Moving Out After a Breakup: Splitting up & Splitting Items

Moving out after a breakup is tough and heartbreaking. Find out more about splitting shared belongings and how to move out quickly in order to move on.
One of the most difficult things about breaking up with someone is the prospect of seeing them in a place that you once shared together. Whether it's a favourite restaurant, bar, or even just your place of residence, the memories can be difficult to cope with. Some couples even take on the roles of Vince Vaughan and Jennifer Aniston in The Break-Up and choose to cohabitate whilst no longer together. However, it goes without saying that this can often lead to a number of awkward encounters and negative emotions.

The main reason for ex-couples to continue to live together is… money. Unfortunately, moving out costs quite a bit and it’s also time-consuming, and so many choose to work around that by becoming flatmates. In fact, just a couple of years ago, it was reported that nine million Brits were living with their ex, mainly due to the financial strains that come with moving out. But time for a reality check here. Just because couples continue to live together after a breakup, it doesn’t mean it’s easy, and it’s definitely not for everyone.

The fact is when you break up with someone, it can feel like the world is ending. All of a sudden, you have to deal with the overwhelming emotions of sadness, anger, and loneliness. And on top of all that, you have to figure out how to move out.

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Dividing Personal Possessions After a Breakup

Moving out after a breakup can mean tons of stressful moments. These moments include going through shared belongings and dividing them up.

Who gets what? We’ve heard it all before.

But this period is all about compromise and trying to agree with each other, as much as possible.

It can be pretty tempting to take absolutely everything with you that you spent money on, particularly if things ended badly. But what does the advice say? Don’t. In the heat of the moment it might seem like the most sensible thing to do. However, moving a lot of items is difficult, expensive and some of these items might still carry an emotional burden more than anything else.

Finding a common ground and dividing your mutual belongings after a breakup doesn’t need to be tough. These tips will help you through the process:
  • Be reasonable - No matter how things ended between yourself and your ex, try and remain amicable when it comes to splitting your shared items. Things you purchased together should be divided equally. You might even agree on compensating each other for items either one of you would like to keep.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff (or the unimportant stuff!) - Splitting possessions between the both of you doesn’t mean you literally have to go through every single thing you bought together. It can be a truly upsetting, anxious and frustrating time, so it’s recommended to take the things you really love, care about and plan to use in the future. Of course, if you’re both moving out of your joint home then things like furniture and heavy duty stuff can be factored into the equation. You might want to discuss who gets what, sell it or store it in the meantime. 
  • Consider leaving it all in the past - Moving out after a breakup means starting afresh. And starting afresh means leaving it all behind, and we mean it all. Sometimes it’s not worth going through the things you have together as it can trigger unpleasant memories and bitter, resentful emotions. In fact, it can be quite invigorating to leave all that stuff behind and start anew. For others, you might find it therapeutic to declutter before the house move, if you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff during your time together.
Of course if there are any ongoing issues regarding shared belongings, it’s always best to consult a lawyer.


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Who Keeps The Car?

It’s best to discuss who would benefit from having the car the most. Perhaps whoever would be travelling a lot due to work commitments could have the car, in exchange for other household possessions.

However, something to consider is if there’s an unpaid loan on the car, as whoever keeps the vehicle will be the one responsible for repayments.

There’s even more advice to follow when it comes to deciding who keeps the pets, valuable possessions and collectibles.

How to Quickly and Cheaply Move Out After a Breakup

Should you move out immediately after a breakup? For many, it certainly helps to do that. If the environment is particularly toxic, you might not want to spend a minute longer in the home you share together. 

So if you’ve made the decision that moving out is the best next step for you. You might wonder how do you go about it? Especially when you want to move out ASAP and affordably. Well, there’s a few things to keep in mind, but with a little bit of perseverance and help from your friends, it’s all possible (you’ve got this!).

Also, come to terms with how anxiety-inducing moving out can be. There’s a range of things you can do to reduce and manage anxiety when moving that’ll keep you grounded as you go through the process.



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Reach out to family and friends

First and foremost, emotional support is always important. Allow yourself to feel all the emotions and give yourself permission to ask for help when you need it. Talking about your feelings to friends and family always helps, especially when you need a shoulder to cry on or words of encouragement.

If you think you need professional help, find it! Let your close ones and/or a professional therapist guide you through this tough time, especially when you’re coming to terms with leaving the home you shared together.

Pack the essentials

Try not to think about all the furniture and the odd bits and bobs you’d love to keep from your joint home. It’s easy to want to bring everything with you, but some things will need a discussion and it’s best to speak about things you and your partner jointly own further down the line. For now, take some of the essential things you will need when living somewhere else.

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Find a temporary home

If you’re looking to move out quickly, things are going to be moving… well uh, pretty quick. You might not necessarily be able to find somewhere to rent due to time and also budget. Think about moving back in with your parents, or a friend who has the extra space.



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Store your stuff with Stashbee

Once you’ve moved out, you may have to go back to your previous home to pick up some more possessions. Whether it’s furniture, appliances or smaller sentimental things, what should you do if you need to move them out affordably, but don’t currently have the space for them? Try renting a storage space nearby to keep your things until you’re able to move them into a permanent home.

You could hire a removal company (like Shift) to help move your belongings to your storage space. Or grab a couple of pals to help you box up your things and move them instead. Packing and moving house (even if it’s temporary) can be quite a chore, so take some handy house moving tips into consideration before you start!

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Sometimes after a breakup, moving stuff is the least of your worries. However, when moving house, it’s something you have to consider. The good thing is that once you’ve decided what you’ll be taking from your previous home, you don’t have to worry about finding a new place and moving all of your belongings right away. Believe it or not, but renting storage space could be one of the best things you can do to lighten the load, physically and emotionally.

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Updated 14th Apr 2023

Written 16th Mar 2022