The benefits of moving post-separation

Moving at any time in your life can be stressful. “Adding children and separation to the move, the process can become more overwhelming,” shares Rachael Scharrer, divorce expert and founder of Divorce Answered. “Most people in separation tend to downsize their homes due to budgetary restraints or changes in circumstances and needs. As such, it is nearly impossible to keep all of the sentimental items and large furniture in a smaller space with limited storage.” Rachael shares how switching your perspective to focus on the benefits of moving can make for a more positive journey.

Marie Kondo is all the rage at the moment – do your belongings bring you joy? If your belongings aren’t the right fit for you or your future home there are three steps that you can take before you move:

  1. Sell online any unwanted or over-sized items (consider Gumtree, Ebay and the local classifieds)
  2. Purge old and broken belongings. Arrange a council clean-up or collection so that you don’t move anything that you don’t need.
  3. Give to charity. Many charitable organisations will take lounges, beds and large furniture which are in good condition. Consider donating to The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul or a local refuge.

Instead of focusing on the stress and issues with moving, see it as an opportunity for a fresh start, a great excuse to move ‘lighter’ and make a few dollars in the process.

There are so many benefits to moving and focusing on the positives rather than the negatives of the process. Moving allows you to set up new routines and traditions for inside the new home. It’s like an emotional cleanse for the family whereby the negativity and bad memories are left in the previous home. It’s a fresh start, so avoid bring into the new home any poor behaviour, attitudes or routines. You could even write a new set of family rules, just like the Super Nanny!

Set up your new home to reflect that harmonious space that it now is. You can bring in happiness through music, oils/diffusers/scents, a money tree, dream catchers, signs with motivational or inspirational phrases or any other symbol that reminds you of how special your new home is. Decorating doesn’t need to be expensive. Proudly display your children’s artwork, all over the house! Embrace your inner artist and be creative with your décor.

Children won’t notice whether their home is full or devoid of furniture. Sleeping on the floor as you set up the new home could be fun, like camping. Use your imagination and play! What will make the biggest impression is whether the new home is filled with love and happiness.

Remember, a smaller space means there is less to clean and more affordable utility bills. Fewer pieces of furniture means that there will be less space for you do dump, clutter and collect dust. Less in the house means that there will be more space to roam, dance and play.

Don’t be afraid to enlist help from the experts! When we moved, we used Sydney based removalists Smoothmoves, they were great and really helped take some of the stress away from the process. Planning out your packing in advance can really help smooth out the process before the removalists arrive, it also gives you the ability to do a final cull of unwanted items. Refer to this article: Packing and moving tips from a single parent for more suggestions.

Don’t forget the details! With all the stress of moving home, it is easy to forget the small details. Writing out a moving to do list can really help with remembering the tedious tasks we all forget.

  1. Update addresses. You want to avoid any unnecessary payments or fines to utilities and government services by ensuring that you update any new or forwarding addresses as necessary. You may also want to consider setting up a mail re-direct with Australia Post for all the miscellaneous items.
  2. Don’t pack unnecessary items. The removalists can move a chest of drawers filled with clothes with no issues! There is no need to pack these lighter items into external boxes.
  3. Remember the external services. If you are moving out of a rented home you will need to arrange an end of lease clean and often arrange carpet cleaners too. If you want to keep the costs down you may be able to hire a carpet cleaner and clean the flooring yourself, however some lease agreements may state that carpet cleaning has to be done by a professional third-party and supply proof of the work being completed when requested.

How well you weather the move is up to you and how you look at it. It can be a fun, enjoyable and an empowering experience. It’s a matter of overcoming one box at a time!


This is general advice only and is not provided as legal advice. If you have a legal issue, you should contact a lawyer and/or accountant before making a decision about what to do or applying to the Court. cannot provide legal advice. If you have an emergency situation, please contact Emergency '000'. © Divorce Pty Ltd