"I packed my clothes and I left," the TV host tells PEOPLE. "I've realized how little I need, and what's important. I don't need anything but Hudson and my health."

Advertisement

Ant Anstead is opening up about his abrupt exit from the home he shared with ex Christina Haack after their split in September after less than two years of marriage.

The British TV host, 41, who recently purchased a home of his own after living in the same small rental apartment he moved into immediately after parting ways with the HGTV star, 37, tells PEOPLE that he left their family home quickly - and didn't take much with him. 

"When my divorce went through, I packed up my clothes and moved. I walked away completely and left everything there," the father of three - who shares son Hudson, 1, with Haack - explains of the Newport Beach, Calif., home he and the designer purchased, renovated and lived in together with their blended family. (He has daughter Amelie, 17 and son Archie, 14, with his first wife and she has daughter Taylor, 10, and son Brayden five with her first husband Tarek El Moussa.)

Ant Anstead, Christina Haack
Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty; Allen Berezovsky/Getty
Ant Anstead son
Credit: Ant Anstead/ instagram

"I've realized in the last nine months, this sounds ridiculous, but actually the only thing I owned was a couple of wine glasses, plus a cup and a kettle," the automotive expert continues, explaining that he's had to do a lot of shopping for his new home, a waterfront property in nearby Laguna Beach.

"I've spent the last few days realizing, oh my God, I don't even own plates or knives or forks. I don't have a bed," Anstead said earlier this month when he'd just moved in. "So I've spent the last few days getting stuff that you don't realize you need: bottle openers and tin openers and spatulas. So I'm scratching my head going, oh my god, this is overwhelming. I'm going to get all this stuff because nine months ago, I packed my clothes and I left."

Ant Anstead
Credit: Courtesy of Ant Anstead

No matter how overwhelming, the Celebrity IOU: Joyride host says he believes that everything happens for a reason, and he feels lucky to have a fresh start. 

"It's amazing," he says. "I'm in this kind of real space where I don't have any stuff. So everything is new. I'm not carrying anything over."

Anstead also admits that spending the last 10 months in his tiny rental was a blessing in disguise.

Ant Anstead
Credit: Courtesy of Ant Anstead

"I was looking for a house quite quickly [after the split], probably after three or four months, because I felt displaced, I felt homeless," he says. "But for whatever reason, it just didn't work. And I think now, looking back with the benefit of the last nine or 10 months, I've realized that actually, being held in that really simple space, not only does has it meant I've ended up with the house of my dreams, but it's actually meant that I simplified my life."

He continues: "I've realized how little I need, and what's important. I don't need anything but Hudson and my health. All of a sudden, I just had this overwhelming sense of gratitude."

PEOPLE reported on Thursday that Haack had officially closed the sale of their former family home, and property records show it sold on Tuesday for $5.35 million.

christina haack
Christina Haack's Newport Beach, Calif., home, which she listed for sale in early April and has now found a buyer for.
| Credit: Grant Rivera/Apex Visions; Inset: Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

"Cheers to a closed sale," the mom of three captioned an Instagram photo of herself and a friend sipping champagne, which she posted on Thursday, adding a champagne flute emoji and a house emoji. "Thank you @troyhowardrealestate for doing an excellent job representing me. Now time to find that home on the coast."

 The HGTV personality listed the 4,804-square-foot, five-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bathroom home for $6 million with Troy Howard of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in April, PEOPLE confirmed at the time. A representative for the designer told PEOPLE in May that she had found a buyer, and was in escrow.

A representative for Haack previously told PEOPLE that she plans to stay in the Newport Beach area full-time and spend time occasionally at her second home in Tennessee.