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He’s got your Hanson CD; she’s got your ratty, old college sweatshirt. You don’t really want these items back, but you certainly don’t want them to keep your once prized possessions! Even if you have a copy of your ex’s house key, you’ve still got to figure out how to get in there and grab your things without them noticing. We’ve all been on the other side of that locked door, whether a devious ex has slammed it in your face or you’ve simply locked yourself out of your apartment again.

Jimmying the door frame, gingerly picking at the lock with a stray bobby pin, trying to unscrew the windows that are designed perfectly for keeping people out—these are all signs of someone who has not prepared for this scenario. Really, you should know enough by now to stash a small tool kit in your trunk, and as someone who’s been locked out numerous times and still has neglected to buy a screwdriver, I can tell you that it’s time to get creative about breaking into locked spaces.

There’s such a small window of opportunity to get your stuff back after a break-up, and since it needs to be done as efficiently as possible, use this guide from The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Dating and Sex to ease you though safely.

How To Steal Your Stuff Back

1. Use a duplicate key to get into her apartment. Tell her you want to meet at a restaurant to talk. Go to her apartment instead. Unlock the door with the copy of her house key that she gave you and gather your belongings while she is waiting for you at the restaurant.

2. Climb the fire escape. Enter through a window. Ensure that your ex is not home at the time.

3. Drill the lock open. Mess up the apartment to create the appearance of a burglary.

4. Tell your ex’s landlord that you want to surprise her. Ask him to let you into the apartment. Explain that you are planning to cook her a romantic dinner for when she gets home from work. Bring roses as a prop.

5. Enlist a third party to stop by for a visit. Give her a duffel bag and a detailed list of your belongings that need to be retrieved while ostensibly on a social visit. Pay this person if necessary.