We’ve all bought something suitably romantic to make a partner smile on Valentine’s Day, but the truth is- these novelty items often come with an expiry date. Relationships come and go and things that once held a firm place in the memory boxes of current couples lose the appeal they once had. Whether you are single or in a relationship, here are my top suggestions for purging your home of redundant romantic gestures:

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Old love letters: This is more for the single folk. If you are still holding onto letters from an ex, pitch them immediately! They are serving no purpose other than to keep you stuck in the past. Shred them and you won’t be tempted to get them out of the trash again and whatever you do, don’t take a picture of them before you get rid or you might be tempted to linger over each word again some day in digital form.

If you are still with the person who sent you the letters, there is no harm in scanning these so you can look at them on your computer whenever you feel compelled. Or you could keep the really sloppy ones and discard those with cheesy poems or cheeky backhanded compliments in them.  

Old pictures: This is applicable for relationships old and new. Photos of you and someone you are no longer with on Valentine’s Day is another recipe for disaster. Like letters, they make you look backwards not forwards and will scupper any chances of you feeling ready to date again. Every time you look at one, you will be reminded of your break up, arguments you had and analyse why it didn’t work out. Noone needs that level of negativity in their life on the 14th February or any other day for that matter. 

If you are in a happy relationship, there is no harm in reminiscing over old Valentine’s Day pics- organise the ones you love and make you smile, put them in an album then delete any that are blurry or ones that make you cringe (don’t worry, we all have them).

Old cards: For the couples- cards with meaningful messages in them are the ones to keep- not ones that simply have a ‘to’ and ‘from’ in them. These Valentine’s Day cards show little to no effort made by your partner- a petrol station purchase the day before at best. Also, rude cards are probably not the most appropriate thing to put in your memory box- one day after your passing someone (probably your child) will look through it- don’t subject them to this.

If you are single- Valentine’s Day cards need to go pronto. Handwriting can be one of the most triggering things of all and cards can often carry smells on them- perhaps of your ex’s perfume or aftershave, so don’t let yourself go down memory lane if you know it’s going to be a bumpy walk.

Old Valentine’s Day Gifts: If an ex bought you something that wasn’t consumable such as flowers or chocolates- a Valentine’s Day keepsake like an ornament, teddy bear or a piece of jewellery for example, why not donate it or try and sell it? Your relationship may not have worked out so you might as well make some money out of their gift giving and declutter your space of an item you know they touched (urgh). This is the perfect time of year to do it as well because lots of people will be looking for cheap and cheerful things to give to their partner. 

For the lovers- your partner may have presented you with something so tacky that you despised it the moment they gave it to you. Now some time has passed you might be able to come clean and reveal your hatred of this item. If your relationship is strong enough, you may both be able to have a good laugh about it and send it on its way with no hard feelings. 

MORE: Minimalism: How to celebrate Valentine’s Day the minimalist way

Gimmicks: Whether you are in a relationship or not- gimmicks are meant for the day and the day only. You probably won’t use that heart shaped cookie cutter this year or relight last year’s rose shaped candle again in a couple of week’s time. These are only intended to be temporary ways to set the mood so you can safely let go while the memories remain within you. 

Lingerie: Maybe you bought some lingerie for an ex and can’t wear it without thinking of your last romantic night with them. If so, it’s time to let go- underwear should make you feel sexy for the lover you want to be with- it should not be worn if all it does is conjure up memories of the one before. 

If you have a SO right now- maybe the underwear you bought last year was really uncomfortable because it was too tight or the material didn’t sit well on your skin. If so, make way for something more suited to your body. 

Valentine’s Day Decor: It only comes once a year- so why store heart shaped lights, red cushions emblazoned with hearts and table runners adorned with lips for the other 364 days of the year? Items such as this won’t make your Valentine’s Day more romantic, make your partner love you more, encourage an ex to come back or turn a failing relationship around. 

All you need is to spend time with the people you love, the rest is just rose petal shaped confetti. 

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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