Calling it quits is tough enough, regardless of your living situation. But breaking up with a partner with whom you cohabit? That’s even harder. Shacking up together means sharing everything. You bought furniture as a couple. You picked out your entire set of kitchenware together. The list goes on. And because we know how tricky cutting ties can be, we have some ideas for you. Here’s how to make moving out after a breakup as painless as possible.
1. Keep emotions separate from business
As HelloGiggles points out, moving is a matter of business. Whether you’re selling your house or leaving an apartment you’ve been renting, treat the situation no differently than you would had it been just you living there. You know there’s a certain process when it comes to moving, so try not to stray far from it. Tabling your emotions will be difficult, but the more of an effort you make, the better it will be. So try to look at the move-out process with a clear head.
2. Make sure you’re as equally involved in the process
If both your names are on the lease, or mortgage, it’s imperative you make sure you’re totally involved in the process. It’s likely you signed a legal document upon move-in, so you’ll need to be present during all things move-out related. Make sure you read, and fully understand, your lease. Everything right down to your new address for your portion of the security deposit refund.
If you’re homeowners, whether or not you cosigned the mortgage makes a big difference. A sole owner will get to stay while co-owners will have to decide if they want to sell or let one person keep the house.
3. Do the final walk-through together
On the note of being involved in the move-out process, we all know a major part of that, at least for apartment dwellers, is the final walk-through. You want your security deposit back, right? Well, in that case, you’d better make sure both you and your ex have left the place immaculate. Show up, do your part, and make sure you and your partner agree to split the money with the same breakdown you used for rent. And of course, make sure your landlord knows to divvy up the dollars, too.
This step is equally as important if you’re leaving a house. You want it to be in tip-top shape if you’re selling, and you also don’t want to give your ex reason to hassle you for unexplained damage.
4. When dividing possessions, let your ex buy you out for things he or she wants
Some items may be more meaningful to you than your partner, and vise versa. Relationship expert April Masini of Ask April tells Realtor.com it’s often a good solution to have one partner buy out the other. If that’s possible for you, just agree on a fair price for each item or piece of furniture. Instead of simply letting the other person have it, establish some sort of pricing system based on its current value. When you’re not able to agree on separating items, Masini suggests organizing everything into collections, then working out who gets what from there.
5. Sell or donate items you can’t agree on
It’s very likely you won’t be able to agree on every single thing you’ve co-owned in your home. When that happens, don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Elite Daily suggests selling or donating the things you can’t agree on. Maybe someone else will be able to make their own memories with your old furniture. And you, on the other hand, get to replace it with something new.
6. If you rent, discuss all possible options with your landlord
If you’re a renter, it’s imperative you talk to your landlord to see what your options are. Unless you and your partner happen to be breaking up at the perfect time — the end of your lease — you need to know what’s legal and what’s not. Seeing as you’ve signed a document pertaining to your place of residence, you both can’t just pick up and leave without any repercussions. “If you have an idea, like wanting to sublet, end the lease early, or take on the lease yourself, always ask or notify your landlord in writing to avoid trouble down the line,” Masini told Realtor.com.
7. Lean on a support system
Emotions are running high during this trying time, and Match.com says it’s important to establish a support system to lean on. Close friends and family members can come in pretty handy, providing more than just emotional support. Don’t shy away from accepting their help on moving day, unpacking week, and anything else you find difficult to do on your own.
8. Be sure you’re taking good care of yourself
Taking care of yourself is important after any breakup, Time points out, especially one that also involves a move. Dealing with losing your partner and your living companion is a big pill to swallow, which is why it’s imperative you establish a new way of living a healthy lifestyle, sans significant other.
If the two of you always worked out at the same time, get back into the groove of establishing a gym time rather than sitting on the couch and wallowing in self-pity. Maybe every week you planned your meals in advance, then cooked together each weeknight. Well, establish a new plan for solo life. This will ensure you stay happy and healthy, even without your former partner by your side.
9. Set a schedule for move-out times
You and your ex may have completely different work schedules. Or, maybe you’re just trying to avoid one another at all costs for the time being. Since the breakup is so fresh, just being in the same room together may seem impossible. Because of this, Elite Daily says you’re better off establishing some sort of move-out schedule. That way, you’ll know when you’re both free to divvy up belongings and the actual times the move will occur instead.
10. Don’t start dating again until after you’re no longer living together
Listen, we get it. Moving out can be a long, frustrating process. Even if you’re still in the early stages — and one of you is desperately scouring Craigslist for open apartments — finances, legal ties, and a general lack of perfect housing options can mean you’ll be living together a bit longer than you’d like. Even if you’re ready to move on, it doesn’t mean your ex is. BuzzFeed recommends waiting until after you’re no longer living under the same roof before you start dating again. At the very least, don’t bring any potential suitor home.