death cleaning

This fascinating new home makeover series wants you to embrace the Swedish art of “death cleaning”

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A fascinating new home makeover series narrated by Amy Poehler will explore the Swedish practice of “death cleaning”. Here’s everything we know so far.

Now that spring has officially sprung, the clocks have gone forward and the occasional ray of sunshine is peeping through the window, you may very well be realising that you need a clearout. For whether you relish the thought of organising every drawer or view the prospect of purging your wardrobe with extreme reluctance, there’s no denying that clearing the clutter really can have a transformative impact on your mental health.

Deciding to get your living space in order, though, is only one half of the equation. How you go about sorting your belongings is another matter entirely. Do you go down the route of keep, donate and store? Donate 95% of your clothes to the local charity shop in the name of minimalism? Or adopt the Marie Kondo approach and ask yourself if each item sparks joy?

Then again, you could always enlist professional help to get things ship-shape. And whether you love or loathe organisation, you won’t fail to be intrigued by a fascinating new TV series that has one very unique approach to transforming people’s lives.

According to Deadline, a new home makeover series is in the works at Peacock based on the Swedish practice of Döstädning, or “death cleaning,” where people declutter their homes and get rid of unnecessary belongings.

Adapted from the 2018 New York Times bestselling book of the same name by Swedish artist Margareta Magnusson, each hour-long episode of The Gentle Art Of Swedish Death Cleaning will feature people “who are at a major crossroads and need to get their houses and lives in order”. 

death cleaning
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning is based on the bestselling 2018 book of the same name by Margareta Magnusson

That’s where a Swedish “death cleaner” steps in. With their expert assistance, they will help each individual “organise and demystify homes, lives and relationships, allowing us to prepare for death while we enjoy life”.

It might sound a little morbid, but the practice is simply reflective of the practical Scandi sensibility. Sifting through decades of collectings, the death cleaner will not only liberate each person from the clutter that’s been weighing them down, but they’ll help them uncover treasured mementos and the deeply personal stories behind them that can then be safely passed along to their family, friends or neighbours.

With each episode featuring interviews with the homeowner and their loved ones, the show looks to take viewers “on a journey with each individual as they recall who they once were, discover who they should be and navigate how they want to be remembered”.

Amy Poehler
The Gentle Art Of Swedish Death Cleaning will be narrated by Amy Poehler

As if that premise wasn’t enough to capture the imagination, the project will be also get a comedic touch through the narration of Amy Poehler, who will also produce via her company Paper Kite Productions alongside Queer Eye producer Scout Productions.

“We are so excited to work on such a life affirming project with the genius creators at Scout,” said Poehler. “Swedish Death Cleaning reminds us to focus on what is truly important and we couldn’t find a better team to take this journey with than Peacock and the incredible Scout Team.”

“The combination of working with Amy Poehler and her team, along with the fantastic folks at Scout Productions, is something you dream about, and I am so glad this dream came true for us,” added Rod Aissa, EVP for unscripted content at NBC Universal Television & Streaming. 

“In this series, viewers will be taken on an honest and emotional journey as they watch everyday people conquer their worst fears and discover who they really are on the inside. We hope our compassionate and dynamic series sparks conversation within each household and breaks the stigma around mortality and the tough reality of letting things go.”

There’s no word on a release date yet, but we’ll keep this piece updated when we hear more details.

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is Stylist's Entertainment Editor whose specialist interests include pop culture, LGBTQ+ identity and lore.