As the old song goes, “Breaking up is hard to do.” Ending a relationship is difficult – even more so when both former partners are in the process of dividing up the life they’ve shared together. Aside from the stress involved in the move itself, there are a host of details involved that are bound to dial up emotions and bring back memories, both good and bad.
Many studies have put divorce and moving among the top stress-related events in life, which can only increase when you’re dealing with both at the same time. For this blog, we’ll assume you’ll be moving from where you live right now. We also won’t go heavily into the various legal issues and ramifications that can crop up during a split. That said, here are some tips for making the experience as positive and stress-free as possible.
Sort Through Everything
Depending upon circumstances ― and whether you’re more comfortable doing this together or separately ― take an inventory of what items are definitely yours alone and you intend to keep. Go through the house, garage, attic and other areas and prepare a comprehensive list. Then do your best to agree upon who gets what. The goal here is to downsize as much as you can and be ready to part with items you can do without.
Don’t take anything with you at this point. Instead, set items off to the side until they are ready to be moved. If you’re not sure whether you should take certain items, have a discussion with your ex, if possible. If the two of you can’t reach a consensus, seek advice from an independent third party or mediator.
Consider How You’ll Divide Bigger Items
When you’re dividing up an established household, you’ll probably be dealing with more than just little items. Any substantial pieces of furniture, a shared car and major appliances will need to be considered and in the case of at least one of you, replaced. Are you or your ex staying put? Again, a third-party may need to be consulted to ensure an equitable outcome regarding rent, a mortgage or the sale of a mutually owned home.
Don’t Make It a Sentimental Journey
The last thing you need to keep is a bunch of mementos from a relationship that’s run its course. If there are items like gifts, photos or old love letters from your ex, leave or dispose of them. The more you get rid of, the less baggage – both physical and emotional – you’ll have to deal with. The American Psychiatric Association has some helpful tips for getting a fresh start and finding your way forward into life’s next chapter.
Be Methodical and Cautious
In the heat of the moment, you might feel like just packing up a few things and leaving. Keep your wits about you and resist the urge to act rashly. In the case of a divorce, many legal experts will also advise you not to move out officially until the divorce is finalized, especially if you have children. Whatever the circumstances, an impulsive decision can negatively impact later ones made about the home, your kids and more.
Think Carefully About Where You’re Heading
Where will both of you be living after the split? If there are no attachments beside possessions, this step is relatively straightforward and typically a matter of financial and career objectives. Of course you’ll want to say your goodbyes to places and friends in your neighborhood. However, when children are involved, a long-distance move will also affect how often you’ll be able to see them, especially in the case of a legal separation or divorce when your rights become a matter of record.
At some point, the switch will be flipped and it’s time to actively deal with all the large and small details around planning and organizing your move. This is where Mayflower’s comprehensive Move Checklist can be an enormous help. It’s set up to make the process happen over an eight-week period; however, you can streamline the steps to align with a more compressed schedule, and if your ex is staying in place, eliminate certain steps altogether.
Whatever the case, if you’re using a professional mover, get a quote and schedule your move as soon as possible. It’s one less hassle to deal with and you’ll have more choices concerning the moving services you want.
We hope your journey to Finding Home is smooth and successful. And remember, no matter where you happen to be in the moving process, you can count on Mayflower to be with you Every Step of the Way®.
Want more tips and advice? Check out our other blogs for city guides, decorating ideas and a wealth of other helpful, time-saving information.
Oh, and did you know Mayflower has a channel on Spotify? Move and groove to tunes that get you to your new place — and settled in — in style.