Great Minds and All That

I think I hit a nerve with yesterday’s post about estate planning and the book entitled “I’m Dead – Now What?”

A reader, Beth L., just sent me a link to a discussion about this book.

I am going to Amazon right this minute and ordering this book. After all, I’m Swedish and about one white pitcher away from being a hoarder! Haha!

29 thoughts on “Great Minds and All That

  1. Diane Bauer

    I’m not Swedish, but I grew up with Depression Era parents, so I’m thinking I may need to order that book as well!! They will be wondering about the surge in orders, don’t you think?!?!?

  2. Kimberly Lusin

    I love this post, Mary! I’m 66 and I moved my 88 year old mom in with my husband and me 2 years ago and we had to clean out her house to sell it. She couldn’t help at all. She was not a collector of anything and had no hobbies or clutter and we still felt overwhelmed. I don’t want to do this to my children or husband if I go first. However, I like my stuff! I decorate for all the seasons and holidays. I have a quilt room stuffed with fabric, books, patterns, etc. I’ve cleaned out quite a bit since I retired and have been able to donate a lot of things and fabric, etc., but it still seems like I haven’t made a dent. My husband says to just enjoy it all, live, and don’t worry about it. So I love hearing what you all are doing regarding this dilemma!

  3. Judy

    I just looked it up. The Art of Swedish Death Cleaning is available as an ebook or audiobook on Overdrive through my local library.


    I have both books, I have not started the “I’m dead” but I do have things that I want to put in there, just need to devote time to working on that and the wording. I also have the Swedish Art book, it is a nice book about getting your ducks in a row or for you maybe your “Chicken’s in a row”.

    Enjoy the journey and prayerfully ponder your decisions!
    Merry Christmas

  5. Diane and Squeak in Central Ohi0

    Hi Mary. I love that you make me laugh:) However, I know from cleaning out my parents’ large, old, full Victorian house and my aunt’s one bedroom apartment that was STUFFED that it can be overwhelming, sad, fun, funny, and a lot of work!! I am working on all my “stuff” now, but I agree that I like to enjoy my Santa and Angel collections, my fabric, etc etc. Oh well, sorry kids, it’ll all by yours!!!

    When I found the ball of string at my aunt’s that had a note on it that said, “Pieces too short to save.”, I called my friend and we laughed ’til we cried!! True story. Depression Era parents and aunt.
    Yes, I still have it!!

  6. Jeanine W

    Oh, Diane…..that is so funny about the ball of string. My mother-in-law had a box labeled “Strings too short to use” when we cleaned her house. In fact, our son and his cousin are the ones that found that box. They found it before she passed, but she said it was from her sister’s house when they cleaned out her house…..but, it was definitely her writing!! We still laugh about that, too!

  7. Pam in NC

    Being full-blooded Dane, we have the art of hygge down to a science! HA! But I maybe have a little too much hygge and can learn from the Swedes how to get my arms around the stuff. I’m only in my sixties but live 16 hours from my kids. What a job for them to come all that way to deal with MY treasures which mostly aren’t their idea of treasure. I read an article last week reminding us to shred our old useless paperwork as that alone can be daunting to survivors. Thanks for sharing Mary! Take care!

  8. Betty Klosterman

    We always laughed that Gramma didn’t throw anything away and she didn’t. My Mom was from that same mold. They grew up poor and didn’t want to waste anything. I grew up in Mom’s house so I knew what it was like, but it was hers. When she died my aunt asked where are you going to start to which I replied “on top.” It was like a scavenger hunt with something really neat every so often. It was her security. And I’m their daughter, but I’ve got better stuff!!? Mainly fabric which I absolutely love. And if I enjoy it, pet it, dream of what it will be, that is just alright. It keeps me happy and busy. And the Project Warmth group of our guild has instructions to bring a medium sized truck, 2 men and at least 1 large boy and they “may” make only 1 trip. And I hope to love my fabric every day until I die. No apologies.

  9. Nikki M inTx

    Our own death is something that most don’t want to think about. Most people don’t want to talk about the future demise of a loved one. This book is great because of that, if it does nothing but open the line of communication it has been successful. I don’t know if it’s because I am a nurse, or past experience or what but it doesn’t bother me to speak of death or death planning with someone.

