Updated: Jul 30, 2020
Written by Lauren Pearl
I think we can all agree: life is stressful. And that stress can come at you from all angles. It would be nice if there were a manual for how to have an easy divorce with no stress but there are certain life events that are particularly stress-inducing:
• Death of a loved one
• Loss of a job
• Increase in financial obligations
• Getting married
• Moving into a new home
• Chronic illness or injury
• Mental health and emotional issues (depression, anxiety, anger, grief, guilt, low self-esteem)
Divorce can trigger many other stressors
Divorce is at the top of the list above for a reason. That’s because as stressful as divorce is in and of itself, it usually triggers many of life’s other big stressors. Going through a diy divorce online, or a divorce with expensive attorneys, moving, dealing with changes in your financial situation, all while mourning the death of your marriage. Whoa! That’s far too many big stressors to deal with all by yourself.
Dauntingly difficult. Enormously emotional. It’s enough to overwhelm even the strongest souls. It can stop people in their tracks. It can be paralyzing. And it’s impossible to KNOW exactly how it feels unless you experience it personally.
It’s incredibly scary to not have any idea what your new life is going to look like, or how you’re going to manage it. It’s immensely challenging to figure out where you’re going to live and how you’re going to make your new house a home.
But luckily, you don’t need to figure it all out by yourself. Services like It’s Over Easy and my company, Pearl Concierge Services, are both fantastic resources for you, and will help guide you through this difficult time. The It’s Over Easy community provides a great support system, and I wish it had been available when I divorced years ago.
Asking for help can be the hardest part
Like so many divorces before and after mine, my own divorce was hard. I had four children. I was going through many changes. I had to leave the home where I had raised my kids and find a new one. I had to handle shifting finances. I was really scared. I didn’t know where to turn. It was very hard for me to ask for help. Asking for help felt like weakness. I really could have used more support. But it felt too hard for me to even ask. My fear, worry, and anxiety made it hard to breathe. And, even though I am a naturally organized person, it was hard for me to make a plan. I didn’t know where to start. I was paralyzed.
I needed someone to help me map out my life. Fortunately, I had great legal counsel and a wonderful real estate agent who found me and my kids a new house that was much smaller. But even with this excellent help, I needed someone to be with me in my house and tell me what to keep and what to give away. I was letting go of my life as I knew it, so how could I bear to let go of anything else? And how in the world was I going to leave our home that we all loved so much, and make a new home for my kids and me somewhere else? Cue the panic.
I would have loved help from someone who was empathetic, warm, calming and professional. Someone who would help me construct a plan of action and then carry out some or all of those steps to bring my kids and me into our future home and life. I needed someone calm to hold my hand and take action.
People have always told me I am calm. But during this process, no part of me felt calm at all. It’s hard to be that calming, soothing person for yourself. It’s so much easier to help others.
But bit by bit, I did get through it. Bit by bit, it did get better. Bit by bit, life came together again in a new way. A good way. I tried my best to be that helpful person for myself. I thought, if I was feeling this way, others were most likely feeling the same. There were probably a lot of people needing the same sort of help that I so desperately did.
Life’s stressors helped me create my own business
And so, during my own life transition from married to single, without even realizing it at the time, the seeds for Pearl Concierge Services were planted.
At Pearl Concierge Services, we have had the honor and pleasure of assisting numerous clients going through divorces over the past 10 years. Sometimes we meet them at the beginning of their journey. Sometimes the middle. Sometimes the end. We curate our services for each unique client and their specific needs.
When we arrive at a new client’s home on our first day of working together, usually the very first thing they say to us is, “I’m so sorry about this mess! I’m so embarrassed. My home never looked like this. I didn’t want anyone to see this...” It’s hard to hear our clients say these things, but it’s great to get it out in the open and talk about it from the very beginning.
The 5 steps of moving
At Pearl Concierge Services, we come to you with no judgement. We KNOW change is hard. And we also know that saying “change is hard” is a huge understatement. We are honored to be a part of your journey and to assist you every step of the way with your move.
