You don’t even have to read the news articles to know that January is the season for getting your body, mind and house in shape.
Ever since Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” became an international bestseller, we’ve seen all kinds of spin-off books about how to keep your house organized so you whole life doesn’t feel so frazzled.
A Swedish book, “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Make Your Loved Ones’ Lives Easier and Your On Life More Pleasant,” that came out last year fits into that general theme, but with a totally different end goal: Paring down your physical possessions before you die so you don’t leave such a burden on your family.
That probably feels pretty heavy and depressing, but the book is actually quite sweet. It’s written by an elderly Swedish woman who explains the concept of döstädning, where you go through all of your possessions and start to determine who is getting what, what should be donated and what you really want to keep for yourself until the very end. (The book also includes, no joke, some gentle teasing about making sure that you’ve probably taken care of your sex toys so your adult children don’t have to discover them unknowingly.)
I’m always purging my house and revisiting my stashes of photos, books and clothes, and since I know many of you are doing the same, especially this time of year, I thought I’d send out a reminder that we are still accepting cookbook donations for our Statesman Cookbook Drive. (I’m capitalizing it now, so I guess it’s An Official Thing.)
If you missed the original memo, about a year ago, I started collecting readers’ cookbook donations. So many of us have cookbooks that we don’t use any more, but plenty of other cooks in Central Texas could use a cookbook or two. I brought in about half a dozen non-profit organizations to go through the more than 3,000 books that were donated last year, and about 500 of them went to the Austin Food & Wine Alliance’s High School Culinary Arts Career Conference.
As we start 2018, I am still collecting cookbooks from anyone who would like to drop them off at 305 S. Congress Ave. Unfortunately, I can’t come and pick up the books, but if you can find a way to get them here, we’ll find a good home for them.