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

blogmas

The Ultimate Minimalist Holiday Gift Guide

One of the biggest misconceptions to a minimalist is they are the Grinch’s of the world & HATE giving & receiving gifts. This isn’t the case at all, well at least for me it isn’t, but lately I’m not considering myself a minimalist anymore. The act of gift giving is a way to show appreciation & this time of year is one of the hallmark times to express this love language. The big question is, what do you buy someone who is living a “less is more” mentality? Today, I wanted to share with you the ultimate “minimalist” holiday gift guide to give you that sure fire inspiration. Of course, this list isn’t limited to just your Marie Kondo enthusiasts. This gift guide is meant for anyone on your holiday gift giving list this season who is interesting in choosing items with more intention.

Plane Tickets To a Dream Destination

Lately, I’ve been wanting to experience more places, travel to new destinations & just live life as Kourtney Kardashian would say. I think surprising a friend or family member with plane tickets to an adventurous location is the perfect gift. You can make it an early holiday present or you can make it for a date in the near future. It’s always fun to have something to look forward to in the future. Some places I’d love to travel to this holiday season include NYC, Disney World or even New England areas on the East Coast.

Tickets To a Show, Concert or Local Event

To continue the experience trend, why not gift someone tickets to an event or concert. I personally love these types of gifts because it’s something they can look forward to later on in the year. One year my fiance & all his siblings gifted each couple a “date night.” It was either a gift card to a favorite restaurant, sport game tickets or a local event in the city. And if you want to be really gracious, you can even babysit their kids that night for a proper parents night out alone. Ha!

Monthly Meal Subscription or Grocery Store Gift Cards

Who doesn’t love food right? Figuring out meals & budging groceries on a weekly basis can become a hassle. And it’s something we all need. So, why not give the gift of tasty meals this holiday season? Subscriptions like Hello Fresh are perfect options for couples & families to branch out & learn a few new healthy but tasty recipes. And if you know which local grocery store they shop at regularly, you can always put a few gift cards in a cute basic alongside a few seasonings & other kitchen essentials.

Gym Equipment, Memberships or Classes

This is a great option for your fitness enthusiasts in your life. Now, as of recently, I gave up my membership & prefer working out at home, but I think a gift such as paying for a yoga class or even a monthly membership can be worth using. To make it more social, you can always sign up together as an excuse to spend more time together. For those who workout at home, maybe they are in need of a new yoga mat or weight equipment. You can even give them a gift card to their favorite athletic clothing store. Giving the gift of a healthy lifestyle is a great intentional option.

Coffee or Tea

Whenever I receive Starbucks or Dunkin stocking stuffers, I’m always a happy girl. These are the types of things I try not to overly purchase, but if I have a gift card or K cups to use at home, I don’t feel as guilty. I think coffee, tea or another favorite beverage is a great gift because it’s something they would get use out of eventually. And if you want to go all out & give them something more substantial you can always gift them a Keurig or coffee maker if they don’t already have one.

Reusable Makeup Clothes, Sponges or Q-tips

For those who are wanting to find more sustainably friendly alternatives, these types of gifts are perfect. Whether you are a makeup lover or simply needing alternative bathroom essentials, these types of products are great options as gifts or stocking stuffers.

Reusable Grocery / Produce Bags

Other sustainable option is to gift reusable grocery/ produce bags. These are items I always consider but glance over when I’m buying things for myself. But as a gift, this would be a wonderful way to try these plastic free alternatives.

TV Subscriptions

I love a good streaming service. There are so many varieties out there too. It’s a great way to catch up on the newest binge worthy series or re-watch some old favorites – like F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

Office Supplies

Whether you are an avid list maker or planner, gifting a set of crisp pens or other stationary is an easy & reasonable gift. I’m always in the need of new stationary & my pens / highlighters as they always seem to dry out.

