Whether you do the deed immediately, or address it three months post-breakup, properly dealing with the artifacts of your ex is a must. After a while, the relationship remnants start to feel way less sweet and way more like creepy, shrine-making materials. And no matter what emotion that temple of love-lost evokes — be it anger, sentiment, longing, or delusion — eventually, you'll need to move on from it so you can move on from them. In other words, you need to figure out what to do with gifts from your ex.
Getting rid of items you associate with your ex won't only include disposable, corny photo collages, ticket stubs, and old clothes they left behind/you actually stole. (Seriously, step away from the still smells-like-SO sweatshirt.) Junking that stuff is the easy part. But it's a whole lot harder to discard the gifts, or you know, the stuff with actual, monetary value.
So what do you do with the jewelry, clothing, personalized items, tech, and puppies when you don't want to look at them anymore? (OK, not wanting to look at the puppies is far-fetched.) You've got more options than you may think.
1. Donate It
Donating gifts ranks first because giving back is the noblest way to put a positive spin on something that might have ended not-so-positively. It's a nice feeling to know that your unwanted item could bring joy to someone else. Plus, it's simple: Gather up your stuff, make sure it's in good condition (i.e. you didn't dent or shred it while pounding it against the wall), and then, head to a Goodwill donation center or donation bin.
2. Sell It
Making money on your ex feels like sweet, sweet victory. (Is that just for me?) And let's be honest: There are some items that are too expensive to straight up donate. Jewelry and clothing could bring in some major bucks online on sites like eBay or Poshmark, or in person at second-hand shops and consignment stores. There are multiple ways to make some dough on tech, too. The Apple Store, Best Buy, Amazon, and apps like Decluttr all allow you to trade in used electronics for credits, gift cards, or cash.
3. Regift It
As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure. While it might feel kind of sleazy to regift something you've more than likely used already, think of it in terms of finding someone to adopt something you once loved that you can no longer care for and would like to see go to a good home. Plus, it is very likely that the people you surround yourself with have some tastes that overlap with yours, so finding the right home shouldn't be too difficult.
4. Craft It
The power of creativity and a Dollar-Store glue gun could be all it takes to transform any cast-off item into something that feels shiny, new, and completely representative of you, rather than the memory of your ex. Let's say every time you pick up the iPad your uber-rich ex gifted you many moons ago, you still feel a tinge of longing in the pit of your stomach. Do not get rid of your iPad, silly. Pick up some gems, stickers, beads, whatever your heart desires, and bedazzle that iPad like no iPad hath ever been bedazzled before. And then, contact me with your ex's number, because I would really like to date him/her.
5. Toss It
Sometimes, it just feels good to chuck it. You probably won't want to do this with any of the gifts that can be donated, sold, or regifted, but the likelihood that some of the gifts were just plain garbage to begin with is fairly high. I had this cubic zirconia necklace that I hated from the moment my ex gave it to me, but I wore it while we dated in an attempt to be a gracious girlfriend. (That really worked out well...) Post-breakup, tossing it was the most gratifying option.
Clearing out the cobwebs of exes past might seem like a daunting task, but the effort is worth the reward; Bye-bye mental-sentimental baggage.
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