How to Handle Break-Up & Move-Out Scenario

Breaking-up a relationship, whether in its formative months or decades old, is a very sad moment for both parties. Whether it is three months or three decades old, it is a very tough task that can be even tougher when the two partners have been living together for a long time.

There are two scenarios involved in the entire process; breakup and moving out. Children or pets jointly owned by the couple must be considered in the preparation. Properties sharing can be mutually agreed upon, or a lawyer may be involved depending on the nature of the break-up.

How to Handle Break-Up & Move-Out Scenario

In this article

However, moving out after a break-up can take several forms, but there are some generally accepted practices that are usually employed.

Moving Feedback packaged this article after careful series of research which is based on experiences shared by people from diverse backgrounds ranging from professionals in the field, family law consultants to relationship experts to personal experiences shared by people who already experienced a breakup and moved after that. We will follow it step by step to ensure nothing is missed out.

Easy Move-Out after a Breakup

While undergoing a sad moment due to breaking up with your partner, you can achieve a hitch-free move-out as much as possible. Recommended below are the best possible ways to move after divorce or break-up:

Foreseeing a Breakup? Be Ready

Be prepared early if you’re foreseeing an impending break-up. You can start by gathering your vital documents, e.g., passport, banking details, birth certificates, social security documents, etc. and hide them somewhere safe and easily accessible like a family or trusted friend’s house or in your care as recommended by Tori Buckley, an expert relationship counsel. This became even more important if you’re breaking up with an easily angered and aggressive partner.

There’s no Point Arguing over who owns what

It’s a normal thing to share your stuff eventually after a breakup. Naturally, some stuff belongs to and remains with either party especially if such were acquired before the relationship or were acquired for personal use. Also, gift items given to your Ex definitely belongs to them.

Whenever there’s an argument over who takes what, it is better to let it go even if it is a souvenir or a unique personal item because it’s worthless and unhealthy to argue over stuff like that.

It’s however worthy to know that you’ve initiated a separation; walking away as easy as possible is essential to start a new life happily, and be thankful that you own things to be fought over.

Tangible stuff including TVs, sound systems, cars, and any other kinds of stuff that you can’t sell and you’re not paying off debt on; you can let your partner have them if sharing such will bring acrimony.

While it is important not to move out with the feeling of being short-changed, it’s also very vital not to start bickering over material things. However, in a case where it is a joint effort, an attorney can be of help.

Get a Safe Place to Crash immediately After Moving Out

Getting a comfortable and secure place to sleep immediately after moving out is very important. This becomes necessary so as to help you relieve stresses associated with break-ups and to help you resettle quickly. You can also stay with somebody temporarily.

However, you may not want your ex-partner to know where you’ll be staying if your break-up was on a sarcastic note, else, he/she may show-up unexpectedly to create a scene at your friends/family’s place which may not be a good thing.

Study the Situation and Arrange your Moving out Accordingly

Is your break-up on a mutual basis with a peaceful moving out? Or is it going to be acrimonious with fighting and yelling expected over-sharing of your stuff? Though it’s impossible to accurately predict what’ll happen, you can expect anything possible and be ready for whichever way it comes.

Below are some possible scenarios you may expect and be prepared for:

  • Mutual Breakup: Sometimes, a relationship may end on a mutual ground or with a good ending. In this kind of situation, it’s good to arrange your moving-out with the other person even if the two of you aren’t communicating well to avoid an acrimonious ending. This was the advice given by a Family Health Expert; Caleb Backe.
  • Exiting by Covertness: Moving out unnoticed will be your case if your partner is abusive and the marriage is ending on a sour note. Don’t let your partner have a clue that you’re moving out. Rather, let him/her think that you’re just taking a needed break. Move out your stuff bit by bit starting with those things that cannot be easily noticeable so that before your partner knows, most of your stuff would have moved.
  • Clean Break: If you’ve just broken up and want to move out immediately, you may have to consider hiring professional packers who will help you to move all your things at once. Also, you may take a working day-off and get all your stuff packed and move out before your partner returns from work. This method is a very efficient way of ensuring a clean break-up from your ex without acrimonious conversations or expending unnecessary energy that may prolong your move-out.

For further reading on moving essentials during the breakup scenario, you can read our post – Comprehensive Divorce Moving Checklist.

Are Pets or Kids Involved? Consider a Safe Place for them

The wellbeing of the little ones and/or pets can decide the level of how breakups can be challenging. A legal counselor must be involved when kids and jointly-owned pets are involved. This is to ensure that you’re not at risk of losing their custody after the break-up.

Figuring out where and who the pets and the kids will be with is very important so as to maintain their routine and give them a sense of care and normalcy.

Their activities, schedules, and possessions should be kept familiar to them even if they will be splitting homes. Also, it is important to maintain the rules and regulations for them to keep regardless of which home they may be in at any given time. These were pieces of advice given by a Family & Marriage Law Counsel, Meghan Freed.

If you’re breaking up from an acrimonious relationship, it’s essential to find an attorney who will ensure you gain custody of your kids and/or pets. Many people often decide to remain in an abusive relationship because of children or pets. So, an attorney will help you get through this without much problem.

Get People to help you through the Breakup and Moving out

It’s never advisable to bear the burden of a breakup alone. So whether your moving out is convertor it’s a result of an agreement between two of you, never be afraid to seek help from people who have experienced breakup or divorce before.

Even friends and family can help you through the emotional upsurge during the breakup period and help you to get your move completed faster. Danielle C who had experienced divorce before even encouraged the seeking of external help when you’re moving out to offer you love and support.

Seek Legal Assistance when in Doubt or Confused when Moving out after Breakup

You may need legal counsel or a family attorney in a case of children or pets and jointly owned properties in the breakup to forestall any legal or custody issues that may arise especially when deciding who owns what or who gets to keep what.