A Gratitude Journal

A few years ago, I wrote in a gratitude journal every day for a year & it seriously changed my life forever. Why not give the gift of gratitude to a friend or loved one. The start of a new year is always filled with fresh goals & new intentions – so this is a creative way to manifest that dream life.

A Kindle

I’m sure you have at least one book lover in your life. And as much as I love a good paperback , I’m trying to get away from a cluttered bookshelf & have all my novels digitally. But of course if you have people in your life that prefer a paperback, you can always go old school & give them a real page turner. (Another cheap option is to simply regift a book you’ve read & loved). As someone who never reads a book twice, I love rehoming novels.

Roomba or Robot Mop

Last Christmas we were gifted a Roomba & it changed the game when it comes to keeping our house clean. You no longer have to spend hours vacuuming & even leave the house for a while. They’ve even created a mop version that is all over Tiktok. What has happened to me? I guess adulting means being excited over cleaning gadgets.

Digital Camera

Although most smart phones have amazing camera quality, there are some times where I still love the idea of a DSLR or even a polaroid camera to capture memories. My fiance gifted me a polaroid printer & I’ve been loving the easiness of displaying our adventures around my office & the rest of the house.

A Photo Book

Do you want to showcase a few of your favorite memories with someone? Why not create a photo album for them. You can even be more creative & turn it into a scrapbook of sorts with a decorated cover & captions. It’s a very thoughtful homemade present that properly showcases your relationship,friendship or a milestone.

A Recipe Book

I love the idea of curating all your family traditional meals into one book or box. To make it even more personable, you can handwrite the instructions. As a soon to be wife, I would love to have a collection of both families’ recipes to continue the traditions with our future family.

A Spa Day

This is perfect for a girls day or even a gift for a sister or mother. Surprise them with a gift certificate to a local spa where they can get a mani, pedi, massage or even a blow out. This is a perfect self care gift for anyone who has done so much for you or just needs some extra “me time”.

Movie Gift Card

I for one love getting gift cards to the movies. It’s another great option for a future experience. Another option is to host a movie night at home with popcorn, snacks & even build a blanket fort to bring back the childhood nostalgia. This is a great option for couples or even a group of friends during winter break.

A Ring Light or Selfie Stick

This one is for my fellow content creators. I don’t know about you, but having a selfie stick & attached ring light makes photography so much easier. Especially when there’s no one around to take your photo.

Good Quality Jewelry

I keep a very small jewelry collection & I’ve learned it’s better to own a few quality pieces that won’t turn my skin green. This is a classic for anyone special in your life.

Plastic Free Products

Many companies are transitioning to plastic free packaging. For the sustainable people in your life, why not purchase them a few of these alternatives such as hair care, hygiene care & cleaning products.

Flowers or Other Plants

plants & flowers are such beautiful gift ideas. I love hanging greenery in our home as well as a few plants in our backyard as well. I forgot how easy & thoughtful a bouquet of flowers can be. Add a sweet note & even make a personal visit.

Hand Written Note

I personally love the old school way of writing a handwritten note & sending a bit of snail mail to a friend or family member. It’s a cute & easy way to express you are thinking of someone & there are a lot of ways to make it festive.

Coloring Books

This is a perfect gift for any children as well as the children at heart. As an adult, I still find it so relaxing to sit on the couch & color a picture.

Paint or Draw A Picture

If you are more on the creative side, why not paint or draw a picture for someone as a gift. You can even place it in a personalized frame so they have the option to display it.

Pet Supplies & Accessories

To those pet owners, why not create a stocking filled with necessities their fur baby will love. Add a gift card to a local pet store or a few of their favorite treats. I’m sure the pet & their parents will surly appreciate the gesture.

Cleaning Service

Who wants to be stuck inside cleaning all day when they could be out living life? For your home owner friends, why not gift them a one time or multiple time cleaning service. It’s a great gesture especially those who have such busy schedules.

Lawn Care Service

Treat someone to a spruced up yard or landscaping. Gift them a monthly lawn cutting or surprise them with some plants for their gardens. What better way than to give the gift of the outdoors.