Here are a few key steps to take when you are moving:
1. Get organized.
2. Donate what you no longer need or what.
3. Pack up everything you do want to keep.
5. Unpack and make your new house a HOME.
How can a concierge service can help you?
At Pearl Concierge Services, we love helping our clients no matter what stage of life they are in.
We assist young couples with every part of their move, from organizing and packing, to actually moving and then unpacking.
We are honored to help pack and downsize our older clients who have lost a spouse or simply feel their house has become too big or too much to maintain.
And then of course, in a category all of its own, is helping our clients who are divorcing, particularly if they’re moving. This circumstance brings about a very special and challenging set of changes all at the same time. Divorce doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It always involves several other BIG stressors all piled up on top of each other. Divorce involves legalities. It often involves moving. It involves letting go and, for many, it involves mourning. It can feel like a death. It is the death of your marriage and, in some ways, the death of your family unit as you knew it.
When it comes to moving, Pearl Concierge Services helps you get organized. We go through your items with you, one by one. We help you decide what to keep, what to donate, and what goes in the trash.
It’s common for humans to hold onto things as a way of attempting to hold onto memories and the way things used to be. Material items come to represent much more than what they are physically.
Ascribing this kind of emotional value to your belongings can be exacerbated by fear and change. Dramatic events often bring on dramatic feelings. But of course, everyone is different. It’s not common, but some of our clients purge. For the most part though, our clients understandably cling to their things. While letting go of a marriage and a version of their life, the very last thing in the world that they want to do is let go of their possessions. Belongings become an anchor. But the truth is, those anchors can weigh us down!
We think we feel better surrounded by our stuff but, in fact, doing this often makes us feel worse, we just don’t realize it. We feel depressed, anxious, anti-social, embarrassed, shameful, and more, but we often don’t realize the connection between those feelings and having TOO MUCH STUFF.
How decluttering can help you move on.
One of the most important philosophies of Feng shui is how clearing away clutter and making space allows energy to flow. Energy flow is an important concept to consider in your home and life. We highly recommend cultivating the proper energy flow for your space, and working within that mindset in all aspects of your life.
An important part of organizing is letting go. In order to effectively do that, it’s important to SEE what you have. We put things that are similar to one another together for you to really see what you have. Often we have no idea just how many vases (or any other item for that matter) we actually have. Organizing by putting all of your vases in one place is key to making informed and realistic decisions about what you’re keeping and what you’re not.
We help you decide what to donate. We are BIG on donating. It’s a win-win! Something you don’t use or want anymore goes to someone who will love it! We help you see just how much your sweater, vase, picture frame, etc. will mean to someone else. Though the recipient of your generosity won’t know you, they’ll thank you.
And then, finally, we pack you up! This includes every room of the house, even the garage.
No matter your age, it’s ok to get help.
We work with clients of many different ages, all going through a range of life circumstances. Some don’t have children, some have grown children, and some even have grandchildren. We love helping our clients at any stage of their lives.
Many of our clients have young children who are now going to be living in two homes. We get them unpacked and settled into their new homes in a way that simplifies the back and forth that is going to become part of their routine. The more organized we get our clients, the smoother the transition is. We ask, “What are the essentials your children need?” Then whenever possible, we make sure they have those things in both homes.
We pack your belongings in an organized way to optimize the moving process. We move you using our fantastic Pearl Concierge Services team members. We load up the truck and get your belongings safely to your new house and new beginning.
We unpack you. If I had a favorite thing, I think this is it! It’s a wonderful feeling to help get our clients unpacked and settled in. It’s a tangible turning point when our clients visibly relax. I love to hear, “There’s a weight off my shoulders. I feel like I can breathe again.” or, “I’ve been looking for that for years!” It’s incredibly meaningful to us when we have the opportunity to help make their new house a home. It’s priceless.
Don’t worry: there is hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We do adjust to our new lives. Life starts anew. All of the cliches are actually true. All of us have a chance at a fresh start. And that’s good. We can make it good. And there are people out there who can help you. You may not know them yet, but they’re just a call or a text or an email away.
Please consider Pearl Concierge Services to be one of your resources to help you through this. My team and I are always honored to be of assistance.