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How to Get Your Stuff Back from Your Ex

Even if the break-up wasn't messy, trying to retrieve your possessions can be awkward. Make it less so with these tips for getting your stuff back from your ex.


  • Step 1: If your ex refuses to give your stuff back, consider taking them to small claims court. If the items exceed your state's small claims limit, seriously weigh if getting your stuff back is worth the expense.
  • Step 2: If getting your stuff back is causing you or your ex a lot of pain, or may put you in physical danger, just walk away, especially if none of the items have sentimental value. At the end of the day, they're just possessions.
  • FACT: About 60 percent of people in a social networking website's poll said they have used a cellphone to break up with someone, and nearly 50 percent of those broke the news in a text message.
  • Step 3: If you've left your ex to be with someone else, don't rub their nose in it by bringing your new love along to help get your stuff back. If, on the other hand, you're the dumpee, bring the hottest moving man or woman you can find, just in case your ex is home.
  • TIP: Asking your ex to mail your stuff can be easier for both of you, but a vindictive ex may not "handle with care."
  • Step 4: Be generous about items that you purchased together, or that your ex may need more than you do, especially if you're the one who initiated the break-up. Do you really want to break their heart and take their stuff?
  • Step 5: Arrange a pick-up date that's convenient for both of you. Give your ex an opportunity to be off the premises if that's what they'd prefer.
  • Step 6: Decide in advance what's worth retrieving so you don't waste time and energy reclaiming stuff you don't really need or want anymore.

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