Life after 50 is all about change, and I’ve experienced quite a few changes myself that have left me holding onto, and caring for, more things than I know what to do with. When we lose someone we love, it’s so hard to know what to do with the things that remind us of them. Losing my mother left me trying to figure out the pieces and brought me to today’s guest after a GRUFFtalk listener wrote in with the same concern.

How can we better deal with life’s transitions and declutter the things we’re holding on to so our loved ones aren’t left holding this burden some day?

In this episode, Julie Morgenstern, one of the country’s leading experts on organization, helps us figure this one out and shares her best tips and tools to declutter your life . . . at the right time. She’s the author of six bestselling books, has appeared on Oprah, the Today Show, and is an organization consultant and time management expert.


What is the S.H.E.D. process and why is it so important?

Julie breaks down the difference between decluttering and organization. While you are still occupying your space it’s important to have easy access to the things you use and love the most. She also explains how eliminating things we don’t use gives us the energy and clarity we need to move forward.

What is Swedish Death Cleaning and why would anyone do this?

While this could probably use some rebranding, I promise it’s not as dark and grim as it sounds. Julie reveals how this cleaning method is about being thoughtful and intentional while making our belongings more manageable and valuable to the people we love.

“I’m releasing to not give the burden of time or decision making to others…” -Julie Morgenstern

3 questions to consider when decluttering:

  1. What is the time and emotional burden that you are going to leave to your loved ones if you don’t tackle this now?
  2. What do you want people to know about you, or to see about you when you are gone?
  3. Is everything in my home something that I use and love?

3 powerful takeaways to start shedding:

  1. By purging and decluttering your life now, you’re giving a gift to yourself and to the people you love.
  2. Identify the 20% you use the most in every category in your home, and consider shedding (selling, donating, throwing away) the remaining 80%.
  3. Start small and tackle one category at a time. Do not go room by room, but stick to categories such as books, pots and pans, clothes and so on.

“You can’t move forward, if you’re stuck where you are.” -Julie Morgenstern

One little book made “Swedish Death Cleaning” a household term. Check out the Swedish Death Cleaning book here:

Connect with Julie Morgenstern


Connect with Barbara: 

Love Your Age: The Small-Step Solution to a Better, Longer, Happier Life 

Barbara Hannah Grufferman website

Instagram @Barbara Hannah Grufferman 
Facebook @BarbaraHannahGruffermanAuthor

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