Shannen Doherty reflects on getting rid of her possessions amid cancer diagnosis

The practice is referred to as Swedish death cleaning.

Shannen Doherty is taking stock of her life and shifting priorities amid her breast cancer journey.

The 90210 alum, 52, shared in the most recent episode of her Let's Be Clear podcast that while she remains hopeful about recovery, she has begun the process of getting rid of some of her possessions to leave behind a "cleaner, easier transition" for her loved ones — "just in case."

"I have accumulated so much crap, and it's sitting in storage," Doherty said. "I’m not enjoying it and others aren't enjoying it. And do I really need any of it? Do I need to have three dining room tables? The answer is no, none of us really need all the stuff that we have, and we could all do with a little bit of downsizing and not become a hoarder."

Her mother, Rosa, and the memories they will make together, remains her top priority, Doherty said. "It's going to be hard on her if I pass away before her. Because it's going to be so hard on her, I want other things to be a lot easier. I don't want her to have a bunch of stuff to deal with. I don't want her to have four storage units filled with furniture."

Neilson Barnard/Getty Shannen Doherty
Neilson Barnard/Getty Shannen Doherty

“I don't need this, it doesn’t really bring me any great joy, but what does bring me great joy is taking my mom to the places that she's always wanted to go to," Doherty added.

The practice of eliminating unnecessary items from the home to lessen the burden on loved ones in the aftermath of death is referred to as Swedish death cleaning. Doherty's revelation to declutter came after a recent trip to her Tennessee home, where she packed up her belongings to transport to her California residence.

"It was really hard and really emotional because to a certain extent, I felt like I was giving up on this dream of building this property out and putting a house for me, putting a house for my mom, and extending the barn and rescuing horses and having a sanctuary," Doherty said.

The actress, who has stage 4 breast cancer, was first diagnosed in 2015 and went into remission in 2017. The cancer returned in 2019 and later spread to her brain, leading to brain surgery and radiation treatment. Doherty shared last fall that the breast cancer had spread to her bones, but said she remains determined to fight the diagnosis and move forward.

"I'm not done with living. I’m not done with loving. I’m not done with creating. I’m not done with hopefully changing things for the better," Doherty told PEOPLE at the time. "I’m just not — I’m not done."

Listen to Doherty's recent podcast episode above.

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