You’ve been divorced or perhaps widowed for awhile now — whatever awhile is to you. You’re living in the same home you’ve lived in for all those years but it’s starting to feel different. Something subtle or stark is out of kilter for you.
The difference is that your mindset is changing. You’re ready for creating the next chapter in life. You’ve realized it is time to move on. It’s now your time to create a next chapter. You’re spreading your wings bit by bit, blossoming a little at a time. How can you organize your home to reflect the new or changed “you”? Or your new chapter?
Key questions to ask yourself before you change anything:
#1 As you think about moving forward and creating your next chapter, reflect on what’s important to bring forward with you? Which memories. Which experiences.
Are they represented in your heart or in objects? Does an object trigger a memory? How many are needed to trigger the memory though (as in a collection).
Can you think of someone in your family or extended family who might enjoy some of the collection? Do you need a photograph of you with the collection to remind yourself or not?
#2 Are there special items you don’t really want to keep but you do want kept in your family? You could designate items for certain people and give them as gifts at a birthday, Valentine’s Day, or even at a family reunion. Is anyone setting up house, like a recent graduate, an upcoming wedding ? Is there a gift here? The object AND the memories. The tales, stories, family history.
#3 As you look at each room, ask yourself: what do I want this room to be now? What can I do with the room? Rooms get cluttered easily if they don’t have a purpose for being. Or they have too many purposes! So how can you repurpose this room? And maybe this room needs not only the reorganization but treat yourself to new paint, hiring a decorator, a new closet system, too!
#4 What was the essence of the person you loved and lost. The essence is what you want to keep near you somehow. But it doesn’t mean, as you move forward to your next chapter and on your own, that ALL of his/her things need to make the journey. You’re making a new chapter, so bring the best forward. Create a memory box — just a simple box, however large you see fit, and keep the best memories. On your closet shelf, if the box were kept there, you’d see those memories every day, which may be comforting for awhile still. So what’s the essence of the person and how you can bring that forward with you into your next chapter, and reflected in your home’s organization.
#5 Last question. This will be a sentimental and sometimes difficult time. You may want to work alone so you can privately work through your reorganization. Or the opposite may be true. You may need a friend, counselor or an organizer alongside. Someone to help you walk the path, help you make decisions about which you’ll have no regrets, and to talk through some of the memories as you say goodbye to objects. Trust your instincts about whether you need your community around you at this point.