Building my gift registry: 6 must-have items

Like many women, when my ex left, I could no longer afford to stay in our family home and had to sell. Once we had an accepted offer, I scrambled to find a new place for myself and my daughters. I knew that we would have to downsize, and I was actually excited to purge the basement and closets of dusty, mostly family hand-me-down, items that served no purpose in our lives. Every weekend before I closed on my new house was spent packing my hatchback full of stuff and emptying it at the local Goodwill drop-off.

What I didn’t donate, I sold on Facebook Marketplace and eBay. I saved as much money as I could to purchase a few new items for the house, but it wasn’t much. I’d been married over 20 years when we split, so most of our household goods were old and in pretty sad shape. The time and expense of packing and moving broken kitchen appliances, worn out towels, and mismatched tableware didn’t make much sense. When the big day arrived, we moved into our new digs with little more than our clothes, the cat’s favorite papasan chair, and our mattresses to sleep on. Looking back, I can’t overstate how much of a difference a divorce registry would have made in our lives. Whether you’re building your gift registry, or trying to think of the best gifts for a divorce party, read on for our top suggestions for break up gifts.

The six divorce gift registry must-haves

Luxurious sheets

When I settled into my new bedroom, the last thing I wanted to do was slide in between the same sheets that I used to share with my ex. No matter how many times I washed them, I could still smell his cologne. A new set of luxurious sheets like these would have been at the top of my divorce registry. After years of choosing bland colors to appease his picky palette, I would definitely choose the feminine blush color.

A good vacuum

It’s hard to make a fresh start with an old vacuum. I would have loved to dump my dusty, crusty old vacuum and register for a shiny new model. There’s something about a sparkling new vacuum sweeper that makes cleaning feel like a bit less of a chore.

A versatile dresser

If you’re starting from scratch like I was, you likely need functional – and affordable – furniture. This little gem is as stylish as it is practical. I like that it’s lightweight and easy to move. It would function beautifully as a bedside table stashed with books or in an entry hall to store hats, scarves, and gloves. When you’re ready to invest in your forever furniture, this guy is perfect for a playroom or dorm room.

A compact tool kit

When my ex left, his tools went with him. That was fine with me because our tool boxes were a hodgepodge mess of random wrenches, nails and screws. I did manage to hang onto a heavy duty hammer, crowbar, staple gun and level from my dear father, but a tidy set like this with all of the basics would have been a welcome addition to my new house. I especially love that they come in a choice of colors – you can probably guess which one I would choose!

A pretty tea kettle

I don’t claim to be much of a cook, but I do find myself spending a lot of time in the kitchen, especially with my daughters. That why I appreciate kitchen accessories that are both practical and beautiful. This pretty kettle comes in gorgeous colors, including blue, pistachio and glam gold and rose gold.


Bartender supplies

Speaking of practicality and beauty, this bartender set is definitely worthy of display. In addition to our random tool boxes, my ex also grabbed our miscellaneous bar supplies. If I was putting together a divorce gift box, I’d include this set with a book of cocktail recipes and a bottle of his/her favorite spirits.

A thoughtful reminder

Let’s face it, divorce can be scary. It’s the end of something that you at some point thought would last forever and a new beginning into uncharted territory. These bracelets are not only beautiful, they are also a powerful reminder to keep your head up and keep moving forward. You can choose from three different finishes – rose gold, silver, and gold – but I love the combination of all three.

Feeling inspired? Start your free divorce gift registry and show your friends exactly how to support you.