Nothing about a divorce is easy. Even if it is amicable and civilized, there are practical and emotional upheavals that are unavoidable and may leave you feeling lost.
Downsizing after a divorce may be just as emotionally disruptive as it is logistically challenging. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman, after a divorce your net worth is typically less and the need to downsize is common. And often, the marital home is sold as part of the divorce settlement and neither party ends up with it.
While you once enjoyed the comfort and conveniences of a spacious marital home, now you are coming home and opening the door to a much smaller and less welcoming space. Making that space your own is an important step in the process of healing and moving on after a divorce.
A Big House to a Small Apartment
Often downsizing involves going from a house to an apartment. What do you do with all of your stuff? Face it. You just aren’t going to have room for everything you accumulated while you were married. Decide what you really need, what you can’t live without and what it’s time to get rid of.
Be realistic about how much space you have. Does your furniture suddenly seem too big? If the sofa takes up the whole living room in your new place, replace it with a piece that is an appropriate size.
Some stuff is just emotional baggage. Do you really want to look at that hand blown glass vase every day that you purchased on your honeymoon? In most cases, it is better to get rid of items that have a shared memory or marital attachment.
Have a moving sale, a yard sale or consign the things you no longer want or need. Have fun picking out and purchasing new furnishings with the money you make.
Renting vs Owning
Once you’ve owned a home, renting can have a stigma attached. Even if you don’t care what others think, it may still leave you feeling like you’ve taken a step backwards in status.
While that may have been true at one time. Yet today’s fast paced world combined the cost and upkeep of owning a home, renting is not only a good option, it may be a necessary one.
There are many positive features of renting. Repairs are no longer your responsibility. If the roof leaks or the hot water heater breaks, it’s the landlord’s problem.
Yard maintenance, lawn care and property tax are also the landlord’s responsibility. All you have to do is clean and take the trash out. And with less space, cleaning will be quicker and easier.
Make it Home
Do you remember how much you enjoyed decorating your home when you first purchased it? It was much like a blank canvas is for an artist, full of possibilities.
While there are some things about an apartment that are static and can’t be changed, that does mean it can’t reflect your style.
Sometimes divorcees will choose a piece of furniture or a paint color that their ex-spouse didn’t like. Or maybe their own taste have changed and it’s time to try something new.
However you decide to decorate your new space, make it your own. Mix new acquisitions with familiar keepsakes. Ultimately it’s up to you what you keep and what you replace. The goal is to open the door and feel like you’re home.
With over 30 years of experience as a professional artist and designer, Jodi Topitz, currently works with clients throughout the New Jersey and New York City metro area as an interior design artist. Her company, we2me, specializes in DIVORCEDECOR.
Her own journey began several years ago when the pain of her own divorce left her reeling. In the midst of her emotional distress, she recognized that the nourishing effect of color and design brought her back to life.
Because she has walked in her clients’ shoes and already knows the way, she is able to connect people to their space in a way that transforms and helps them achieve happiness and serenity in their new space.
Reach out to Jodi and see how she can help transform your space.