It is overwhelming to begin the process of physical separation. Perhaps there is a move in store, perhaps not. Either way, shared belongings must be divided and your home environment will change in many ways. It’s a great time to make your surroundings a place of comfort, order, and relaxation. A place that is visually pleasing to you.
Order gives you a sense that you have control over things and now would be a good time to feel that way. I like Marie Kondo’s advice to start with clothes first, making your closet and drawers orderly so you can find what you’re seeking! Sell what you don’t want on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, or donate it to a thrift store.
Libraries and book drops will accept those books you no longer need.
A filing cabinet with folders is your best bet for organizing the papers you need to keep. For
sensitive documents that you do not need, there are usually free local shredding events or
places where you can pay by the box. The rest can be thrown out.
Mementos are harder. My advice is to buy some bins with lids and store those items that evoke ambivalence in you now. You may feel like throwing out your wedding album and objects that are reminders of happier days in your marriage. Down the road, you may regret not having that bit of history for your children. Store them and take them out at a later date, perhaps in a year, and decide then what to keep and what you want to trash.
I believe Marie Kondo’s best advice on culling through and discarding belongings is “Keep only what brings you joy.” You have control over your environment and it’s time to create a great space for yourself. Experiment with paint and move your favorite items around to redecorate.
All possible with little expenditure and a payback of joy!
Deirdre Shaffer, MSW, LCSW