Therefore, make sure that a lawyer or an attorney is present when moving out to ensure that everything is done accordingly.

Do not Move Stuff you don’t need to Minimize your Load

At this very critical point in your life, it’s not advisable to burden yourselves with so many loads that may be filled with unneeded items or items that you can do without. It’s normal and always very tempting to want to pack everything that you owned or bought with your money, either as a way of reducing your loss or just to annoy the other person.

But you must be mindful of what you move because what you don’t need, don’t move. Remember, the more items you move the more your mover will charge you.

You should see your breakup and move out as an opportunity for a fresh start, and you wouldn’t want to bug yourselves with so much unnecessary baggage, some of which may even be reminding you of the negative situation you’re just trying to break away from just at the start of your new life.

Confide in People you Trust, and you can Depend on

Coping with the emotional aspect of a sudden breakup from a partner with whom you have been together for some time can be very complex and depressing, and it may be feeling highly vulnerable.

Therefore, you should surround yourself with trusted people such as friends, family, neighbors, or professional colleagues and make sure you communicate with them often and seek their help when necessary.

They can help take your mind off social media so that you can keep your breakup news off it to avoid generating unnecessary heat from social media attention.

At this stage, you need to focus on surviving for the future and take your mind off your former relationship. Arranging and organizing your new place by deciding and finding some essential household items like furniture, for instance, for your new place to completely occupy your mind and take it away from a random thought.

Moving out with Professional’s Help

When you just broke up with your partner, you must ensure that you do not make quick decisions by keeping your emotion under control. You may decide to temporarily move in with your parents or a close family member to give you ample time to sleep over things and think everything over.

And when you finally decided to move out, you may engage the services of expert packers to help you and ensure your moving out is smooth and stress-free. You can start this by inviting a few long distance movers to come to evaluate your stuff and give you estimates that will help you determine your eventual moving costs.

Use our online moving cost calculator to estimate your moving cost in one click.

With a moving professional, your belongings are very safe and secured with the possibility of insurance depending on the moving professional. You need not stay with the professionals when they are moving your things as long as you have taken inventory of all your stuff to be moved. You can hire reputable nearby national moving companies here.

If you need help moving out after a divorce or breakup, you can use Pricing Van Lines to help you move out smoothly without any stress. Pricing Van Lines takes time to fully understand your moving needs, read your condition and deliver the best service. With Pricing Van Lines, you get over four generations of moving experience. So the talent to make sure everything goes smooth is definitely there.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I instruct movers to only pick up specific items from my apartment or home?

If you are moving out after a break up, you may only want to pack up the items that you own or are keeping. We recommend stacking all your boxes and items into a specific area, so the movers can easily pick up items and load them onto the moving truck.

You could also put post-it notes on every item that you are taking. The movers will know that any item without a post-it does not go.

I don’t want to create drama for the movers. How do I calmly move my possessions after a break up?

If your ex-partner or spouse works, you may want to move your possessions during a time they are not at home. Schedule your move for a day and time you know they will be at work.

Ensure the movers have at least two hours before your former spouse or partner comes back home. That should give the movers enough time to load your possessions onto the moving truck.

It is not recommended to have the movers arrive when your former partner is at home, especially if the two of you are not on speaking terms at present.

Can movers transport some or all of my possessions to a storage unit?

Not every break up is comfortable. Perhaps you are still in the process of finding a new house or apartment. You may not have any place for the movers to take your possessions, but you still need to get them out of your current residence.

If you talk with the movers, you can let them know that you want some or all of your possessions transported to a storage unit nearby.

So long as you provide them with the relevant addresses, they will drive the truck to the location and unload your possessions in front of your storage unit.

I don’t want my kid to see me packing up my possessions. What can I do?

If you are moving out of the home you shared with your spouse and child, you may not want your young one to see you packing up and shifting out of the house. We recommend scheduling movers for a day and time that your child is at school.

Those who are moving during the summer may want to get a friend or family member to take their child out for a few hours. That should give you enough time to pack up and load your possessions onto a moving van.

You can always say goodbye to your child later in the day, but you may not want them to experience the trauma of seeing you pack up your life in front of them.

Is it legal for me to take items that I did not buy during a break up?

It is very important for you to follow the law when it comes to dividing possessions with your spouse. If you do not have a verbal or written agreement on specific items, we advise you to only pack up items that are yours.

Take items that you bought, or were gifted to you by your spouse. Any other items, such as items your spouse purchased or you bought together, should remain. Those items should be moved when you have reached an agreement with your spouse on dividing your assets.

How can I pack up my possessions in a few hours?

Packing in a hurry is not ideal, but not impossible either. Start by creating a list of all your belongings so you can check it at the end of the process.

The second step is dividing all your possessions into two piles – items you will take and those you will leave behind. When you have two piles, start boxing up the pile you are taking with you.

If you do not have any bubble wrap, you can pack your valuables and decoration pieces within clothes. By wrapping them in clothes, you are shielding your valuables from damage.


Since breakup and moving out are very sensitive matters, they must be handled very sensitively too. There are several methods, styles, and approaches that can be adopted in handling a breakup and moving out. What is very important is to ensure that emotions are kept under control because you wouldn’t want that to weigh you down and cloud your sense of judgment when taking some critical decisions.

However, reading through this article should have given you a good idea about how well to handle a breakup and moving out scenarios with different methods of moving out, how to manage the sharing of material properties, why you should seek peoples help and confide in them, etc.

Consequently, moving out after a breakup and your overall handling of the whole situation is expected to be very smooth and free of acrimonies after reading and applying some of the points highlighted in this article. Stay tuned for more informative posts from this page!

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