A Woman’s Survival Guide To A Bad Breakup: Getting Rid Of The Things Your Ex Left Behind

Breakups are nasty and painful enough without the added stress of fighting over your mutual possessions. Even if you and your ex-boyfriend weren’t living together, you might still encounter problems when it comes to their possessions. There are even some women who, in an attempt to start with a clean slate, got rid of everything from their ex-boyfriend’s gifts to his clothes.

Dr. Cheryl Fraser, a psychologist, believes that it is important to get rid of your ex’s stuff because holding on to it means you will still cling onto the past. This prevents you from moving on. By getting rid of the things from the past, you create a space for your present life without desperately holding on to what used to be. But before you start throwing his stuff out, you need to determine whether you actually have the right to throw them away. If your ex-boyfriend’s property is left in your possession, does it mean it’s yours?

Is It Legal To Throw Out Your Ex’s Possessions?

Abandoned property is an item in which the owner has given up all ownership rights. If your ex-boyfriend has abandoned his possessions by living it in your care, you can throw it away, donate it, store it, or sell it. The complicated part is actually knowing whether he officially abandoned his belongings.

As a tip, you need to cover all your bases. For instance, if he leaves some of his clothes in your property, you need to handle it reasonably and if possible, document everything. Despite the fact that you don’t want to talk to him again, you need to send some notice, by sending a text or an email reminding him to get his stuff. You also need to let him know what you are planning to do if he fails to contact you by the deadline. Keep in mind through that this only applies to small, insignificant items.

This means that if he left his car in your garage, it will be a whole lot different. Ownership of a car is by title; thus, even if he left it in your possession, you still don’t have any rights to it. The best thing you can do is notify the authorities since they can authorize the towing of the vehicle. To that end, before you let your emotions take over, you must first determine whether you have the right to throw away his stuff. The worst possible scenario is that you might get sued or get accused of theft. Keep this in mind when deciding the best course of action.

How To Get Rid Of His Stuff

  1. Let your ex-boyfriend know what you plan to do. You need to let him know that you want him to remove his things from your property. In addition, you also need to remind him of what you intend to do with his things if he fails to collect them.
  2. Give him time to pack. Even if he has been a complete jerk, you still need to give him enough time to sort through his things and pack them all up.
  3. If it is still too painful to see him in person again, you can always leave a pile of his things so that he can pick it up when he can. Provide your ex-boyfriend information regarding when and where he can collect his things.
  4. If your ex-boyfriend refuses to consider your request, you can consult your lawyer. You need to learn what is practical as far as giving notice and a deadline. Make sure that your ex-boyfriend receives your notice that you will be throwing away his stuff if he doesn’t pick it up.
  5. Store his stuff in another location. While you are waiting for your ex-boyfriend to respond to your request or if it is still too painful to throw away his gifts and your mutual possessions, you can always consider storing the items in another location. In doing so, you can remove the items off your property without really throwing or giving them away.

Asking your ex-boyfriend to pack his things and throwing away the things he failed to collect may seem vindictive and dramatic; however, if it helps you with moving on, do what you must. To that end, get durable storage boxes or trash bags and purge the presence of your ex-boyfriend from your house with the tips listed above.


The author, Kris Lim, is a blogger who writes about women’s issues. In this article, she offers a women’s guide to getting rid of their ex’s stuff. She also advises her readers to first learn more about what they can and cannot throw away to avoid legal problems.


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