burdens and even assist trauma cleaners when they arrive.

What are the benefits of Swedish death cleaning?

This method of decluttering is recommended for those over 65, but it can happen at any stage of life, depending on your personal comfort. Swedish death cleaning is supposed to be a time for family to come together, and makes space for the things that matter.

Decluttering is always a relieving process, but with this sense of finality to it, you truly know what is important and what might burden your family. For example, sentimental photos always take priority over an overabundance of plates that will never see any use. Other benefits of this include:

  • Better air quality and less dust
  • Improved air circulation
  • Less likely for mould to grow
  • Keeps pests away
  • Makes room for deep cleaning

Can Swedish death cleaning help with hoarding?

Hoarding is an incredibly complex and distressing topic to broach with a loved one, especially if the individual hoarding is isolating themselves due to guilt or embarrassment. Swedish death cleaning can be an excellent way to help this person declutter their home and have an important dialogue.

According to the NHS, you must persuade this person to attend their GP to confront these issues in a productive way. Decluttering their home may also require the help of biohazardous cleaners, but it is integral that you help the individual treat their disorder and empower them to declutter.

The approach should be slow and gentle, as it can be difficult for a hoarder to confront the extent of the issue. However, this slow process is important for mental health, and it takes time for the entire decluttering process to end.

What to do if you require trauma cleaning

If you have come across an undiscovered death or your loved one has passed in a traumatic way, it is integral that you contact emergency services right away. If the passing was expected and occurred in a hospice setting, then you must call their doctor to administer a death certificate on-site.

Do not try to clean up any biohazardous material you see, including blood and other fluids to avoid the transmission of bloodborne pathogens. If the deceased was a drug user, then you should not touch any drug paraphernalia to limit the likelihood of any injuries.

You must leave these duties to experienced trauma cleaners who can remove these biohazards safely and restore the area to a safe state.

Get in touch

Our trauma clean-up services here at ICE Cleaning are thorough and delicate, and our team will work closely with you to help you through this difficult process. Our state-of-the-art tools and solutions effectively ensure that all traces of hazardous material and objects are removed, restoring the site.

If you would like to learn more about our services, you can contact us at 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk. Our team are available to chat 24/7, 365 days a year, and our technicians operate nationwide, able to reach you within a few hours of your initial call.

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