In terms of the actual process of death cleaning, Magnusson has a lot of advice on how to do it:
• Death cleaning doesn't have to be done in one go. It's something to slowly chip away at over the years.
• Begin with the things you have in storage, hidden away in attics or garages. She suggests telling your friends and family when you're starting the process so they can feel free to come and claim things before you throw them away or donate them to charity.
• Shred or throw away anything that could be upsetting, hurtful, or embarrassing for your family to find. "Save your favorite dildo — but throw away the other 15!" she says.
• Leave your photographs, letters, and journals until last. As anyone who has ever tried to de-clutter can attest, it's all too easy to get stuck in a vortex of nostalgia and procrastinate from getting any actual tidying done.
• If you know what you'd like to be done with certain belongings after you die, tell someone or leave a note. When Magnusson's mother passed away, she found notes attached to clothes and other belongings, explaining what should be done with them — like a will but for books that should be returned to their original owners, and a jacket that belonged in a museum.
• Death cleaning is a great chance to actually ask people if they want your stuff. "To know something will be well used and have a new home is a joy," she says.