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.
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. Replace intimate home items
Now is also definitely the time to spring for some new sheets, 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. While you may not be able to afford a new couch, a new bedspread and a few new pillowcases 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 like books, records, hats, etc. Get rid of it, girl. There’s no reason to hang on to these little things that are just jabbing you in the heart. 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 what you dump. If there’s something you think you’d ultimately like to hold on to or something that may have value—like say a painting, or a piece of furniture, keep it.
If you really can’t bear to look at it, put it in storage, or give it to a friend to hold on to for a while.
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.