  10. Pat Smith

    My husband and I are sitting here howling at your comment about being 1 white pitcher away from being a hoarder. Then comes the ball of string too short to save. Now we’re howling again. We grew up with parents who also lived through the depression. I heard about it every day of my life. When our parents were gone, my sister and I went out to Iowa to clear out their house with an auction. I couldn’t believe it, but even my dad’s little baby food jars of screws sold. These auctioneers are very skilled at grouping a pile of things no one wants with something of value. Yes, we are starting to think of what we’ll do with all this stuff so our daughters don’t have such a huge project. We just downsized our house in Florida. It’s a start, but by no means an end.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pat Smith – isn’t this just the best conversation among friends! I laughed about the string, too. While I was baking today, I cleaned out two kitchen drawers! That’s just a taste of what’s to come! Haha!

  11. Donna Sproston

    After cleaning out my stepmother’s hoard and my mother-in-law’s house, I vowed I would never do this to my daughters. Well, I need to get that book. I am not Swedish, but I have four white pitchers!

    Maybe we should have a reducing the board update as well as the UFOs!

    Merry Christmas!

  12. Sue

    I’ve read the book. It is very helpful. I need to review it as I begin cleaning out my quilt studio. Enjoy.

  13. Marilyn

    Mary I really enjoyed your blog and would like to suggest another booK….Kicking The Bucket List by Gail Rubin, CT. Last June the funeral home in my home town presented a program. BEFORE I DIE FESTIVAL. Everything you ever wanted to know about getting ready for The End. It was a great program ..a free event.
    Gail Rubin’s web site. http://www.AGoodGoodbye,com

  14. patti leal

    i found the ‘i’m dead, now what?’ book at amazon. haven’t looked for this latest book yet.
    patti in florida

  15. Charlotte Shira

    Oh too funny! I’m still laughing. I love this blog and all you ladies. My mother always said “Oh somebody can use it.” And it would go in the attic. And I’m my mother’s daughter.

  16. Julianna

    Mary, I commend you for thinking ahead. People who don’t prepare can leave their loved ones a mess. I’ve seen it all too often in my work and it’s sad. YOU are giving a real gift because someone has to take care of our final affairs. The books did catch my eye 😉 so I’ll beat the bookstore soon. Thank you, as always, for sharing w/us. I learn so much and it’s in addition to all the quilting!

  17. Kate Schloemer

    I had a will made out a little over 5 years ago. I just put for my kids to sell anything they didn’t want and divide the money. We had already given them all the family treasures. But what’s important to me was and is not important to them.
    We are all hoarders of some sort I think. I collect fabric!!! Imagine that.. lol

  18. Joyce from NY

    Mary, such a funny post! I think about cleaning out, but I’d rather sew. I have started but need to stick with it.

  19. Jeanie, Central IL

    Oh Mary, we also howled at the white pitcher comment! So funny! I am that way with bowls; I justify dragging them home because they stack.
    Our dear friend Betty, child of the Depression, could never throw away string or rubber bands. My mom was raised on a farm, so they always had food; but she was so damaged by the Depression, like Pat Smith, I heard about it every day. Apparently, my paternal grandparents did not dwell on it; Dad thought he had an idyllic childhood and did not even know they were poor.
    In an attempt to be responsible, we have a cemetery lot and plan to shop for a stone after the holidays. We downsized and do not live in our sons’ childhood home. However, I am a quilter, and husband is a weaver with three floor looms. We live in a small, very organized house but have a large basement craft room. It’s kind of a tradeoff; if we are busy with our hobbies and all our stuff, we are not bothering our kids! 🙂

  20. Liz Schrader

    I just read this post. It also made me laugh (which I needed today). Since I have a son who is a lawyer, my legal papers are taken care of, but I have lots of collections and treasures (My sons call it stuff) that may be a problem. I am going to order one of the books.

  21. Wendy P

    Love this post – I’m playing catch up. I believe anyone who leaves a huge mess for someone else to deal with never had to deal with an estate. We’re getting ready to downsize – lots of stuff is going. No way I’m leaving it all for my kids to have to deal with.

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