One of the things I gained by being the one who chose to leave was the freedom to decide what to take with me. The kids, of course, were at the top of the list. Next, what furniture did I want? I left the king sized bed with the hard mattress on it and took the queen sized bed that my son had been sleeping on. I bought him a new full sized bed.
I left the sofa and love seat that smelled of the mold that filled the studio apartment they'd been stored in. My in-laws gave them to us, I hoped the smell would go away. No go, they still stank to high heaven six years later. I tried everything, trust me, there are things even Febreeze can't help.
All of the tchotchkes that were given to us by friends and family for our wedding or for birthdays and Christmases for the last 28 years...I went through those to see if there was really anything I wanted. Most of the time the answer was no. I took one set of dishes, one set of flatware, one set of mixing bowls, cake pans, cookware, and just the things in the pantry that would be used by the kids and I.
I took the furniture that I would actually use. After living nearly 30 years with a hoarder to actually have empty space in my home feels so incredibly free. I bought a sofa off of craigslist from a sweet 87 year old woman. I went to a thrift store to find a couple of silk flower arrangements and a painting to put on my walls. But after 10 years of not being able to use the left hand drawers in my dresser because there was furniture and piles of junk in the way it feels so good to be able to just vacuum my floors without having to move piles of stuff.
I have to admit here, that it isn't all his fault. My depression and the pain caused by my fibromyalgia coupled with his hoarding made it nearly impossible for me to keep up with the stuff he brought in. The kids were never taught to clean up after themselves, the mess grew daily and I hid from it. I bought organizers, I tried cleaning one small area only to have it messed up before I finished the next. But when your house is overloaded with stuff, cleaning is next to impossible. My house was a pig sty. Flylady.net and aslobcomesclean.com were no match for this impossible task. Especially when I'd say to Ex "Why don't we get rid of the moldy smelling loveseat to make a bit more room in the livingroom?" and he'd say "I don't smell anything and I like it."
Now I have my wide open spaces (well not in the kids' rooms, but everywhere else) and I can stay on top of it because I didn't bring everything that I didn't need.