After separation followed by the inevitable divorce, at some point you have to realise that life must go on, and so must you! It’s easy to fall into the trap of denial or resentment and become paralyzed by inaction.
But for the sake of your sanity and a brighter future you must push through the hard times to be able to come out the other end of a breakup stronger and wiser. This is hard to do alone, so reach out within your community of friends and family or revisit the idea of a few more sessions with your Divorce Coach to help you move forward and take those next steps. As I say life goes on and so must you!
More often than not we are left alone amongst our prize possessions and surrounded by memories from our past, both good and bad. Memories at this stage in the process could, however, hinder our ability to move on or pick ourselves up and simply carry on! Therefore consider doing some decluttering, out with the old in with the new as the saying goes! It’s difficult to bring yourself to do this but sitting amongst it wallowing in self-pity is not going to do you any favours either, believe me! Some of us do it in the early phases of the separation, often out of anger, but call it a form a therapy, release. Others take months or even years and sometimes just hoard it all and never get over it as they just haven’t dealt very well with the entire process.
Decluttering your spaces will declutter your mind which in turn will put you in a much better head space to focus on the more important things in life and stop you dwelling on the past! The thing is whether you ended the relationship or not you still have to deal with the same processes after the separation and how you deal with them will enable you to move on sooner and not keep you reliving what it could have been, should have been! What is done is done and if you want more out of this life then it’s up to you to at your own pace move through this transition, so you can learn, grow and become an even better version of yourself.
So get to it, spring clean / declutter, whatever you want to call it, can be quite liberating once you finally get started and then you notice once it’s done – WOW! Its like you now see your whole entire life, past present and future, more clearly and with that comes hope and excitement, (in small bursts at first but with excitement all the same). You will begin to love your space again and in turn love yourself for who you are again! It’s something in your life you can control and how nice is it when you come home to enjoy your surroundings and feel relaxed and content with what you do have in your life.
So if you are finding yourself coming home and being constantly reminded of your ex and your old life, then it’s a sign it’s time to declutter and create a space you love and cherish being in. Now I know when you have children together its hard to completely erase the past. But place photos of their other parent in their bedrooms and family photos into albums for them to cherish or pop them in a box in the attic for them when they are older. Photos and mementos are still their childhood memories that they should be able to cherish forever, but you don’t necessarily have to do the same every day. Do this when your children are not around and be subtle about it, as not to upset or confuse them.
The wardrobe, the bonus here is that you get the WHOLE thing to yourself, and it’s a great time to revamp your look and create a new style for yourself, to make you feel more vibrant and confident and it will boost your spirits. Get rid of those worn out clothes or clothes that no longer fit you. Recycle and donate and find a friend or stylist and go out there and reinvent your style, fill up that wardrobe with pieces you love that make you feel good.
If you are still in the family home or if you have moved to a different home, spend time putting your own touches on the home. Paint, change the look of the place put your own decorative flare on it, you get to decide now how you want your home to be. If you can’t afford decorators ask some friends to help and make it a fun weekend. Start in the living room and bedroom, the spaces you enjoy spending most of your time in. Don’t rush to re-do the children’s rooms straight away as they may need a while to get used to all the changes that are happening, keep their spaces status quo till they have fully adapted to life without mum and dad in the same home, and when it is time to redecorate their rooms, include them in the decision making and the decorating, they will love it, but only once they are emotionally ready for it.
Pick one room a month and slowly work your way through draws and cupboards and get rid of the things that no longer bring you joy or purpose any more. Its very liberating once you get started and very healing also. There will be moments within this process that will bring up a lot of emotions, pain, feelings of regret or loss but you have to let yourself feel all these emotions at some point in your journey in order to move forward. Decluttering your home is like decluttering your mind. You will be amazed at the difference you will feel within yourself once you take a leap.
If you want to do this in your own time at your own pace, try using Marie Kondo’s book, ‘The life changing magic of tidying up’. Marie’s basic rule for decluttering is ‘does this bring me joy?’ If not put it in the recycle or donate pile. ‘Does this bring me joy?’ this is a great question to be asking yourself, not only with your personal items around the house, but ask that question with most things in your life right now. This is a time in your life you need to find joy again, so start with your home but take that question out into your wider circle, friends, work, extra circular activities, new relationships and old. Are these things bringing you joy and helping you move forward? This is an extremely empowering question to be asking in every aspect of your life. It will help you leave the past behind and move forward to a brighter happier future of which you deserve.
If you have trouble taking the steps needed to get started, organise a working bee and ask some friends or family for help. Or ask your divorce coach for help, they may know someone who can be of service.
Kimberlee Sweeney, CDC Certified Divorce Coach®
Kimberlee Sweeney, a Separation, Divorce & Relationship Coach helping people work on their relationships one way or the other, whether choosing to stay or leave, guiding them through how to separate with dignity & less stress, where possible. I trained in collaborative practice NZ, to work alongside other divorce experts, such as lawyers, mediators and financial experts to support my clients in all aspects of their divorce.
I have been an entrepreneur for over 30yrs+. I have discovered in time I have a of natural talent for understanding, empathising with clients as well as leading the way to showing others how to put a positive spin on all aspects of their lives and be their best selves in the process.
I completed one of America’s best divorce coaching programs, graduated as a CDC Certified Divorce Coach. Originally one of the very 1st CDC Certified Divorce Coaches in NZ in 2015 & have since also completed Gottman Relationship Therapy Coaching & Imago Communication courses for those wanting to work on their relationships or improve communication, along with Collaborative Practice Training NZ. I enjoy all aspects of my coaching practice and I gain a lot of satisfaction seeing my clients survive and thrive in Divorce and in their relationships overall. My passion is doing what is best for the kids and helping clients get a solid co-parenting agreement in place.
* Previously published at: https://www.degreesofseparation.co.nz/blog/decluttering-head-space-work-space-home-spaces