“Dostadning” – The Doing

We’re moving!

Sort of. What was an idea for a couple of years – a dream or dread depending on attitude toward change – is suddenly a reality. In mid-April, a moving van will come and take many of our belongings to a little house in Winslow on Bainbridge Island.

“Sort of” because we don’t have to clear out everything by then. To start, we’ll take what’s needed to make the Bainbridge house comfortable, leaving bare bones here till the end of the summer. This house is small, but that one is smaller. And the accumulations of 12 years here, on top of what we brought from Alaska, won’t all fit.

From Margareta Magnusson’s “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning,” I know that’s a good thing. Last fall I wrote about Magnusson’s book before it came out, and now have read it twice. Enlivened by Magnusson’s little ink drawings, it’s a charming, humorous, practical, slim tome by a wise woman aged “between 80 and 100 years.” As she considers disposal of all the possessions cluttering our houses – and making them home – she admits, “my vice is really things.”

Magnusson says the idea of spending time with objects one last time and then disposing of them isn’t sad to her. But when it is, she remembers: ”I really do not want to give my beloved children and their families too much trouble with my stuff after I am gone. That is why I want to tell others about death cleaning, and how wonderful it can be.” Dostadning describes “a permanent form of organization that makes your everyday life run more smoothly.” Who doesn’t need that?

So after these years in the woods on the bluff we move to a town – within walking distance to restaurants, movie theatre, bakery, grocery, library, clinics – and will have close neighbors. My brain is full of plans of all sorts, lists, decisions, the complexities of privilege and possessions.

I debated long about how to keep “Her spirits rose…” going in the midst of it. Because I am both excited about the move and daunted, I think I need to keep doing what I do – write about it, draw about it.

Thank you to you faithful readers, I appreciate you! More to follow…


14 thoughts on ““Dostadning” – The Doing

  1. Oh Katy, as my old buddy would have said, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” Are you going to be my neighbor? This is the most delicious thought! – Jane

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. How exciting! The idea of a small, walkable town is certainly alluring (she said, returning from the twenty minute drive to the grocery store.) Do keep us posted on the move. And i am slowly continuing with my own death cleaning — though we’re not planning a move. Just don’t want to leave too much of a burden on the young uns.

  3. Dear Katy. You are my hero. Always looking ahead-planning for the future, knowing where and what you want to accomplish. I’m still on H St trying to decide what next-you are a trail blazer! Hugs 🤗

    • AAh Jana – such sweet and kind words, but you are already near town, surrounded by family and friends in a just-right-sized house! (and trips to warmth planned I’m sure). Its a challenge, this stage, and an opportunity if lucky. Thank you for writing! xo p.s. think about you often, most particularly now as I remember how you delivered all those wonderful packing boxes to my doorstep!

  4. Not sure I’m yet a fan of the “death cleaning” thing, but I’m really happy for you about the expanded possibilities that come with being in a town with close neighbors and places to walk. (Now that’s a sentence that could use a little death cleaning itself!!) Good luck with moving, and keep entertaining us with your adventures and musings. xoxo

    • Now Magnusson would argue that you don’t have to be dying (although of course we all are) – an early adopter, she suggests 65 as an appropriate age to begin. It’s hard to embrace that nomenclature for sure. Thanks for good wishes!

  5. Why do I feel this aching at the thought of you moving? Funny. Seems like forever since I’ve seen you but there is just comfort in knowing that everyone is “in their place”.
    I look forward to your descriptions of your new home and surroundings so that my heart’s eye (see what I did there?) can put you “in your place”. ❤

    • Well Kim, you can do better than that – you can stop and see me there! Show your heart’s eye just where I am – and have an afternoon at BIMA to boot. I keep thinking weirdly that I might see PT people more when down there – we are so on the way to the ferry. Hugs to you, good to hear from you ~

  6. I truly admire both you and Carol B. You’ve moved on with new adventures and your newest change sounds wonderful as I sit here in my home of so many years. I’ve been trying to start that cleaning process. It certainly is daunting and so easy to just put off. Please continue to write your lovely stories. Your talents are endless! Wishing you much happiness in your new home. Hugs….

    • Oh Shirley, what a sweet note, thank you so much for way too generous words. Oh it is so easy to put off this task – some days I get no where, other days make tiny steps. Thank you for writing — maybe I’ll see you in Anchorage later in the spring. xo

  7. You are all in now, honey! It must have been liberating to send out your message to the world. Your blog is beautiful.

    • Oh Simone! How very fun to read this message, and thank you about the blog. You have known about the move, of course, you seamstress par excellence, making a new slipcover for an old chair – so good to see you catch up on laughing. You make me want to reupholster everything to absorb a little of your energy and creativity!

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