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The Swedish Art of Aging Exuberantly

Life Wisdom from Someone Who Will (Probably) Die Before You

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About The Book

From New York Times bestselling author of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, a book of humorous and charming advice for embracing life and aging joyfully.

Margareta Magnusson shared with the world her practical Swedish tradition of döstädning, or “death cleaning”—clearing out unnecessary belongings before others must do it for you—in her international bestseller The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning. Now, unburdened by baggage (emotional and actual) she is able to focus on what makes each day worth living, and reveals her discoveries about growing older—some difficult to accept, many rather wondrous. She reflects on her early days growing up in Sweden and raising her family around the world, offering tips and wisdom on how to age gracefully, such as: don’t be afraid to wear stripes, don’t resist new technology, let go of what doesn’t matter, and much more.

As with death-cleaning, it’s never too early to begin and The Swedish Art of Aging Well shows us how to prepare for and understand the aging process, and the joys and sorrows it can bring. While Margareta still recommends ongoing downsizing and decluttering (your loved ones will thank you!) her ultimate message is that we should all be less afraid of the idea of death.

Wise, funny, and practical, The Swedish Art of Aging Well is a gentle and welcome reminder that, no matter your age, there are always fresh discoveries ahead, and pleasures both new and familiar to be enjoyed every day.

About The Author

© Alexander Mahmoud

Margareta Magnusson is, in her own words, aged between 80 and 100. Born in Sweden, she has lived all over the world. Margareta graduated from Beckman’s College of Design and her art has been exhibited in galleries from Hong Kong to Singapore. She has five children and lives in Stockholm. She is the author of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning and The Swedish Art of Aging Well.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Scribner (December 27, 2022)
  • Length: 160 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982196622

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Raves and Reviews

Advance Praise for The Swedish Art of Aging Well

"A thought-provoking guide for how to take life in with clear-eyed humor—whatever age we are. Definitely read this funny, very wise book before you die. Afterward, its availability may be severely limited.” —Daniel Klein, bestselling author of Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life

Praise for The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

"A fond and wise little book. . . . I jettison advice books after I’ve flipped through them. This one I will keep." —Dwight Garner, The New York Times

"A slim yet sage volume. . . . While Marie Kondo gave us strict instructions to only keep things that spark joy, Magnusson’s book is straightforward and unsentimental (with a bit of humor). The main message from this mother of five is: Take responsibility for your items and don’t leave them as a burden for family and friends." —The Washington Post 

"Witty, useful and oddly profound.” —Entertainment Weekly

"Proustian. . . . A primer on how to winnow your belongings before you die, so you don’t burden your family. . . . Ms. Magnusson is the anti-Kondo, who takes us on a charming and discursive tour of her own stuff." —Penelope Green, The New York Times

“Magnusson shares solid guiding principles for organizing your home, no matter your age or life circumstance.” Business Insider

"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... The best way to prepare for death is to live a good life, which Magnusson has done. We're lucky that she shares so much of it — in stories of gratitude, family, work, and love." —Buzzfeed

"Magnusson uses a dry, unsentimental and sometimes dark Scandinavian sense of humor, and writes with an older set (and their younger relatives) in mind. . . . like a conversation over tea with a friend." —Associated Press

"'Death Cleaning' is the answer to clutter you've been looking for. . . . Magnusson instructs readers on how to gently and joyously put your affairs in order while you’re still alive, rather than leaving it for others to do." —Reader's Digest

“Smart… death cleaning isn't about getting rid of all your stuff, but rather streamlining your life so you're only holding onto what makes you happy . . . it's about so much more than dusting and sorting.” Elle Décor

“Reading her book is much like having a sensible, cheerful aunt sit you down to tell you hard truths that your mother is too nice to say.” —Laurie Hertzel, Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Keep only what you love and what makes you happy in the moment. It’s like Marie Kondo, but with an added sense of the transience and futility of this mortal existence.” —The New York Post

"Has benefits you can enjoy while you’re still very much alive. . . . could be a good way for families to discuss sensitive issues that might otherwise be hard to bring up." —TIME

"Pragmatic. . . . the idea in this system is that we should leave behind as little as possible, or at least, not the many thousands of items of junk that Americans often accumulate." —W Magazine

"Even millennials will enjoy this non-militant approach to decluttering.” —PEOPLE Magazine

"A mindful way to sort through your belongings throughout your life, so that your loved ones aren’t burdened by a plethora of personal items after you die. . . . Magnusson advises that the earlier we start the process of ‘death cleaning’, the better, so we’re not overwhelmed with a lifetime of objects by the time we’re elderly people." —Better Homes and Gardens 

“I far prefer the charming, empathetic technique of Margareta Magnusson, whose book is a game-changer. I highly recommend it for anyone wrestling with a lifetime of wonderful — and not so wonderful — stuff.” —Amy Dickinson, “Ask Amy”

"[With] humorous common sense, she rightly reminds readers that it takes time to downsize and that putting it off won’t make it go away." —Booklist 

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