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Downsizing Advice For Those Going Through A Divorce

Written by: Karoline Gore

Divorce can be one of the most stressful life events, with the Holmes & Rahe Stress Inventory listing it as the second most stressful life event, after the death of a spouse. This is the case for both personal and financial reasons, with many couples having to make significant changes to their financial affairs in order to survive on a single income, after having contracted joint obligations. The positive aspect of downsizing, of course, is significant relief from financial stress; fewer problems with upkeep and maintenance of homes, vehicles and other joint possessions; and the ability to lead a more minimalist life that can help reduce stress. These are just a few tips for those wishing to downsize during this challenging time.

Knowing Why You're Downsizing

Before deciding how you wish to downsize, analyze the reasons why doing so can bring about a positive change in the way you are processing your divorce. For some people, downsizing is a good way to start afresh without an ex. A shared home, second home, vehicles and the like can be tied up with memories that unwittingly keep you rooted in the past. Breakups hurt, and it is important to grieve for the people, things, and situations you may have to let go of. However, taking proactive steps (such as those involved in downsizing) can help you feel like you are taking steps forward in terms of finding new purpose and meaning in your life.

Taking Inventory Of Material Possessions

Once you are ready to begin, make a detailed list of the items you wish to sell or give away. These might include furniture, goods, and décor items. If you are selling items on second hand sites, ensure that the images you post are high-quality and taken in the best lighting, and set aside any warranties, guarantees, or other legal documents that will attest to their authenticity. Selling excess furniture - and indeed any items that are simply gathering dust - will ensure your home is tidier, more light-filled, and even less of a health risk (since cluttered spaces can increase the chances of trips and falls). It is always a good idea to communicate with your ex regarding documents and furniture items they may have at home, since they may have left crucial items behind without knowing it. If you wish to really commit to downsizing, you may decide to sell your family home and opt for a small but inviting home that requires less cleaning and maintenance.

Selling Jewelry From Your Ex

Some people who divorce sell jewelry and other items that their ex has given them. After all, these items are not likely to be worn by those who attach a sentimental value to the items they wear. If you have valuable pieces, consider first whether you might one day wish to leave these behind to children as heirloom pieces. If your financial situation is tough and these pieces can help pay for crucial services such as lawyers’ fees, removal fees, and accountants, then downsizing your jewelry collection may be a good choice for you.

If you are going througha divorce and wish to gain a new perspective on things, downsizing (by selling your home or furniture and other possessions) can be helpful. Creating a clutter-free environment can help you feel less stressed, since your home can feel more like an oasis of peace and tranquility. You can also consider selling jewelry and other personal items given to you by your ex. Do so in a guilt-free way, since these items can have memories attached to them that you may wish to forget as you focus on filling your life with new riches - both personal and material.

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