Moving houses is never easy, especially if it happens after a divorce. While you’re still dealing with the pain of the breakup, it’s hard to focus on the move. And once you look at your new place, it can be hard to imagine it as your new home. However, there are ways you can make this unpleasant process easier on yourself and your kids if they are in the mix. If you focus on a few simple tasks, you can turn your empty house into a peaceful and loving home for your new family.
You don’t have to keep all the things you’ve got in the divorce. In order to make this new place your home, you will need to purge and declutter. For instance, you can ditch the wedding albums, leave that ugly couch you’ve always hated on the curb and sell your marital bed on the internet. The objects we own carry strong emotional associations with them, so you might want to start fresh with a few important items. While you need to be practical with new purchases, some items need to go. If you need a coffee table, but you own the one you and your ex bought on your honeymoon to Bali, it will need to be replaced.
No matter if this house is yours forever or just a temporary rental, you can’t live out of boxes and feel at home. You shouldn’t be scared to spend money and time to quickly unpack and get your place functional and comfortable. Throw on a fresh coat of paint, buy a new washing machine and set up your internet and cable—these will make your life easier and nicer. Also, taking action when it comes to your new place will give you a purpose and get rid of any insecurity in your life.
Every time you move into a new place, you need to check if it’s safe and secure for you and your kids. Inspect the house and remove any hazards that can cause trips, slips and bumps, and provide baby gates on stairs. Also, make sure all your locks are new and you have at least some semblance of a security system in place (camera doorbell or alarm system)—this is especially important in case your divorce was ugly and there’s some bad blood between you and your ex. And make sure your new place is insured. Only move in after you set up your home and contents insurance that will offer coverage for storms, fire, earthquake, flood, escaping water, as well as explosions, riots and theft. Get insurance quotes early, so you can move into a fully insured house that is safe for you and your loved ones.
If you have kids, you’re probably worried about how they will handle the divorce, but if you quickly provide them with stability, they will adapt to change. They also need to have a little bit of independence, since there are so many things that are out of their control. Giving them ownership of their rooms can be very beneficial. Let them choose the furniture, color, window treatment and give them the responsibility of keeping their bedrooms clean and tidy.
You probably have a bunch of mementos of your old life before marriage tucked away somewhere. Well, this is the perfect time for them to come out and serve as decoration in your new house. Place them somewhere visible so they can cheer you up quickly and easily. Decorating is also a perfect opportunity to create some new memories with your kids. When you catch a free afternoon, you can start a project and work on it together to beautify your new house.
You can also surround yourself with pictures of your loved ones. You might not want to completely forget about your married life, but it’s important to document the state of your family today. Fill the space with photos of you and your kids, friends and family members—this will remind you what you accomplished and encourage you to continue making amazing memories.
No matter where you live, in the city or suburbs, three things can instantly lift your mood: fresh air, greenery and animals. If you can’t get a pet, you can always go to a shelter and give some love to those in need. In general, contact with nature boosts mood, lowers stress and blood pressure and raises serotonin levels. If you have the space, set up a little garden to serve as your haven. Tending to a garden after a divorce can be a very healing experience.
Every divorce is different and everyone takes it differently, but one is for sure—in your new house, you will find peace and happiness. And if you follow our tips, your new house will turn into a home in a blink of an eye.
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