Tiffany Maberry
divide things after a breakup

Once a happy relationship goes sour, the hassle of moving out and moving on becomes the focus. When two lives (and sets of belongings) come together, how do you go about splitting everything up? With judges, lawyers and pre-nups, the lines are clearly drawn for married folks, but what about couples that have lived together without walking down the aisle?


The whole situation is a catch-22. On one hand, you don’t want to transfer bad karma to your new place with a bunch of things that remind you of your ex. But at the same token, you probably can’t afford to buy all new stuff.

So, what’s a brokenhearted guy or girl to do?

  1. Before moving anything, make a list of everything in the apartment. Then bring in an appraiser that both of you agree on to set monetary values for everything. You should both agree beforehand to accept the appraiser’s values. Take turns choosing which items you want. When the first person reaches half the total value, the other person gets whatever remains. That appraiser might also be able to suggest fair ways to split the property.

  2. If you didn't make any purchases together, it should be an easy getaway. Each of you can take what you personally acquired or spent money on and keep it moving.

  3. For any housewarming gifts received upon your move in, it might be easiest to keep whatever was given by your own family or friends.

  4. When it comes to pictures, there’s very little to compromise. Make copies so neither of you walks away empty handed.

  5. At a stalemate? Items that both of you can’t seem to compromise on need to go somewhere. Why not donate to charity? At least something good will come out of your split.

  6. Are there items neither of you wants to claim? Sell it and split the cash to help you transition into your next place.

  7. It’s normal to be completely over your ex, your apartment and everything in it. If you really don’t care and have the means to do so, leave everything and start fresh with new stuff in an even better apartment.

The key to avoiding a messy situation like this is to plan ahead. Are you moving in with your partner anytime soon? Act now! Discuss what might happen in the future and how you’ll handle it. Draw up a document outlining what’s in the apartment and who will get what if the relationship ever dissolves. Both parties should sign the document and you might even go the extra mile to get it notarized. It might not sound like a lovey dovey thing to do now, but wouldn't you rather have taken these precautions than not?

Need more relationship tips and advice?

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / ArtFamily 




About The Author

Tiffany Maberry is a content contributor for the Apartment Guide Blog. She's been writing professionally for over 10 years and enjoys working in the social media space. Find Tiffany on Google+.