Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, February 11, 2024

The Swedes know the secret to happiness: You are not your stuff

Estate planningDealing with a deceased loved one's belongings can prove to be overwhelming for most due to the vast accumulation of items over the years. Many people have psychological attachment to their possessions making it difficult to let go. The author of this article turned to the "Swedish death cleaning" concept (döstädning), which emphasizes the importance of reevaluating one's relationship with belongings and simplifying life by decluttering. 

The article discusses the emotional and environmental benefits of reducing clutter and provides insights from research on the psychological attachment to possessions, including how it can lead to hoarding behavior. Ultimately, it suggests prioritizing experiences over material possessions for greater happiness and well-being.

For more information see Michael J. Coren “The Swedes know the secret to happiness: You are not your stuff”, The Washington Post, August 1, 2023.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention. 


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