Like marriage, divorce changes your relationship with yourself and your environment.
A 2013 study conducted by the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth found that the average divorce happens after nine years of marriage, which means innumerable habits and routines need to be recreated in order to start a new, healthy and happy life.
Getting reorganized after divorce is more than just organizing your sock drawer. It is the physical representation of the psychological process of redefining yourself.
Create Dynamic Change
Psychologist Thomas Merrill, in an article co-written by family attorney Geoff Hamilton, lays out the stages of divorce on TomMerrill.com. They range from a deliberation phase to the healing phase. People will experience a multitude of changes and challenges as they move through these stages.
As you get organized, be flexible. Remember, you will be changing rapidly during your divorce and up to two years after the papers are final.
You cannot prepare for what you do not know, so feel free to throw out an organization system the moment it no longer works for you.
Leave Room To Be Sad
The calendar function on Google Mail is a wonderful way to record your appointments, time with children and meetings—everything is laid out right in front of you. Unfortunately, the emotions that come with a divorce do not always follow your schedule.
Allow yourself to let feelings arise naturally and feel whatever you are feeling. This is hard to do if you schedule every minute of the day. Make sure that your calendar has some down time to cry, rage or sulk.
Get On Facebook
Your goal in organizing yourself is to find balance between self-control and chaos. Friends can be a good gauge of this. Create a network of support with friends and family.
Both emotionally and physically, it is difficult to recreate your environment when working in a bubble. Things get moved from one place to another, only to end up right back where they started. Use your network to break the cycle.
There is a link between your emotional environment and your physical one. At some point it will be useful to catalogue everything that you have.
For your home surroundings, use a scanner and the Mozy online backup system to get all your cherished pictures and important documents onto a cloud. From there, you can organize and reorganize as things change in your life.
Take A Torch To It
Of course, this is a metaphoric piece of advice, but at some point you will need to let all the clutter go. One of the reasons that divorce is so hard is that people define themselves as their marriage.
Recovering from it means that you need to reinvent yourself. This is difficult to do while wrapped in the trappings of your past life. Get rid of stuff that does not help create a new you.