Less is More
Welcome to this week’s edition of ‘The Divorce Whisperer.’ I enjoy sharing my commentary on divorce and child custody matters, because I have been there before. As legal administrator for Sabra Janko, Colorado Springs divorce attorney, I can offer you insight into this uncertain time in your life. If you read my previous articles, we covered a lot of ground already.
Today, I want to chat about personal property. A few days ago, I was going through my bins to set up Christmas decorations. I realized I don’t have a lot of stuff. Most of what I own is in the basement where I live and the garage. My sparse, monk-like space wasn’t a product of my ex not giving me a thing or refusing to do so; rather it was by choice.
When I was asked the question, ‘what do you want from the house?,’ I took a pause as I roamed through our marital home with pen and paper. Keeping in mind there may be emotional attachments to items like photos, figurines or a collection of dishes. If I were to use my emotions to figure out what I wanted, my ex would most likely be left with a near empty space or would push back on items I would choose to remove from the house. But I used both emotion and logic and framed this as an opportunity to prune things out of my life, start anew and simply not move as much stuff.
At first, I thought of my son. I wanted him to be as comfortable as possible and not really be affected by a near empty home. I’d rather be the one to take the brunt of that. Also, I really wanted to get away from the house as quick as I could and I didn’t want to be bogged down with coordinating movers, paying money for that and taking more time than I wanted. Four car trips to transport things to my new place was all I needed. And with the help of my roommate’s pick-up truck, it took one trip for the bigger items.
Most important to me was a fine china set I got as a gift from my mom, a Keurig I won in contest, and a few other kitchen items I have curated over the years. An advantage of being a military spouse is there was always a set of two for most things because the spouse may have lived away for some time, and you were living elsewhere. In my case, there were two bedroom sets, so I took one. There was also several wine glass sets and flatware, so I grabbed those too. I took the obvious with me like my clothing, books, and DVDs.
The best thing I did was to itemize everything according to categories. You can either do it by items: clothes, books, furniture. Or by room: Living room, dining room, kitchen. I used the ‘by room’ method. It was easier to go room by room to decide what I wanted to start my new life. I had asked myself several questions as well. It was akin to decluttering when you ask yourself: does this bring me joy? When was the last time I used this? If you’re in the depths of emotion upheaval, it’s best to do this when you aren’t. I understand that can be a challenge because when are we not? Without thinking about it too much, I did end up forcing myself to have such a day. This is the point where I had to put blinkers on, think about my new life and to have solitude while I took stock of what I wanted to bring with me.
I don’t regret leaving certain things behind, nor taking others. I’ve learned to live with the bare minimum for now; then when I’m ready, I can fill my space with new things and new memories.
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Please feel free to contact our Colorado Springs divorce lawyer at 719-344-5523.