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Dealing With Divorce: How To Make Over Your Home (And Yourself)

People are driven to redecorate or renovate for a number of reasons. You might be preparing to put your home on the market (landscaping has been proven to add as much as 14% to its resale value), or simply in need of a change. Divorce is often the impetus in the latter case, and with good reason; homes become living memories after a period of time, and the absence of someone who used to be there can be extremely noticeable and difficult to deal with. A fresh start via a home makeover can do wonders for those looking to begin anew, so let's take a look at a few of the ways you can change your living space to match the new you.

Moving On And Moving Up

Purging is a necessary part of the post-divorce redecoration process, and one that might be harder than you think. Try to look at your objects as what they represent rather than the function they perform; you may think you need a couch, but if its the couch that you've spent several years cuddling on with your ex, it's time to get rid of it. On the opposite end of the spectrum, be sure to hold onto things that have relevance to your past. If you're trying to create a space that embodies me rather than us, highlighting a few mementos from high school, college, or the years without your ex is a great place to start.

Inside And Out

Think of your divorce as an opportunity for a new beginning: you have the ability to make all the decisions yourself in order to a make a place that you truly feel comfortable and at home with. Not everyone gets a second chance to live their lives exactly the way they want it; if you approach the redecoration or renovation process with an open and excited mind, you'll find yourself having fun along the way.

That being said, the experience will be different if you're co-parenting. In the U.S., children aged 12 or older can speak with a judge regarding their post-divorce living situation preferences, but Canada relies on a child's emotional maturity when taking their opinions into context. If you gain sole custody, you need to take your child into consideration when planning a remodel; toddlers and young children depend on consistency, so a complete change could make the experience worse for them, while older kids should be consulted so that they still feel that this is their home as well. The last thing you want to do as a parent is create a space that alienates your children.

The goal of this entire process is to reimagine what a "happy home" truly is; most definitions describe it as a space where you feel secure, a place for relaxation, and a space where you are free to be yourself. If you can hit all three of those marks during your redecoration -- both for you and your child -- you'll find that getting back on your feet is easier than you expected.

Head of Content, reality TV watcher and lover of cookies. emma@shared.com