How to Successfully Get Your Belongings Out of Your Ex's House

By Lindsay Colip

Having just done this horrible task today, I feel like I should impart some knowledge onto future ‘belonging picker uppers’ to help ease the gut-wrenching pain of this process. It sucks breaking up. There’s nothing pleasant about it. In fact, there are many, many unpleasant things about it, one of them being the unavoidable task of returning each other’s belongings. This usually occurs during the 2nd week of breaking up when the need for your bathrobe outweighs the pain of seeing his house again. If you were smart enough to have kept your own apartment whilst dating, then this can easily be done in one afternoon. If you shared a living space, my heart goes out to you and your closest friends. Bon Chance!

Step One: Make sure he isn’t there. He can be nowhere NEAR there. He preferably wouldn’t have been there in the last, say 5-6 hours, so that his all-familiar yummy scent isn’t lingering around. The last thing you need is to walk in and be blindsided with Drakkar Noir right off the bat. You’ll lose focus and start doubting your decision to break up. And if he actually wore Drakkar Noir, I’m proud of you for getting out of there.

Step Two: Park close by. This was my big mistake today. You will be carrying multiple items, including and not limited to: pots and pans, books, lingerie, sports equipment, food items, and god forbid your vibrator lived there, you’ll be carrying that too, and whatever ever else you’d left. You really don’t want Nancy Neighbor knowing your business and if you’re walking down the street with an eye mask, curling iron, the entire DVD collection of Harry Potter and your favorite cereal, she might start asking questions. And furthermore, you will be crying. Park close. This is an important one.

Step Three: Get your stuff out as quickly as humanly possible. The longer you’re in there, the more likely you are to unconsciously grab a cup of water, have a seat on the old’ couch, take a pee…all of which is not okay anymore. This isn’t your house. You wouldn’t rummage thru the cupboards for a glass at a strangers house, nor would you relax on their couch before asking. This is a new concept that you have to start accepting. Your membership has been cancelled. No more perks. Stay Focused!

Step Four: NO SNOOPING. This is a big one. You’re allowed to see if your photos are still up, if your decorating tips are still in place, if your trinkets are still on his dresser, etc. but you are not, by any means, allowed to do the following: turn on his computer and see what new photos and documents are there, check his email and/or phone messages, look in his drawers for new condom purchases, smell his clothes and sheets for new perfume smells, and absolutely no checking his trash (I actually heard of someone doing this once. What on earth are you expecting to find there!?) Once you do these things, you’re officially ‘breaking and entering’ and not simply collecting your things. You’ve crossed the line.

Step Five: Leave something behind. Don’t take everything. You want him to miss you right? Even if you broke up with him, you do NOT want him forgetting about you before you forget about him. Leave a toothbrush, a comfy t-shirt you always wore, anything so that he’s reminded of you. Chances are he won’t be able to throw out your hair thingy or favorite snack item; he’ll keep it right where it lived.

Step Six: Leave a note. A cute note. Anything you can muster up that’s 100% authentic adorable you…an inside joke, a saying you repeated often, a simple ‘I love you, take care’. Be the bigger person. Walk out of there with your head held high, and leave him wondering why you two ever broke up in the first place (unless it was all you, then you go girl!)

Finally: Get some big, oversized sunglasses. You will be crying at this point. This is when you take your final look around his place, soaking it all in, memorizing the details so you won’t forget, breathing in the last few rollercoaster years and letting it all sink in. It’s over. And now, putting his keys on his kitchen table, officially. Exhale as you walk out the door, make sure all your belongings are secure, you don’t want to drop your blender in his driveway, and get to your car as quickly as you can. And don’t you DARE put on sappy music. You just began a new chapter in your life. Try “Time to Move On” by Tom Petty. That might just do the trick.

Having just recently quit my job and my relationship, I'm finding that I'm most inspired and most at ease when I'm writing. This is the first article that I've ever written and it felt good to write. I have chosen to empty out most of what I'll call my "life cup", or that which I came to know as my life, and start fresh. It's scary and exciting and I have a lot to say on the subject. More articles to come on how to survive being 28, finding a fulfilling job and a life partner with a smile! Lindsay Colip



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home