With the changing of the seasons on the horizon, many people find it necessary to remove the clutter in their lives through spring cleaning. It can be a therapeutic exercise, designed to remove all of the extraneous aspects of one’s life and create a healthier living environment.
Similarly, the act of divorce creates a similar level of change in one’s life. Similarly to that of a home, divorce creates opportunity for less clutter and a fresh start. After the dust clears and the experience is over, the divorce itself can be a stepping off point to a new beginning.
As an ex-husband, there are certain items that are already gone from your life, just through an ex-wife not living with you anymore. Various clothes, shoes, jewelry, and more have exited your life, leaving space for a home to look exactly how you want it to look. The artsy sculpture that she kept in the corner of your room is no longer there, and the six-inch red heels are no longer taking up closet space. Your home is free.
Removal and retrieval
After the divorce, any new living space you find yourself in needs to reflect the fresh start, which means removing traces of the previous marriage. As much as you might want to hold onto some things, it can be important to return them to their rightful owner or simply tossing them out altogether. According to Avvo, it tends to depend on how well you get along with your ex-wife. Keep in mind that if an ex-spouse leaves property at a previous residence and they won’t allow you to retrieve it, that’s illegal and the spouse preventing the transaction can be held in contempt of court, if it falls within the court order.
Tossing items out can be tricky. If the property is listed in the property settlement and it is within the time frame of reclaiming it, it cannot be thrown away, sold, or destroyed without permission from the other spouse or the court. If it is done before it is legally allowed, wrongful disposal can be claimed.
The property settlement will determine many of the ‘who gets what’ type of situations, but sometimes, a fresh start entirely is needed, especially in decorating. After a divorce, many men head to a Bed, Bath, and Beyond for some new ideas for their new home. Interior design elements have been known to create positive and negative effects, depending on the invoked emotions associated with each element, according to Psychology Tomorrow magazine.
Color and shades of color can invoke different emotions, boost moods, and have a significant effect on various aspects of one’s personality. During a divorce, so much focus is placed on the negative aspects, and it can be a discouraging experience for all involved. However, being able to control how the room looks and what the décor will invoke can boost your creativity and allow for a sense of relaxation to surface.
As a divorced individual, the amount of control that you have in your interior design decisions is limitless, depending on your renting or owning status. Spring cleaning doesn’t just mean getting rid of what you don’t need. It also means utilizing the newly acquired space for your own means. For many guys, that starts with the bathroom.
According to The Huffington Post, it’s one of those places that you really can make your own. As silly as it sounds, doing something as simple as replacing towels and getting rid of female products that you would never use can really open up the space for your own uses. Suddenly, you have room that you never thought you would have.
Closets and pantries are other spaces that benefit from the fresh start of a divorce. There’s no need to keep any food or snacks that you know you won’t eat. Donate them, or throw them out. Suddenly, you have more room than you know what to do with, and you can start expanding on what you already have.
One of the bigger purchases that is called into question during a divorce is the bed itself. Many couples with a queen or king-sized bed throw it in as an item that stays with whoever gets the original house. That requires one spouse to think about purchasing a new bed, and while it may seem like a good idea to spend extravagantly on the replacement, that is a prideful decision, which does not take into account how expensive new beds can be. Keep your budget in mind and price-shop.
Cleaning up your behavior
There also are person elements of one’s behavior that could use a spring cleaning after a divorce. Dr. Karen Finn, author of “What You Need to Know to Finally Start Healing from Your Divorce Right Now,” discusses how specific behaviors, such as not being one’s true self or not taking care of the relationships we have in our life, are clutter left over from our divorce. She talks about how important it is to find relationships in our life and to show those people that we value them. Spruce up the relationship, and be yourself, in how you go about it.
It’s not going to be done right away, but after the taxing experience of divorce, it’s important to let people in your life know that they matter to you. Letting go of any of the water under the bridge also is a step in the right direction, in creating that dialogue between others and yourself.
Creating a clean and new living arrangement is going to take time and effort, but it promotes a healthy positive atmosphere that can be beneficial after a divorce. This is your home now, and spring cleaning sends the message that you aren’t going to be living in the clutter of the past.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.