What To Do With Your Wedding Dress, Rings and Other Things After a Divorce
There’s a moment after the dust settles on your divorce, when the arguments are over, the papers are signed, and the moving truck has sped off with all of your ex’s stuff – it’s a moment of eerie quiet – this is when you realize that the home you once shared is now yours and yours alone. Just because his or her possessions are gone – the clothes, movies, sports gear, books, art, junk food, and more – there will still be plenty of reminders about your time together as spouses – your wedding dress, the wedding ring and other bling gifted to you on birthdays and anniversaries, lingerie that was more for their pleasure than yours – and, oh yeah, the bed you shared.
This first moment of silence isn’t the time to start purging these items – take a moment to just bear witness to your emotions, let them flow, and release all of that cleansing energy. In the weeks to come, you can start making grounded decisions on what to keep, what to let go, and how to go about it all.
As a professional home organizer, I am often called upon to help divorcees begin the process of reclaiming their homes while opening up their living and emotional spaces to begin this new chapter in their lives. Sometimes I offer tips and advice; sometimes I roll of my sleeves and help sort things into piles like “save”, “sell”, “donate” and “toss”; sometimes I just sit, listen, and when needed, give a hug.
I’ve learned a lot along the way, having gone through this journey on my own and with many clients. What you let go of, and how, depends on what you went through while you were married and how you wrapped things up. Some clients are still friends with their exes, they love each other and simply realized they were no longer in love; some are co-parenting little children, others have grown children who have left the nest; some endured abuse, neglect and other trauma; some left their exes, others were left. The worse things were when you were married, the more things need to go now that you’re single. But even with the most amiable divorces, letting go of stuff that reminds you of your marriage will allow you to move forward, and if and when you’re ready, find new love.
The Wedding Dress
Whether it’s preserved in a giant box, or just hanging in your closet, no other item linked to your marriage likely takes up as much space in both your home and heart as your wedding dress. You have many options to pursue, depending on your attachment to the dress.
The Wedding Ring
If your ex actually did spend two months salary (or more) on the wedding ring, it likely has a high resale value – one that can fund that new car, dream vacation, or home improvement project you’ve been dreaming of.
Replacing your bed is one of the best ways to move on physically and emotionally from “what was” to “what will be”.
So, whether you go it alone, or hire a professional home organizer like myself, one of the best ways to say “I Do” to you is to commit to de-cluttering your heart and home after a divorce. The best chapters in your story have yet to be written, let’s start with a clean page.