Etymology: In 2018, author and artist Margareta Magnusson hit The New York Times bestseller list with her book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning. Although it might sound like a service performed at a Stockholm crime scene, death cleaning, or “döstädning” in Swedish, actually refers to the art of decluttering prior to one’s own demise. The word is a simple portmanteau, coined by Magnusson, of “dö” (death) and “städning” (cleaning). It takes its place alongside a myriad of other This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Seven Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 46 Word: Wintering When to withdraw from the world. Arts & Culture Issue 45 Word: Explication An explanation to end all explanations. Arts & Culture Issue 44 Word: Anecdata Fact, meet fiction. Arts & Culture Issue 43 Word: Knolling The fascinating history of the flat lay. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Word: Hyperobject A word for things too huge to name. Arts & Culture Word: Negentropy A physicist’s fix for a messy home.