Baby Sitting

For those tired parents, why not gift them a date night & watch their kids for the night. I mean, how generous is that?

Pet Sitting

You can’t forget the fur babies either! Plus, pet hotels & kennels can be pretty pricey.

Self Care Basket

I love the idea of putting together a basket filled with themed items. This one in particular can be a gift of self care. You can fill the basket with some nail polish, bubble bath, a hair & face mask & even a good book. Get creative with it & choose personally.

Favorite Candy or Snack

Keep it simple with a few of their favorites. Wrap them up cute & add a tag for a bit of pizazz.

Bake a Traditional Treat

Along with the recipe book idea, why not simply bake one of your traditional treats & make a home delivery. This is a perfect option for any holiday gatherings you may be attending as well.

Planner

A gift for those Type A’s & my fellow bloggers. Although I love using Google calendar, there’s something about handwriting it in a cute monthly calendar. Help someone get organized for the year ahead with this useful present.

Support Their Hobby

Whether it’s supplies, accessories or even a personalized trinket, showing you care by supporting their hobby is super thoughtful. For the blogging community, this can also mean to share a person’s blog post, give it a like or a mention & even subscribing to their newsletter. Every little bit of support means the world to us.

Go Skiing or Tubing

This is the perfect winter experience for those who enjoy the outdoors & the sport. You can even make it into a winter weekended getaway & rent out a cabin in the woods. I’m sure you”ll make lots of wonderful memories.

Support a Small Business

When choosing where to shop this holiday season, why not spend your money on smaller & local businesses. Lots of times you find such unique & thoughtfully made gifts this way instead of getting the generic option at big chain stores.

Car Accessories / Cleaning Service

This is another useful gift option. You can gift someone a detailed cleaning or even accessories like floor mats to keep their car looking pristine.

Face Time / Make a Phone Call

Sometimes the best way to show you care is to talk to them face to face or at least hear their voice. Especially for friends or family that live miles or states away, making that quick call will mean the world to them.

Ipad / Laptop / Desktop

This is quite a pricey option, but one I find to be worth the money if it’s for the right person. I always try to think of things people would truly use & know as a blogger, any of these would be wonderful gifts.

Money

Although it’s not very personal, I still find plain old cash is extremely useful. You can even add a note with an explanation on how you’d like it to be used. I’m sure it will be greatly appreciated.

Pay off a Bill

Like the money option, depending on who it is & whether or not you may offend them, I think paying off a bill for someone is one of the most thoughtful gifts ever. The holiday season can be such a stressful time & sometimes all you really need is a leg up.

Phone Case

I feel like everyone needs a phone case. This is quite self explanatory.

Sustainable Clothing Brands

These brands, although are better for the environment, can be rather expensive. So, why not treat someone to a clothing piece so they can test the waters so to speak.

Quality Bedding & Pillows

What better way then to give the gift of proper sleep

A Charity Donation

It always feels good to give back but the holiday season is the perfect time

Instant Pot / Slow Cooker

This can be any kitchen gadget that makes like easier. But I just personally love our Instant Pot & Air Fryer attachment. It seriously makes food prep quick & efficient.

Mini Fridge

This isn’t very minimalistic, but we were gifted a mini fridge for Christmas last year & we are obsessed with ours. If you are looking for an addition to a bar shelf area & just need more storage space. This would also be perfect for college students.

Coasters

Now, I try not to own too many of these (we’ve managed to end up with over 20!) but this is a perfect option for new home buyers, newly weds & even college students who have apartments.

Boardgames

I love a game night & this is perfect for those who want to get together with friends or family during the holidays. Some of my favorites are Cards Against Humanity, Family Feud & Scrabble.

Just Ask Them What They Want

Lastly, just be up front when holiday shopping. It’s better to ask someone & purchase something you know they’ll use than get them something that will be donated in a few months.

-B