No Contact Rule or No Contact Rule, breaking ups can often include the small matter of handling possessions. This includes both getting and returning yours. It’s better to address the problem of possession early than to leave it. This is for your emotional well-being and to avoid getting nostalgic if it’s hard. It’s better to deal with the issue now than to wait for the future.
You must organize your possessions immediately if you want to cut contact. Do not rush to implement the No Contact Rule and then organize your possessions in a hurry. This will only make it more stressful and will hinder your efforts.
If you don’t have the No Contact Rule, giving or taking back possessions acts as final communication. This can help those who are inclined to share their thoughts. You can ask for their possessions or leave them at their home if you have been thinking “I should tell them that I’m going No Contact Rule”.
It is important to reiterate that you should not use taking possessions or giving back property as a way of opening up dialogue. This will only lead to conflict and make you do the No Contact Rule again, which will cause you even more headaches. It may even slow down the process if you listen enough. You may become nostalgic or make excuses, and then decide to take One Last Chance Again. You still have to manage possessions.
Start by going through your entire home, cleaning out everything that 1) belongs to the person or 2) is a memento of your relationship.
Focus on the cleanup and be thorough. Once you have gathered everything, you can put them together. It may be helpful to bring a friend along if you are feeling upset. However, choose someone who will be understanding and kind. Then you can get on with your job. It doesn’t matter if someone is trying to distract or confuse you. You may feel awful, and I understand. But put some music on and treat it as a cleaning session. You can quickly reclaim your space if you get it over with.
What should I do?
- Any value, whether it’s monetary or mental.
- Give back CDs, books, iPods, iPads, laptops, TVs, cameras, mobile phones, photos, and other mementos/possessions. They can be given back toiletries that have value (i.e. Include them if they have proper cosmetics that are properly named and at least half-full.
- You can return clothing, including any purchased items. You don’t have to look for missing socks feet, but you might find them.
- If they have not told you otherwise, engagement rings should be returned. If that’s the case, I would consider your selling options. They are a great little vacation. My old one was intended to be sold, but I forgot about it and then sold it several weeks before my wedding. The cash helped me tremendously – thank you ex!
Returning their stuff
- You can either call, email, or send an email to let them know when it’s face-to-face. Also, give two dates and times that they can collect (or drop off). You can make it difficult for them to understand if you don’t give enough details. They will need to choose one of the dates or suggest another.
- Send one reminder email to request that they pick up the items. This will ensure that you have proof in case of an issue. If they don’t, they will be assumed to no longer require the items and the items will be donated. You don’t have to remind them if they fail to comply with the No Contact Rule. You can also return the items to your friend, particularly if they aren’t willing to collect them or provide you with a place to send them.
- Peace of mind can be priceless, so if you have the means to do so and if it is a small number of items, pack it up and send it via courier or post. Make sure that it’s signed for so they can’t claim it was lost or receive proof of delivery. Drop them off if they aren’t home. You can also send the item to their office if it is small.
- It is important to note that many courier companies require a mobile/cell phone number. This allows them to contact the recipient within hours.
- You should ask them to give you a list of all the items they have left. One woman, I know of gets called up by her ex every few months, or sends her texts complaining about missing spoons. They were split up in a matter of a year!
- It will make packing up easier if you get a list from them.
- You can’t be held responsible for damage if you don’t help your parents pack their stuff.
- If you have a lot of stuff, set a time and date for them to visit and take it all. Then make sure to be scarce while they’re there. It saves awkward conversations and I know of people who ask their parents or friends to watch over things.
- It’s illegal to intentionally damage or destroy objects.
Find your stuff
- If you haven’t yet broken up or moved out, I recommend organizing your stuff. Particularly if you are concerned that someone may destroy or sell your items, you should do so. It is possible to ask a friend or family member for help or put the items in short-term storage. Be careful not to remove too much stuff if you don’t have the items broken up.
- Give them a few days and times that you can visit their home or drop them off. You can do it via email or phone, and you can also follow up with text messages. In the communication, state that they will not be able to do both of these days or times and suggest alternative options.
- You can arrange to have the items delivered to you by a courier or friend.
- It is your responsibility to make sure that the person collecting/packaging the items receives as complete a list of the things as possible.
- Do it slowly and carefully, aka don’t stall the retrieval in order to keep contact.
- Keep any receipts that are important to you in case someone claims for something you own.
- If they refuse to return the item, especially if it is of sentimental or high value, it may be necessary to take legal action. This is a difficult decision because of the many stories I have heard that ex-partners won’t return items given to them or made for their loved ones. However, you have to consider the emotional and financial cost of going after this person. They won’t be able to take your memories. Sometimes, once they realize that they don’t have any control over you and you are willing to let go of it, they will return it.
- Do not vandalize their property when packing up. This should be obvious, but I know of two people who poop on the stuff of their ex-partners and then cut off all their clothes. Yes, they ended up in court.
- This discussion should be held before the No Contact Rule. This is a natural part of a separation or breakup.
- You may have done this as part of the dissolution.
- You will need to divide up items you have purchased together based on their value or attachment.
- It may be easier to have a legal process such as a sale or divorce through your solicitors, or a mediator. However, it will cost less if it is done amicably between you. It’s only going to make matters worse.
What to give away for a rainy day? Memory triggers and some gifts
- Put all your ‘nostalgia equipment’ in a shoebox. These include concert tickets and movie tickets, photos, and anything else that may evoke memories.
- Photographs can be taken down, passport photos removed from your wallet or purse, etc.
- You may also have other items that they may have given you, such as books, jewelry, clothing, and electrical goods.
- If you are going to lose your mind every time you don that top or bracelet or pass that book, you might consider getting a larger box and putting them all away until they’re better. You might decide to either sell them on eBay or donate them to your local charity shop.
- It should be returned if it is emotionally connected to you. If it’s not, you should throw it in the trash. You can recycle it. You can get the sofa reupholstered, or customize your shirt. Get creative!