Making Your House Your Home After Divorce
Your divorce is final, now what? Maybe you’ve been able to keep the house in the divorce, or maybe you’re moving to a new place. But one of the most important things you can do for yourself is start making your house your home after divorce. This is your chance to start over, to reinvent yourself! Why not start with the place you and your kids now call home?
Even if money is tight, there are some quick and easy things you can do right away to personalize your space, and give it a fresh new look. The memories of your marriage and life before are going to come creeping back no matter how hard you try to erase them, but you don’t have to invite them everywhere you look!
Here is a list of things you can do that will go a long way in making your house your home after divorce.
Get Rid of “His” and “Us”
If you’ve read my post Dealing With Divorce and Moving On, you know I recommend cleaning out your house after divorce, getting rid of “his” and “us” stuff. If it’s hanging around, you’re just going to be dwelling on the memories and getting stuck. Making your house your home after divorce is a big part of redefining who YOU are, and where YOUR life is going.
Move “You” In
Try setting up a home after divorce that speaks to who you are. Do you have personal mementos packed away in boxes? Special objects or photos that have sentimental meaning for you? Unpack them and give them pride of place in your home. Is there artwork that you love, a favourite piece of furniture that a family member is looking to part with? Think about where you could incorporate it!
If money is tight, try consignment stores, or if you have an artistic flair, create your own work of art! Get the kids on it and make a gallery wall, even if it’s just the door of the fridge. I created these pieces in about an hour, with a cheap canvas from Michaels, a few colours of paint, foam brushes and fingers, and some powerful music playing in the background.
Get Yourself a New Bed
Buy a new bed, or if this is out of the budget, at least spring for new bedsheets. And if you can afford it, treat yourself to higher quality too! Your master bed is likely the place you have the most intimate memories of your ex, and your life together. Time to pack them away. Especially on those lonely nights when the kids are at their dad’s, or the mornings when you are so tired you can barely make it out of bed. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in there, so you might as well be comfortable in something YOU picked out!
If you can afford a new bed and have the space, opt for King size. Even if it seems too big, or you think you won’t be dating anytime soon, you just might be sharing it with a kid or two! (Trust me on this one…)
Fresh Coat of Paint
It took me 10 years after my divorce to paint the main floor of my house in a colour I chose. It had been painted a hideous tan colour that the home stager suggested when we were listing the house for sale during the divorce, and I just didn’t see the value in repainting right away. But I should have. Now it looks amazing, it speaks to me, my style and who I am!
Paint is a relatively inexpensive way to put your stamp on your home. If money is tight, watch for BOGO sales at your local paint store, and stick to one room at a time. I recommend your master bedroom and your main floor. These areas are going to hold the biggest impact, and the biggest memories. The quicker you can transform them into YOUR spaces, the better!
Another way to save…paint it yourself! Barring cathedral ceilings and stairwells, there is really nothing you can’t do all by your girly little self!! Get tips from friends, watch YouTube videos, or even ask for help at your local hardware or paint store. They can help you get the right tools at the right price (I feel like that’s a slogan for something…).
Pictures of YOUR Family
Once that new paint is dry, a great way of making your house your home after divorce is to fill it with frames full of pictures of you and the kids, your family and friends. It serves as a reminder of all you’ve accomplished, the great memories you still have, and a place to put the new memories of your lives together!
Let me guess…all your pictures are still on your phone? Check out this post about Getting Your Vacation Pictures Off Your Phone for some inspiration.
(One point I will interject here, since it is important for the well-being of your kids. Let them keep a picture of their dad in their room if they want. That way you’re not completely erasing him from their lives, just yours!)
After divorce, you and your kids are your number one priority. Making a space that is cozy, comfortable and reflective of who you are moving forward is so important. Starting over after divorce is never easy. But this is a great opportunity to begin a new life, a new you, and new space you can all call home.
Got some other great tips for making your house your home after divorce? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
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