I don’t know about you, but I am so tired of hearing about “man caves” and “she sheds” all the time. Don’t get me wrong—I’m totally here for people carving out their own spaces in their homes (personally I would love a separate room where I could just hang out and do crafts and practice my guitar and have alone time whenever I want it). But… why do we need to gender rooms? And why do they need to be so binary?
Needless to say, I was delighted when I started reading Margaretta Magnusson’s new book, “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” — let’s just take a second to appreciate that title — and discovered that there was a short chapter on “The Perils of Man Caves.” (And before you say anything—sure, she sheds have perils of their own, but let’s face it: the concept of she sheds wouldn’t even exist if man caves hadn’t come first.)
It was then, reading that chapter, that I learned something so perfect, so beautiful, that I immediately had to share it with everyone I knew. I’ll let Magnusson take it from here…
“His snickarbod (Swedish for ‘toolshed’) gradually became what I believe today is called a man cave. In Swedish we also now sometimes call it a mansdagis—a male kindergarten, which makes me smile and which feels like an entirely appropriate word.”
That’s right. The Swedish word for “man cave” translates to “male kindergarten.” If that’s not a gift from the universe, I don’t know what is. Even Magnusson thinks it’s perfect, and for that I think she might be my new hero.
Since I know you’re still curious about the title, here’s a quick rundown of what the book (which comes out in January 2018) is all about. It’s based on the Swedish word “döstädning” which translates to death cleaning. It isn’t meant to be scary or sad—it’s the idea that you should rid your home of unnecessary things and keep your home and your life in order so that ultimately, should something happen to you, it’ll be easier for your loved ones to handle your affairs.
“The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” is full of tips for getting your home in order, accompanied by Magnusson’s wit—trust me, there’s plenty more where mansdagis came from.
Pre-order the book: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, available January, 2018.