You’ve broken up, you’re trying to move on, but everywhere you turn, you’re reminded of your ex—even in what’s supposed to be the safe space of your apartment. Especially in the safe space of your apartment.
We so feel you.
But luckily there are things you can do to ex-boyfriend-proof your apartment to make it easier to move on. Because you deserve to be happy and healthy—especially in your own abode. We’ve come up with 7 steps you can take to make your living space an ex-boyfriend-free zone.
1. Delete, delete, delete: Your phone and computer are extensions of your space. Remove your exes’ texts, emails, and other digital ephemera. You don’t have to permanently delete stuff, but you should make it difficult to access. Save the phone number in your email, but take it off your phone. Move his old emails onto an external hard drive and delete from your inbox. And wipe the old texts out of your phone.
Having those old reminders around are just going to drag you down and make it that much harder to move on. At some point, way, way, way in the future, you may be okay to look at the stuff, but now is not the time. Wait until it’s ancient history before you troll his old letters and notes.
2. Rearrange: After a breakup, sometimes it’s necessary to really reorder your space, especially if your ex spent a lot of time over at your place. Moving around your bedroom furniture, or rearranging your living room set up, can help you feel like there’s a definite separation between then and now.
This is especially true if you and your ex actually lived together. Maybe you always wanted the bed by the window but he always hated having too much sunlight get in. Now’s your chance! Take this as an opportunity to try new things and really empower yourself to explore new options in your space.
3. Redecorate: Now is also definitely the time to spring for some new bedsheets, towels, and a new comforter, if you can swing it. Half of getting over someone is dealing with the sense memories you have associated with them, and that’s especially true when it comes to where you slept and had sexy times with someone. A new bedspread can do wonders to make you feel like you’re starting fresh.
4. Toss, toss, toss: You probably have a lot of ex ephemera hanging around—little things that unduly remind you of him. Now is the time to get rid of all of it. There’s no reason to hang on to these little things that are just jabbing you in the heart right now. That doesn’t mean that you should dump everything into the garbage disposal, though.
If you can, do something good with the things you no longer want, be they clothes, books, or housewares, and donate them to charity. Your relationship karma will thank you.
6. Keep what’s worth holding onto: Hard to believe, but there may come a time when you may actually want some of the stuff your ex gave you or made for you, so be judicious about tossing everything. If there’s something you think you’d ultimately like to hold on to—like say a painting, or a piece of furniture, keep it.
But keep it far away for now. Put it in storage, or give it to a friend to hold on to for a while. We’ve dated talented musicians and artists and despite having gone through terrible (like, really terrible) breakups with them, we’ve been glad, ultimately, that we kept some of the pieces of art and music they made for us.
7. Sage your space: Bear with us: Sage-ing a house is a way of removing stagnant energy from a space (if you believe in New Age-y things like stagnant energy). To do it, you’ll need to get a sage stick, which you can purchase at a health food store.
You’ll want to carry the sage around with a bowl under it, to catch any embers that might fall off of it. Light the stick, and blow it out, so that it just lightly smokes, and then walk from room to room, making sure to get every corner. The idea with sage-ing is to walk around your house or apartment, and set your intention for your space. If it helps, you can say your intention out loud: Something like, “I cleanse this space of negative energy and impurities.” Still with us?
Once you’re done, finish out the ritual by sage-ing yourself, and giving yourself a “sage bath.” To do it, run the sage smoke along your own body, and cupping your hands, run the smoke over your face. Finally, once you’re done, make sure the sage is fully extinguished by running it under water. (Hey, it can’t hurt, right?)
7. Believe that things will get better: You’ve just gone through a harrowing breakup, but things will begin to improve. It may not feel like it at the moment, but slowly, day by day, you’ll begin to feel more like yourself, to take tiny steps toward healing, and toward moving forward.