Recycling Your Ex(‘s Stuff) This Valentine’s

Getting rid of your ex’s stuff can be a harsh reminder that things are really over. Relics of your last romance like ticket stubs, over-sized t-shirts, and teddy bears may have sentimental value but these tangible reminders can leave us feeling stuck in the past. What’s more, when you cling to your ex’s stuff, you risk riding a roller coaster of love. One moment you’re feeling high with reminders of the happy times and the next can send you plummeting into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

If you’re ready to move forward, creating space where your ex’s toiletries were once lingering can help you bring new energy into your life.  Plus, you’ll get to spruce up your own place in the process. Just think of the closet space you’ll create!

Releasing your emotional connection to these items and committing to an ex-purge can be therapeutic. When done mindfully, you can even make our planet a little greener. Just remember, there is a legitimate reason you guys broke up. Your karma doesn’t have to suffer because of your former flame’s bad blood.

Before you strike up an ex-free bonfire or make a voodoo doll with your ex’s old socks, take a deep breath and follow these Four Rules for Getting Rid of Your Ex’s Junk:

1. Make sure none of the stuff needs be returned. If you know they are happy without it, get on with it. If you’re in possession of family heirloom, make sure you check with your ex first. You can always have a neutral party help with communication and there is no reason you have to see your ex.

2.  Survey your ex’s items for what can be recycled. While it might feel incredibly rewarding to trash his (or her) beloved Sunday-Funday t-shirt, that feeling of relief may be short-lived. You’ll feel better for longer knowing that your act of simply recycling 1 t-shirt helped save 1,300 gallons of water. Since you are on the task, make sure you recycle ex’s shoes, hats, belts, blankets, undies etc. This is a fresh start after all.

3. Think twice about sentimental items like photos. If they aren’t digital, you may regret disposing of them. Just make sure you consolidate as much as you can. If you have to hang onto any photos, limit yourself to a very small box and keep it in storage. Someday in the future, long after you’ve moved on, you may want to share these moments with your child or grandkids.

4. Out with the old. In with the new! With your clean slate, take the opportunity to redecorate and renovate – on the inside and out. Paint the walls. Move the furniture. Create. Take a class. Explore that hobby that you had always wanted your ex to do with you. Travel. Do something special to mark this new phase of your life with self-love and start creating new memories that are all your own. 

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