Collaberations, organization

Post-Breakup Decluttering: What to Toss After a Relationship Ends

There are the gifts—from birthdays, holidays, or those random “just because” days. That t-shirt of theirs you like to sleep in. The toiletries they kept at your place for nights they stayed over. Photos—both physical and on your phone. There’s a paper trail; a collection of love letters, ticket stubs from the concerts you went to, birthday cards. We amass a great deal of stuff over the course of a relationship. But what happens when it ends? How do you declutter after a breakup?

Before I go further, though, thanks so much to Bee for having me here! I’m Katie, but you might know me as the dating b. I write a lifestyle and relationship blog called The Dating B*tch. Don’t let the name fool you, though! My main focus is on helping people improve all aspects of their relationships—including the one they have with themselves.

After a breakup, your relationship with yourself can take a major hit. It’s important to take care of your physical and emotional wellbeing. Part of that self-care can come in the form of decluttering. So, today, I’m sharing my advice on decluttering after a breakup.

Related Read: 7 Ways to Deal with a Breakup

Why You Should Declutter After a Breakup

Even if you’re not a minimalist, it’s a good idea to do a little decluttering sesh if you’re going through a breakup. Here are 3 reasons why a post-breakup cleanse is so important:

1. It Gives You a Sense of Control

Breakups can really leave people feeling anxious and uncertain. Unless you were the one who ended the relationship, you probably didn’t want to break up. It was completely out of your control. That’s a hard thing to deal with. We like to be in control of our own lives and futures, especially when it comes to love and romance. But, if someone ends a relationship you wanted to stay in, that decision was out of your hands. Being broken up with is a passive activity.

The act of decluttering on the other hand, is active. So, by doing a little post-breakup cleaning, you’re putting yourself back in the driver’s seat of your life.

2. It’s Empowering & Proactive

Taking an active approach to your own healing journey can help you feel more empowered. When you go through a breakup, it’s normal to want to stay in bed and wallow. You know you need to work on “self-care” and “healing” and “moving forward,” but heartbreak can make anyone a procrastinator. While you may not be ready to start an exercise routine or get back into the dating field, you can probably do a little decluttering. Doing that will help you feel more productive which can help you heal faster.

3. It Can Help Your Mental Health

Your physical space is strongly tied to your mental and emotional health. If you have a lot of clutter, you tend to feel more disorganized. By getting rid of some of your relationship clutter, and possibly doing some light cleaning while you’re at it, it will help you feel happier and less anxious.

Related Read: 10 Ways to Practice Self-Love (Even When You Don’t Feel Like It) 

Steps for Decluttering After a Breakup

When you hear the phrase “post-breakup decluttering,” I bet you’ve got an image of burning everything your ex ever gave you. But that’s not how you should approach it. Here’s what to do instead:

1. Get Rid of the Paper Trail

I’m not talking about the love letters or the sentimental ticket stubs you kept. Rather, the electronic paper trail. The hundreds of text messages and photos you’ve got saved on your phone. Now, I totally understand wanting to hold on to the pictures; they’re a part of your life and history, and one day you may want to look at them again. So, for that, go ahead and send them to your Google Drive. But you need to delete the texting chain and all the pictures on your phone. What you don’t need is a way of re-examining everything to see if you can determine what went wrong, which is what you’ll want to do if you can re-read all their old texts.  

2. Sort Through the “Stuff”

For me, clearing out my phone was always the hardest part. The next part is way easier. Sort through all the physical stuff. In one pile, you can put their things; their toothbrush, deodorant, the extra clothes they left at your place. Anything that was strictly theirs. Next, the sentimental stuff; letters, the t-shirt you sleep in, the framed photos, the keepsakes from dates or vacations. And finally, the gifts they’ve gotten you.  

3. Toss What You Don’t Need

This is going to be subjective, and if there’s nothing you feel you can actually throw away, don’t worry. You don’t have to. But if there’s anything you can get rid of (think, their spare toothbrush that they probably won’t want back), this is where you throw it out.

4. Box Up the Rest

Everything else can be boxed up. If there’s anything you ex will want or need back, put that together in a separate box. Eventually, you’ll need to return it to them, but for now, just pack it up. The rest of the stuff, the gifts and sentimental items, should also be packed up. Again, you don’t need to physically get rid of everything, but you do need to put it where you won’t see it on a daily basis.  

5. Celebrate Yourself

Whether you did a lot of cleaning and organizing or just threw a few things together in an afternoon, it’s not easy to declutter after a breakup. It’s a symbolic act of moving forward so take a minute to celebrate yourself for taking that first step.
Thanks again to Bee for letting me write this guest post! For more on dating, relationships, and personal growth, check out my blog at www.datingbitch.com.

blogmas, Minimalism, Minimalism

5 Intentional Gifts To Give Your Valentine

Tis the season for love & affection. And what better way to show that love & affection with a gift from the heart. Gift giving, during any time of year can be stressful & lots of expectations can be placed on ourselves by society to gift in a certain way. But you don’t need to be breaking the bank to show someone you care. Whether you are gifting to a love interest, family member or friend – I’m here to let you in on some intentional gifts you can give this year.

You Might Also Like: The Ultimate Minimalist Holiday Gift Guide

The Gift of Time

Spending quality time with the people you care about is such a priceless gift. At the end of the day, I think a lot of us can attest to only wanting to share more memories with that special someone. Even just a phone call or Face Time, if you are miles away, can make all the difference in showing your appreciation to someone. I know the pandemic has really caused me to appreciate the simple moments of being with family or friends in person. It’s something I took for granted before. And so now, I make it a priority.

Show Off Creativity with a DIY Greeting Card

Granted, you may be spending some money on supplies – I think a handmade card makes it far more special than any Hallmark one you’d find at the store. You are free to customize it however you please & personalize it with your own handwriting. Other ideas you could consider include a hand written letter [ like the old days ] or even a poem if you want to get super creative & romantic. My fiance actually wrote me a poem on our first Christmas together when we were dating. It’s now framed in our bedroom & I’ve cherished it ever since.

A Photo Jar or Album

Another idea is to showcase memories together with photos. Either creative a scrapbook or albm with cool captions & stickers. Or you can even roll up printed paper of each photo [ message in a bottle style ] & store them in a jar. My fiance did this for me & included a tag that read “the best gifts are the memories we share together.” I also love the idea of displaying polaroids throughout the person’s room or home & surprise them with a memory scavenger hunt. It’s a great way to reminise on the time spent together.

Give The Gift of Adventure

I always believe experiences are the best type of gift. You may be spending some money, but you are also gaining a new memory. You can choose something you both have never done before like sky diving! Or you can explore a town you have yet to visit. The great part of this option is there are so many directions you can take with this idea. It could be as simple as a picnic at the beach or park or even watching a movie you’ve both wanted to see.

You Might Also Like: Minimalist Travel Packing Guide: How To Pack Light

Help Them Out With Something

Is there something they’ve needed help with? Or is there something that could make their life easier? Like the last idea, this can also go in many different directions. For example – you could help fix something that is broken in the home [ or at least call someone to do it to get the ball rolling ]. Even if it’s doing a specific chore for the other person or cooking them a meal. These acts of kindness show you care.

You Might Also Like: How To Truly Love Yourself

Conclusion

Regardless if Valentines is coming up or not – I believe thinking more intentionally with gift giving is a better mindset to practice. I also believe these acts of appreciation can be done any day of the year. It’s always nice to show someone you love & care about them. I hope this list of intentional gifts sparks inspiration for you. In the comments – let me know how you’ll be spending Valentines Day & what gifts you are considering to give. Also, what’s the best Valentines gift you’ve received?

-B