I would say there’s nothing pleasant about a breakup, except that’s not true. Depending on which end you stand, a split can be quite liberating. There is however one thing that is dreadful no matter who’s leaving who – the division of assets.
Suddenly you’re thinking back to that sunny afternoon where you and your significant other were sipping margaritas on a terrace and you enthusiastically suggested you move in together. Mentally, you want to throat punch that version of you.
It eventually happened, you lived together, but now it’s over. What will become of that set of Miracle Blades you ordered together at 2am after watching a very convincing infomercial?
It’s going to be hard to remain objective when you’re an emotional mess, but I strongly recommend you split your joint possessions as soon as possible. Revenge may be a dish better served cold, but some people prefer a piping hot plate. Basically if you want to avoid your ex selling, throwing or giving your stuff away you will have to put your emotions on the back burner and deal with dividing your belongings.
The best way to get things started is to draft a list of the items you own jointly. Make categories based on monetary value because that is the only scale that is reliable during this emotional period. Omit smaller items, maybe you don’t need to include the lava lamp and Tupac poster from your first apartment. (Ps if they try and take these from you, I think its for the best that you’re breaking up)
Once you’ve decided together how much the individual assets are worth, go through the list and see if you can identify the logical owner of each item. Ask yourself “Do I have a good reason to part with this object?” Start with the bigger things, the smaller ones should be kept to level out the negotiations. If you begin to argue, skip that item, you can comeback to it later.
To avoid breaking up ensembles, such as furniture, dishes or art, make a separate list, this way you can trade entire sets. If things get messy, you can try something as simple as a coin flip, just make sure you both agree on the conditions. I’m pretty sure “Heads, I keep the apartment, tails, you’re homeless!” was not approved by both parties.
If you’re lucky, you’ll have a Beyoncé breakup and everything they own fits in a box to the left. If they’ve moved in with you, retrieve your keys and change the locks just in case. Whenever you get sad staring at the empty space where your coffee table once was, remind yourself that it’s better to have a void rather than a constant reminder of how your ex used to always stub their toe on the piece of furniture.