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Divorce Blog

Spring Cleaning, your house and your life after Divorce

By Karen Stewart

Taping a BoxSpring Cleaning! It’s that time of year when thousands of people rummage through their homes and purge their belongings in order to make room for a fresh new season. By de-cluttering and giving a sanctuary a yearly facelift it can also rejuvenate and refresh one’s heart and mind.

But if you have recently experienced a divorce, what do you do with what remains from your ex-spouse that was packed away under the crawlspace, in storage or in your photo drawer? Is it appropriate to still wear that piece of jewellery that was bought for you from your ex?

It may not be clear to an outsider (or even to the individual at the time) that any of these items still hold sentimental value; however, they can bring back painful memories of a time that used to be, creating a barrier for moving forward.

Spring Cleaning: out with the old, and in with the new.

I am an advocate of the purge. De-clutter your house and your mind, which will help your heart heal as it will be free of barriers and hurdles of emotional attachment.

When you are ready to rip the band-aid off and rid of your emotional attachment to these belongings you are trying to hold close, then do it in a pragmatic way that will benefit your future healing. I have 5 suggestions to help you Spring Clean while benefiting your future path to recovery:

  1. Kijiji, Craig’s List or Pawn Shops – are an excellent resource to make a little cash from your past. If you are storing jewellery or any items of actual value over and above sentimental value — use it to your financial advantage.
  2. Burn it all! — This is said with humour in mind, but if there is little financial value to what you are holding onto — Why not? You will feel the weight lifted and your shoulders can fall with a sense of relief and contentment. Think about the episode of “Friends” or possibly “Waiting to Exhale” but always keep a fire extinguisher near.
  3. Salvation Army — give the remains of your marriage or relationship to someone that may benefit from your purge. By doing good and helping others in need — you may feel the purge was most beneficial to building your character and peace of mind.
  4. Garage Sale — With Spring comes the arrival of garage sales. Get together with some follow divorcees in your community or circle of friends and hold a “New Beginnings Garage Sale”. Have fun with it as it is a way you can celebrate your future path with your friends while making a little cash.
  5. Give it to your kids — if you do have jewellery that has sentimental value and you have children together, why not give that expensive piece of your past to your future? Let your children carry with them something that reminds them of both of you. (This would only be advised in an amicable divorce where the children harbour little to no resentment towards either parent)

Spring is the perfect time to cleanse your home, your heart, your mind and your soul of any past relationship memorabilia so that you are living in the now and don’t find yourself “blue” thinking of what used to be.