Break-ups are never easy, and they’re never quick. Once goodbyes have been said and ways have been parted, you’re left with little reminders of your relationship. Some you can avoid, and some you can’t avoid,like a special song on the radio or a favorite restaurant you pass on your morning commute. Fortunately, you can be in control of at least some of the stuff you shared in your relationship and decide whether or not you should keep them.

You’ll find that some items hold too much of an emotional place, while others can be used without pulling at your heartstrings. Here are six ways to clear out just enough of the past to make way for the present and, more importantly, the future.


1. Get new bedding.

The most intimate memories that couples share often occur in the bedroom. From your comforter all the way down to your sheets, the linens on your bed were the backdrop for many of these memories. That’s why it’s advisable to start fresh when you start fresh, especially if you’re getting out of a longer relationship. A new set-up will infuse your bedroom with a new energy that will help you erase memories of your ex. Rest easy.


2. Say “goodbye” on social media.

Another place to say goodbye is Facebook. Then Twitter. Then Instagram. And then, make sure you’ve unfollowed and un-friended your ex on every other form of social media that you have (or at least block them). Unless you had an unbelievably amicable split, seeing him or her on a daily basis will only slow you down in your attempt to move on. You might also invite your best friends over to help you de-relationship your social media profiles. This includes hiding or de-tagging all of the relationship photos you’ve posted and declaring that you’re single on Facebook… or, at least hiding your status ‘til you’re ready to date again.


3. Throw out or give away old gifts, and decide if you can keep beloved jewelry without it making you sad.

Perhaps you and your ex celebrated birthdays and holidays together, leaving you with a box full of gifts that will forever remind you of him or her. Sort through your relationship souvenirs with as clear of a head as you can. It’s advisable to get rid of things with more sentimental than monetary value; alternatively, it’s okay to want to keep jewelry you’ve received and still like to wear. We suggest giving your jewelry a cleaning. There are a variety of methods out there, such as simply using a cloth and wiping off the dust, as well as more unique options to get a deeper clean such as using various abrasives made to clean your more precious belongings. Cleaning your jewelry will make it feel new again so that you’re less likely to associate it with your relationship and more likely to associate it with your new single life.


4. Get rid of any and all clothes that make you nostalgic about time spent with ex-bae.

Remember that really special date you went on? The one where you bought the perfect outfit and got a blow-out and even put on eye shadow for the first time? Let’s go back to that perfect outfit: we advise that, unless you took out a small loan to pay for it, that you get rid of it. You can even sell it online or on an app for secondhand clothing — you might find yourself feeling catharsis with each sale. If you don’t get rid of these sentimental clothing items, you’ll just look at them and pine for — or, worse, regret — the past, and no one wants that.


5. Bring the things you love back into your life that weren’t around when your ex was.

Okay, okay: we know we’ve been telling you to throw lots of things away, but you also need to make sure to take some of your stuff back. For example, did you used to go to spin every Saturday morning… until your ex started sleeping over? Go back! Whip up the vegan dinners he hated. Wear a completely daring outfit that makes you, and only you, happy. You’re on a new journey, and it’s going to be a tough one, so do what YOU want. You’ll be a better you on the other side.


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