Two wedding bands on a table next to divorce papers and a pen
Life Events

Life Demands Space: How to Use Self Storage to Start Fresh During a Divorce

Divorce is a difficult life event to navigate. But also an opportunity to start anew, and self storage can help you as you figure things out.

Two wedding bands on a table next to divorce papers and a pen

Sometimes things happen that we don’t plan for – and let’s face it, getting a divorce is one of those life challenges we don’t usually predict. Ending a relationship and starting fresh can be tough. Other complications can arise, too, from home ownership, finances, and separating possessions. Even some of the most amicable splits can lead to headaches about dividing property.

While self storage cannot completely alleviate the stress of the divorce process, it can definitely lend a hand in storing possessions while you prepare for your new life. In addition, it can help relieve some of the pressure of deciding who keeps what. It can also act as a stepping stone toward moving to a new place. (And can be a handy place to stash away your ex’s belongings or old wedding photos you might not want to see lying around).

Sort Calmly

Heavy emotions can lead to poor decisions. Even if “rage cleaning” feels like a good outlet at the moment, you might want to refrain from “KonMari-ing” your ex out of your life. While grieving is important, you may end up tossing out something of value that you’ll want to hold onto later. Or you’ll throw out something that you may need to further discuss with your soon-to-be ex. No one wants to be bickering at a lawyer’s office about a baseball card collection that got tossed out during a rage-cleaning sesh.

Plus, the divorce process takes time, which can often lend perspective. For example, renting a self storage unit allows you to remove things from your home and revisit them later. A fresh start doesn’t mean you have to ignore your past, but it enables you to take the steps you need to move on. And if certain things need to be out of sight, out of mind, then so be it.

Get Ready to Sort Your Stuff

Two keys, each on a keyring with half a house keychain

Many divorces involve one party staying in the shared home and the other moving out. This gives way to opportunity and a clean slate, but now both parties need somewhere to sort through your things. Finding a self storage unit can often be an ideal space to sort and pack your things.

Minimize dragging things out by setting a personal deadline for when everything needs to be moved out of the unit. Keeping to a schedule is one way to take back control when your life feels out of control. Because most storage units have month-to-month leasing, there’s no pressure to sign a long-term contract, and you can sort through your belongings on your own terms.

Choose a storage facility central to both parties and offers convenient access hours. Renting a climate-controlled storage unit provides a more comfortable option if you’ll be inside for extended periods. It also helps protect belongings from dramatic temperature changes if they’re to be stored for a while.

Create the Inventory

Dividing assets isn’t going to be easy. Still, it can be simplified by creating an inventory and using that list to pre-determine who gets to claim what. Beyond bank accounts, the house, and cars, there is likely a whole set of appliances, dishware, furniture, heirlooms, and more that will need to be split up.

Make a spreadsheet or list of all items you move into storage, and ensure you and your partner each have a copy of the list. Add a column for your initials to write down who is receiving what. A signature line at the bottom is a good idea to show that both parties were in agreement on the division of goods.

Take photos to document the condition and value of expensive items and get a professional appraisal. Don’t forget to insure them, too.

Truth be told, you probably won’t agree on everything. So settle an arrangement for anything that is up for debate. Potential outcomes include asking attorneys to get involved or simply selling the items and dividing the proceeds evenly.

Use Temporary Storage While House Hunting

Person in a packed up living room taping up a moving box

If you’re leaving the shared home, you may be downsizing, house hunting, or temporarily staying with a friend or family member. A self storage unit can help ease the strain of packing during this transition by keeping all your belongings in one convenient spot. It will also keep you from needing to pay a visit to your ex’s house (and avoiding that may help keep you in a better frame of mind, too). Maintaining your own space is key to moving on. Finding a new home is an exciting way to leave an unsuccessful marriage behind, regardless of the reason, and do what’s best for you.

Self storage can also be a convenient space to put things you purchased for your old home that you no longer have room for. Or, maybe you’re an emotional shopper ready to mend the wound with some new furniture that you don’t quite have the space for yet. Put it in a storage unit until you’re settled into your new place!

What Size Storage Unit Do I Need?

It depends on your situation, your new living arrangements, and how you want to go about dividing possessions with your ex. For example, if you’re just sorting through a few small things, a 5×5 storage space may be ideal. On the other hand, suppose you’re temporarily downsizing or waiting to close on a new home. In that case, you may want to rent a sizeable 10×30 unit that can contain the contents of a fully-furnished house. The trick to finding a storage unit that works is to know what you’re storing first. A good inventory check will help you with that.

Make Things Less Complicated with Convenient Storage Near You

Divorce can be complicated – but storing your old life to make room for your new life doesn’t have to be. Look to Prime Storage to find a convenient storage location near you. Our staff can help answer your questions about moving, storage, and even things to do in a new neighborhood. Some facilities even take deliveries and can have them placed in your unit. To learn more, call or visit your nearest location today.

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Tagged as  Life Events