By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

Divorce is never easy, but unfortunately, many of us have gone through it. It’s such an emotional time and you’re not always thinking clearly. Many important decisions need to be made during this time, one of which is figuring out how to identify all of the stuff and joint assets you have accumulated during the marriage.

The reality is that it’s important to not just declutter the physical space… the furniture artwork, etc., but to also declutter the mental space so you can start over after a divorce.

Why it’s important to declutter both the physical and mental space?

1. It’s best to declutter now rather than living with the constant reminders and negative memories of stuff you’ve accumulated over the years together.

2. Pare down and purge stuff that triggers negative emotions and surround yourself with only things that make you happy and that you care about.

3. An organized new home will bring the peace and calm you are needing in the midst of the storm of emotions associated with divorce.

4. Decluttering can give you a sense of freedom, and a new opportunity to start fresh. You’ll feel lighter, unencumbered, and more in control of your own life.

How to get started letting go of physical and emotional clutter.

1. Start with items that trigger strong emotions,

Sell, gift, donate, or dispose of …

Gifts given to you by your ex-spouse such as:

  • Wedding rings, engagement, and anniversary jewelry
  • Master bedroom furniture
  • Clothing and accessories

2. Room-by-room and category-by-category, keep purging items that impact you negatively.

3. Put aside items you’re not ready to let go of yet.

If possible, put them in a place you can’t see them so they can’t stop you.

Come back to them at another time.

4. Keep items you will need.

Be practical. Divorce is expensive so you may not be able to immediately afford to replace certain items, so hold onto them for now, for example, bedding and furniture.

5. Keep items that you value

Special pieces of furniture, artwork, accessories, and things that will bring good memories to your new home.

6. Keep in mind your new living, space and possible space limitations.

If your newly downsized home is smaller, don’t take more than what you’ll need or will use. You do not want to clutter your new home.

While divorce is an unfortunate chapter in your life, it’s also a time to reimagine and rebuild a new life.

Decluttering your physical and emotional stuff is cathartic.

It’s an opportunity to discover a new life with less stuff but more happiness.


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