I've been preparing for this moment for three years. I knew it would be hard. And I knew I want to do it differently this time.
I hate moving, and a testament to that is the fact that I moved as little as possible in my life time - only a few times. The place I live in now has been my home for 11 years. And it's abundant with storage space for things small and large. I am still yet to determine if this is a blessing or a curse. I am grateful for this home as it enabled me to flourish and live the lifestyle I want - working from home immersing myself in creative projects that give me joy, and enabling me to share my passion and life's precious moments with my family, friends, studio guests and many students who've been an important part of my Canadian journey.
But how do you pack 18 years of such creative and abundant life in only a few months (or weeks, really)? Any perfumista worth her salt knows that this is not an easy task. But if to that you add the logistic complexities of moving overseas; the tedium of packing precious liquid gold in glass bottles, you must know that this is a challenging task both mentally, emotionally and physically.
So for many months (or maybe even 2 years, really), I've been considering how I can do it differently. I've always been one to get overwhelmed with big sorting tasks, especially for so many details. I get easily lost in little details and take forever to tidy up, not to mention pack... Each objects brings so many memories, emotions and requires to make a harsh decisions - discarding it or keeping it, which seems like such a huge, life-changing event. Even if it's about something as small as a button or a perfume sample or a greeting card. And I don't even want to imagine how this would go for sorting through volumes of essential oils and my insanely well-stocked perfume collection...
Like I said before: I knew I would have to tackle things from a different angle. I thought to myself, instead of sorting the items individually, the traditional way, and making piles for "Donation", "Sales", "Trash" and "Keep, Pack & Move" - I would just pick all the things that I absolutely love and want to ship over two oceans and a sea. Everything that goes into the boxes has to be something I will be thrilled to unpack and place in my new home (when they arrive a couple of months later).
I knew I was onto something, but I also knew that it would be hard to remember that all the time while facing many tiny knickknacks and memorabilia from 18 years of life that I'm parting with forever. I'm a sentimental type and you don't even want to imagine how many little things my home (which is also my workplace and my creative space) is burdened with. There is not a single room in the house which does not have something liquid and fragrant roaming around - be it the perfume display in my living room, bottles of essential oils which I use anywhere and everywhere in the house - because I add them to my cleaning products and sometimes even my cooking and baking (however, the only oil that is always in the kitchen is eucalyptus oil, which I use in honey instead of a cough drop); and samples of fragrances I'm about to blog about (which turn up in the oddest of places!), not to mention my den which serves as my designated studio space and where I design, create, produce, bottle, pack, and ship all of my perfumes and products. Essentially, my home is a big lab, and my life is an ongoing olfactory experiment.
So I was absolutely thrilled when I came across the Konmari method and am absolutely grateful to Tamya's teacher who told me about it. I have seen it pop up in various newsfeeds and even ads, so naturally I was skeptical (which I always am about things that are trendy). This method is rather simple - and is essentially exactly like what I had envisioned - keeping only the things I love. But of course the author has years of experience and has many details and stories to tell that keep that vision clear in the mind. Also, it does not really have rules like other tidying methods have. It does not tell you how much is too much or random and elaborate storage methods. It is very intuitive, and is a really great guidance so far in my journey through those 18 years and into the future, to the life I envision for me, my daughter and my little business.
I haven't even really began to tackle the fragrant portion of my possessions. They are going to wait till the end, until I am well practiced in the process of discarding and learn to focus on what I keep, and not cry over the spilled milk of what I had to let go of. But I have already came across some curious things which I know I will have to get rid of - but still have hard time parting with. Such as these hand-painted samples, circa 2003. I can't believe to what lengths of effort I went to prepare my samples... This makes the notion of frequent "free samples request" even more ridiculous. I also found this old tester/demo kit, including the long discontinued Zodiac perfumes and other treasures... They still smell pretty great!
And way before I had my own branding or bottles, I'd clean, polish away old screen-printed logos, and rebrand old minis with hand-painted perfume names, some of which are still among my best sellers. All of these are circa 2001.
This method has a very reasonable progression from the easiest to the hardest - starting with clothes, then books, then miscellaneous and only in the end all the sentimental stuff that is the hardest to let go of. I have only done this for a few days, and most of my week has been devoted to packing. Usually I find this kind of process draining emotionally. Instead, I am feeling excited: about how many boxes that I've packed are actually things I'm going to get rid of (so maybe I will not need to buy more storage boxes after all!); and also about how many wonderful things I decided to keep. My closet is already looking happy and inviting, and that gives me more energy to proceed with this process. Also, I'm feeling quite invincible at the moment. Pack up my house AND business in only 7 weeks to ship it overseas? Of course I can do it!