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Create Joy in Your Space After Divorce
(with approval for reprint by Megan, a The Chicago Organizer team member)

“But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.” — Marie Kondo

The transitions during divorce can feel unsettling. Whether you are moving homes or staying in the marital home, creating a space where you can relax and care for yourself and family is key. The circumstances surrounding your space might not be entirely within your control and might be temporary. You may not want to move, or you may be anxious and ready to move, but can’t. Your budget for creating a new space might be limited or non-existent.

How can you begin to create a space that supports the person you are now and what you need? Here are a few tips to consider.

Connect with your intuition. Not sure what brings you joy right now? Think of the spaces where you have felt most joyful in your life. This could range from your grandma’s kitchen to an epic beach vacation. Close your eyes and conjure up a memory of a place that brings YOU joy.

Describe your new ideal lifestyle in a few words, and let those words be your guide. Focus on how you want to feel in your space now.

Consider how you want to spend your time. Are there hobbies you would like to bring back into your life? Or maybe a hobby or home maintenance responsibility to let go of, for example gardening if you are downsizing to a smaller space? The items in your home now should support the person you are now and how you enjoy spending your time now.

Budget concerns? Consider low cost or no cost ways to shift the energy in your space. Change furniture placement. Paint a room or two. Put up small shelves or hooks exactly where you want them. Check out budget friendly resources for items (online resale groups, consignment stores etc.). Add something small and budget friendly that brings you comfort, like a cozy blanket or artwork with encouraging words or images.

There are no rules about what to keep or not keep, though it’s important to make intentional decisions about what you have in your home now. Delaying decisions may not make it easier to make them. Common concerns when reviewing items might be 1) I might need this someday. 2) it feels wasteful to not keep this because it was expensive or someone gave it as a gift. 3) I feel bad about keeping or discarding wedding gifts. Challenge yourself to make decisions based on the life you are creating and where you want to be now. Maybe this feels difficult or maybe you are overwhelmed with excitement.

Reach out for support as you create your new space. Family and friends may be helpful and excited to support you in this process. It may be an opportunity to reconnect with people. You may find it helpful to reach out to a professional organizer who is trained to support people through transitions. In any case, know that you can find support if you feel stuck making decisions and need a path forward.

It is brave to make decisions to make yourself feel better. The small decisions may build up your confidence for bigger decisions as you move forward in your new life. Focus on what you need right now in your space to feel your best and move forward.

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