I often work with people selling a house after living in it for a few years after the divorce. What was stability for the kids has been a constant reminder of “what was.” Now that the last child has started college, it feels like it’s time to start fresh.
What if you love your house and really don’t want to leave it? Or, what if you’re at the beginning of the stability-for-the-kids years, and you’re needing to come to terms with the “ghosts?”
When I found myself facing this situation, my soon-to-be-former-husband asked what I wanted.
“All of it,” I replied, reasoning that any new women wouldn’t want to be around the stuff he shared with his former wife. I had pretty much decorated the house myself, and it still brought me joy. Fortunately, I was able to buy him out and keep 90% of it. Win-Win.
Years later I’m still enjoying my beloved house. The transition did take some purposeful head-work to go from “ours” to “mine.” Here are a few ways I did it:
- Banished the word “our” from my vocabulary. It became “me” and “mine.” I bought this house. Because I did.
- Bought a new bed and mattress set. Mine.
- Switched out the framed photos with those of me doing something fun.
- Anointed each door and window as a blessing, claiming protection and ownership.
- Eliminated every sports channel from my “favorites.”
- Took over both master closets.
- Sent a boatload of photos to his mother, keeping only my favorites.
- Altered habits and patterns to reflect the way I wanted to do things.
- Updated color schemes with new pillows and some added artwork.
- Adopted a pair of senior cats after losing the one cat.
- Became okay with not having a 100% clean house, reasoning that I didn’t use each space 100% of the time.
- Told God He would have to be my husband now, show me how things were done, provide guidance, solutions, comfort and laughter.
Eventually, I came to view my 20 years with this one person as simply a leg of my journey, walked alongside one particular person. Single, married, divorced, widowed, it’s still my life. Mine. It’s a life to be lived, on my terms, in my house, wherever that may be.
If you would like a fresh set of eyes on your current home situation, I have a very talented pair. Give me a call and put them to use for you!
Copyright © 2022 by Cynthia Gentry Black, Home Staging by Cynthia, LLC in Kansas City.
All rights reserved. No portion may be shared, reused or republished in any format without express written consent of the author.