In All Seriousness, Is It Ever Okay To Sell Your Ex’s Belongings?

Divorce yard sale

While I would love to pretend we all end things with our exes on excellent terms, that would be a lie. A big, fat, bearded lie who happened to tell me he was “working all night” when, in fact, he was banging his ex-girlfriend.* But even though I fully understand the desire to get revenge on an ex who’s brought nothing but misery toward the end of your relationship, I do not think that throwing a ‘Divorce Yard Sale’ is the answer.

Apparently, this type of event happened recently, as one Instagram user documented along with the captions, “#fall #winter #yardsale #hotcocoa #hot #chocolate #divorce #sale #autumn #marriage #aftermath” — all of which seem a little beside the point besides “#aftermath.”

Divorce yard sale

So, this event included one person (presumably a woman, given the “Hell hath no fury” sign) selling a bunch of another person’s belongings without the owner’s permission. The Stir had this to say on the topic:

Give this former spouse a round of applause, people. Not only is she (or he) getting rid of items that are probably of no use to them and tied to emotional baggage, but they’re doing it with flair! And instead of stewing away, they’re out there helping others. Passing on positiveenergy in the form of old clothes, useless wall art, DVDs maybe, and hot cocoa! What’s not to love!?

But seriously, there are a million ways to handle something as grueling as a divorce, and this has to be one of the most smirk-worthy and good-natured ways I’ve ever seen someone contend with what’s most definitely NOT an easy time.

While I love a good cup of cocoa, I’m not sure I agree with their take — I think selling someone else’s possessions, possibly ones of great value (emotional or monetary), is a cruel and unfulfilling way to get over somebody else.

Don’t get me wrong; I love a good “Hit ‘Em Up Style” belting sesh when I’m miserable about how awful one of my slimy, cheating, picked-me-up-for-Disneyland-with-hickeys-all-over exes was, but I would never have sold his stuff. Ever. It kind of just feels mean and unnecessary, if not legally reprehensible. The only times I can see this as a logical choice is if your ex (A) said it’s okay or (B) he/she was abusive, because then all notions of decency go out the window and if you opt to sell that entire f’ing record collection a la High Fidelity, I will back you up and make you the hot cocoa myself.

That said, if those are not applicable conditions, then perhaps trying to remove that person from your life altogether would be more beneficial to you both (obviously, this becomes more complicated in situations involving children and/or property). Get a counselor. Pick up a hobby. Start volunteering. Make cat GIF lists. Work for BuzzFeed. Just do something other than sell your ex’s stuff, please.

But I want to hear from you guys: Is it ever okay to sell all your ex’s stuff?

*As a side note, I am vaguely glad this happened because it enabled me to be happy, so…thanks, dude?

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    • Julia Sonenshein
      • Samantha_Escobar


    • Colleen

      I’d say not cool to sell your ex’s stuff, UNLESS he was abusive/total dick. I know one guy whose ex took EVERYTHING from their house when she left (including his clothes and razor–what?) and a gal whose ex sold her stuff in storage on the sly and then denied it. I just don’t understand how a person could be THAT angry without abuse happening. I let one ex take whatever he wanted when he left, just to get him to leave, and if he had left anything behind I didn’t want, I would have donated it to charity, to hopefully improve the mojo of the item for the next person who owns it.

    • anna

      I would hate that. Any stuff that they left behind, maybe. But nothing they needed or wanted. I’m still bugging my ex boyfriend to give me back my nice wool jacket a year later. I want that jacket.

    • OhWell

      My ex went to jail and I sold & donated his things. I moved into a much smaller space and refused to pay for storage for his things. To be fair I sold and gave away much, much more of my own stuff. And for 2 years prior to moving I kept everything packed up nicely and stored in my garage until he could come and retrieve them. It’s been 4 years, so… . I absolutely could not afford to drag the past with me to my new space, so it had to go. Although it wasn’t done out of spite… I held on to it for as long as I could. He might be hurt when he finds out. But trust me, he has plenty, plenty more nice shit than the basics that he had stashed at my place. I don’t feel bad. He’ll be alright.

      • Samantha_Escobar

        Oh man, that’s an awful position to be in. I feel like if you’re FORCED to carry somebody else’s shit then, yes, you have every right to sell it.