Starting over with barely any possessions

I’ve had to start over from owning practically nothing. Not this time, but when I got severely ill from living in an apartment with toxic mold. Since I had two chronic illnesses already, by body just reacted violently. We had to get rid of nearly everything because being around stuff from our old apartment made me vomit. Literally. I only kept a very few things with special meaning and put them in storage hoping to get well enough to one day not react to them anymore.

While this time I got to move out with all my personal belongings and a few pieces of furniture, there were still things that I had to purchase as I left the one we had to my STBXH. It didn’t make sense to pack and move the only frying pan we had since he’d have to go buy one then.

Separation and divorce always comes with a financial cost. The amount of money I’ve spent on buying the essentials makes me cringe a little bit, but I refuse to buy second-rate items for cheap if it means that I will end up having to re-buy soon, or that some impractical quality irritates me each time I use it.
I’d rather go without for a while and save up to buy the best quality I can afford.

Here are some things to consider when you are having to re-buy the essentials:

1. The VALUE of the item, meaning the ratio of years of satisfactory use to the money spent. If you spend 1200 bucks /euros/ pounds whatever for a good quality bed, you will not only save your back, but get to use the bed for say, 30 years. That is 40 euros per year or 11 cents per night. From a cheaper option you may get only 3 to 5 years of use before it starts to sag and you have to replace or suffer from back pain. And you end up paying more in the long run, as well as use up more resources and throw more used, saggy mattresses in the trash. And I say, if you find yourself sleeping alone because your cheater slept in someone else’s bed (or your bed, for that matter) – a good bed for yourself is a purchase you should make. Consider your needs and do a bit of research to find good quality that is reasonably priced.

2. The re-sale value of the item.
Meaning how easy it is to sell the thing if you no longer need it. If it is a high quality item, there is always someone who wants to buy it second-hand and you can get back some of the original cost and you keep this thing ending up a broken or unwanted piece of junk.
Yes, even mattresses are bought second-hand if it’s good quality and a mattress protector has been used! (I decided to buy my bed new and went with the highest quality that Ikea sells as I read many good reviews saying it compared to the luxury brands in terms of quality.)

3. Buy the item you need second-hand if you can. I make an effort to always look at internet second-hand sites and auctions first when I need something.
The value of stuff goes down the minute it’s carried out of the store, but if you get quality aítems, you can often re-sell them for the same amount you paid for them, and sometimes even more. So you have actually used this item for free, or made a profit! Selling your own used things is tax free income, so there is that too. The shelving system I have is really costly. I found a 1800 euro shelf for 150 euros. I could sell it for a lot more than that if I wanted to. This is not the only time this has happened. I have bought a design table for 160 and sold it for 400 and there are a few other items I actually made money selling. So, if you find a high-quality item for the amount you know you can re-sell it for, or even lower, it makes so much more sense to get that even if you could find a new substitute with no re-sale value for cheaper.

4. Buy multifunctional and adaptable things. Get a mixing bowl that you can use as a salad bowl and a serving bowl. Get a cordless led lamp that you can move around with you in your home and have light exactly where you need it.
Use a chair as a night stand, so it can double as extra seating. Get shelving that you can get extra parts for later, that you can take aparts, move and put together in a different way.

5. Buy once and keep forever -or as long as you need said item in your life.
Get solid wood and real metal and things that not only last for a lifetime and beyond, but wear beautifully. If you have to spend money, spend it on something that you get satisfaction using every day (or weekly) due to it’s functional qualities and if you are a visualist like me, because of it is visually pleasing. Embrace a bit of wabi-sabi ideology, start seeing aging and wear as more beautiful than shiny new non-used perfection. (And feel less stress about ruining said shiny new object because it’s not shiny and new to begin with!)

6. If your new home is not your long-term home, be extra careful about acquiring stuff. You don’t want to move around dragging tons of things with you. And not everything will necessarily fit in your next home so you’ll have to deal with getting rid of stuff again. And it’s always harder to get rid of things to acquire them. I hate moving when I have too much random crap to deal with. In contrast, moving is a breeze and can actually be fun (yes, it can!) when you only have things you need, regularly use and like. Packing is easy when you just pack everything instead of having to cull and make separate piles for keep-throw-donate-Idunnowhattodowiththis- you know the drill. Likewise, in the new home it’s nice to put things in their proper places when you can actually move around without boxes and bags and stuff blocking your way, and when you can actually fit everything easily in their new places in drawers and shelves.
So now is your chance to keep the crap-creep from taking place. Just corral it right out when it tries to make its way in. Refuse random freebies, don’t accept duplicates, don’t go overboard decorating. Especially don’t fall into the trap of decorating according to the latest trend. Do use this opportunity to think about what YOU want, what kind of things you enjoy using and seeing every day? If your ex’s penchant for all white shabby chic, collecting electronics or not caring one iota of how your home looked like was driving you batty, you are now free the choose another style. Many people feel a need for change in their surroundings anyway as it helps them forget about the trauma. Maybe you were a maximalist bohemian, but now you want to have breathing room and long for a much simpler and airier style. Or your ex’s preferred cold hard minimalism makes you cringe, so you want to have a cozy vintage armchair with a fluffy blanket and a cross stitch pillow from the thrift shop. You get to decide. But remember that you can create any style without tons of stuff. A few select pieces have more impact than lots of things crammed together.

Make your stuff count, make it efficient and something that gives you joy when you use it or look at it.



Published by Miss Guided

Chumped, dumped, ground to the ground, picked myself up and got up with my head held high, fierce and independent woman, I am finally free.

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