Moving the Stuff and Setting Up a New Home

I love moving and decorating, painting, renovation and the smell of sawdust; the creative aspect of setting up a space, picking out fixtures and working with contractors and designers. If I had another life… I would be a contractor like my grandfather and brothers and I'd choose to build or redo buildings. That’s why redoing life is so exciting and fun for me!

Before you stop reading, let me try to ease your heart palpitations because I know I’m weird and most people get completely stressed out with moving, letting go of things, renovating, buying new furniture and everything that puzzle requires especially during divorce.

This is the fun part…

To me working the exterior is similar to imagining a new future… like those daydreams I talk about: 

Like September when school began and back to school shopping made me think I could be prom queen, like going to college and stepping into a new identity or falling in love or getting engaged. Those moments when the future appeared doable and I could become who I always wanted to be.

The same goes with leaving the stuff behind in divorce: the furniture you got from the in-laws, the clothing you wore because the X liked you in that outfit, the books, art work, antiques and dust collectors that you purchased on your honeymoon. All that stuff you had during that relationship carries energy, memories and lost dreams. Maybe it’s something you love, maybe it’s something you’re willing to fight over. (News flash: I’m not a big fan of that.) Maybe you think you can sell it for good money. Maybe. Maybe all of that.

But starting over looks like starting over with a clean slate: new furniture, new clothing, new dishes, silverware and glasses; artwork you love and items you admire. It means setting up a man cave the way you always wanted, throwing out the clothes that don’t fit, applying for that 0% credit card with your excellent credit report or shopping antique stores for things that make you feel like you. It means imagining a new future for yourself free from the energy of the past.

Starting with the exterior allows you

to work from the outside in.

Then it pushes you to work the inside out.

Leaving the stuff to avoid a fight means letting go of competition. Walking away from the drama of the past means putting up boundaries. Imagining a happy future for yourself looks like creating faith. Getting your money and finances in order so you can purchase what you want is being responsible. Making courage to shop declares you believe in you. Tapping into your creativity reminds you of who you really are, and setting up a warm and inviting space you get to call home welcomes a new future. Lastly, getting organized instead of being wrapped up in the fight so you can take on the details of a move, decorating and managing others looks like you no longer want to be who you’ve been in the past.

I’ve moved homes 17 times (not counting the summers my family went from Massachusetts to Maine when I was a kid, or going back and forth to college). I guess looking at it that way, I’ve been forced to find it fun. But each and every time was a chance to be different, to grow, to be happier than I was the day before even when things were great. Each opportunity came with its challenges and each required I change the exterior and the interior at the same time. I find it fun, an exercise in imagination and organization and a relief… the past is left physically in the past. I hope you’re more inspired to take it on now too.



Laura Bonarrigo

New York, NY