“…our homes are our greatest possibility of support.”
— Xorin Balbes, Designer
John did it by moving the furniture around.
Elsa did it by giving her ex his stuff.
How have you done it? OR How are you going to do it?
“It” is making the home that you shared with your former partner yours. You may haven’t gotten around to thinking about it, but it is a necessary “moving on” step.
“…When you are completely in love with where you live, you can go out into the world knowing that you get to come back home and be taken care of.”
— Xorin Balbes
This is definitely true when you are going through a divorce. And you won’t feel that way until you’ve gotten rid of old memories and ghosts.
Over the weekend, we read an article titled, “Home, Sweet! Home” by Susan Casey with Xorin Balbes’ suggestions about how to make your home an expression of you. The eight steps mentioned are a perfect way to turn your previously shared space to your place.
Take a look at your home as an outside observer. Don’t do anything yet, just observe. Are there things in your house that just aren’t you? Do you envision furniture being arranged differently? What in your home inspires you? What makes you feel comfortable?
Now decide what you want to keep and what you want to toss. Keep things that you really love. We mean that things that bring about positive emotions, that lift you up. Toss items that arouse bad memories, make you feel uncomfortable, don’t work anymore, or are collecting dust. I once inherited a beautiful chest from a friend of mine who got rid of it because it reminded her of her ex.
During this step, you’ll be literally getting rid of the emotional cobwebs. Make repairs, dust, open the windows. Add a different scent to rooms that evoke bad memories. Balbes calls this “spring cleaning for the soul.”
Now that you’ve gotten rid of the past, it’s time to dream about the future. A new phase of your life has opened up. You can be whoever you want to be. Who is that? Don’t go shopping yet. Just look around for inspiration. You can find it anywhere. Take pictures, tear out pictures, make a vision board.
Get out there and find what you are looking for. If the temptation arises to get stuck in the old rut, resist it. Remember you are creating a refuge — a place that you will be happy to be in. You don’t want to replace the past with new representations of it.
Paint the walls, remodel, plant a garden, make your house a reflection of you. You don’t have to do it all at once. It’s the process that matters.
Add music, flowers, scent. Balbes calls these things the “grace notes.” Even the smallest touches can uplift your spirit.
Let people see who you are by inviting them over to YOUR place. And you know what? You may end up inspiring them as well.
What have you done to make your place yours?