After discovering that my husband was cheating and kicking him out of our home, I was left with a broken heart, anxiety and angst, and a house full of reminders of him. It was very painful to see his clothes in the closet, toiletries in the bathroom, tools in the garage and smiling pictures of us from happier days staring at me in every room. The memories were overwhelming.
Something needed to be done quickly to give me peace in my own home. I needed to reclaim my space and inject a bit of estrogen to comfort me. First, I loaded boxes of shoes, books, knick-knacks, memories, sweaters, jeans and other non-hanging clothes and moved them carefully to my clean and dry garage. I then bought garment bags and a coat rack and hung his shirts, suits, sport coats and slacks in these, which I moved to the garage as well.
Now I had the pictures to deal with. I stored our wedding album and pictures from the reception in a box in the garage, and I tore up the pictures in the frames and spent quality time culling through pictures of friends and family to replace them. It felt like a breath of fresh air to walk into the room and see familiar, loving, smiling faces.
But I still felt my soon-to-be-ex's presence, and I needed a clean start. So I decided to re-paint the bedroom. I had originally chosen a very neutral light pastel green on the walls, but it was time to shake up the place. I chose a deep purple/gray to change the atmosphere completely. And what a difference a few coats of paint can make! It lifted my spirits and helped me to forget the years of sleeping in the same bed with him. I also bought new sheets and pillows, and started to sleep in the middle of the bed instead of on "my side."
Finally, it was time to reorganize and shed all the clothes that I had been keeping in my closet but had not had the time or energy to cull. I asked my good girlfriend to come over and be brutal in forcing me to part with those pieces that I would never wear again. I guess I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to clothing -- I always hope that I will wear it in another season and hate to part with it. But my friend had no mercy and I ended up giving away fifteen large bags of clothing to friends and Good Will.
I felt lighter, happier, and ready to start the painful divorce process from the safety and comfort of my "new" home.