A recent art exhibition in Paris, dubbed the ‘Museum of Broken Relationships,’ displayed items leftover from ended relationships, including stuffed animals, jewellery, a wedding dress, dreadlocks and a prosthetic limb. (Boy do we feel bad for the person who didn’t get their leg back.)
While clearing out your space post-break up can help you move on, it can be hard to know what to do with it all. Do you honor what was good about your relationship by storing the items…or torch them in a bonfire while listening to Alanis Morissette?
To help you be thrifty, environmentally conscientious and safe (because fire is dangerous!) we’ve created a guide to help you decide what to do with all his or her stuff.
If someone bought you a ring, it’s possible to get it melted down and made into something new, like earrings or a necklace. If the item in question isn’t worth the trouble of visiting a pawn shop, talk with your girlfriends and see if you can swap old relationship jewellery. If it’s a really nice piece, your friend can get the enjoyment out of wearing it without the emotional attachment. (Just make sure they aren’t someone who is close to your ex.)
Donate it. Do not wear it. Ever. Again.
But wash it first. Nobody else wants to know what your former partner “smells” like.
3. Stuffed animals
If you don’t know any young children to give these to (they won’t possibly know how many times you cried while cuddling it), try to get creative. Consider using them for a funky craft project, like making a pincushion, pillow or Halloween costume in the style of Nicki Minaj or Lady Gaga. This way you’re enjoying both the creative and therapeutic benefits of destroying the fluffy mementos of your relationship!
We know what your argument is going to be: “But what if we get back together and I’ve deleted all our memories?” If it’s been a significant amount of time since your breakup, it’s time to let that go. Delete the photos from Facebook and your computer. If you’re really worried, print off a few special ones and keep them stored somewhere out of sight until you’ve completely moved on. Take all photos of the two of you out of the frames and immediately replace them with ones of people who are important to you. That way if you’re tempted to call your ex, you can call your friends and family instead.
5. Miscellaneous gifts and leftovers
Before donating these times or throwing them in the trash, consider having an item swap with some friends. They may like your ex’s choice in music, books, art or whatever else was left behind. If you don’t want to part with some of these items because they have sentimental value to you, make sure they make you feel happier when you look at them more than they make you feel sad.