When we bought our itty bitty camper 5 years ago I was initiated into the joy of simplicity. With no slideouts, just 22 feet long and no oven (oops, I didn’t notice that before purchase) we’re extremely limited in what we can pack. And I found out I loved it. No clutter to clutter up our camper or our minds. What relaxing journeys we have had. I also knew I wanted more simplicity in our lives. I’m in a bit of a conundrum as I’m finding out that it’s a lot of work, dare I say complex thing, to simplify.
Last year we remodeled our master bathroom and laundry room. We wanted a larger shower and I didn't hesitate to give up storage space for it. We decluttered and found room for the basics. We again found it to be a liberating experience to have just this little bit and that each little bit had its own specific storage spot.
A few months later, we remodeled the kitchen and sacrificed counter and cabinet space for an open floor plan. Dear husband was sure I was going to throw out things that had been in his family for generations but found out instead that we had a lot of junk in those cupboards. I love the re-organized cabinets that focused on function over content. There was a bit of transition for dear husband as things were moved and surely, I had hidden them or thrown something out. I now use the “watch it or I’ll rearrange the kitchen cupboards” as one of my favorite threats for a misbehaving husband.
We’ve started tearing down old farm buildings to minimize the upkeep needed. It will take us a few years to get that project done which will then open up some additional maintenance projects to the remaining buildings.
Our gardens are getting smaller. Dear husband has his salsa garden with a few potatoes thrown in. I have my berry garden – raised beds with raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.
In front of my shop, I am doing some container gardening – some heat loving annuals, hardy sedums, a few perennials and things that catch my eye – which explains why the poblano pepper is sharing a pot with the chamomile plant. But in any case, the plants cannot be attention seekers with high care needs.
We have transitioned to be almost 100% online and only plan on doing only one or two local events each year. That has been super hard, as they were so much fun – especially the outdoor events and I still find myself slapping my hand and saying No!
We are simplifying our product line and will no longer be making lotion. Lotion is this wonderfully simple thing to make that requires a lot of prep work for sanitizing the work area and equipment. Lotion making is complicated.
I looked at changing to use a lotion base as a starting point but most bases included ingredients I try to avoid. Also, making things is what we do, so changing the formulation to use a base didn't coincide with our core values.
Replacing lotions in our product line are emulsified scrubs. These scrubs are awesome and have a creamy lotion like feel. (I’m typing this from my camper and have so enjoyed using them after a day in the boat to get rid of the grime and moisturize at the same time.)
The last big change is the branding and how to order our products. We previously introduced Adoration Bath Co. bath products. I tried (can we say complex!) to maintain the two separate product lines (444Farm and Adoration Bath lines) on two separate websites and then one website that had both product lines which was confusing to customers.
For simplicity, 444Farm will continue to make soap and Adoration Bath Co. will sell the soap.
444Farm will not maintain its own online shop, but you can still order the same great soap from adorationbathco.com. Technically, it makes the business more scalable this way too as 444Farm could make soap for other lines, but hush, now. We are not even thinking about that (except on an occasional sleepless night.)
Adoration Bath Co. mission is that each recipient of Adoration Bath Co. soap feels valued and loved. We aim to do this in two ways – each soap is stamped with a “I thank God for you” and we include a free full-sized bar with every order – no minimum order amount! We encourage you to give it away to someone who needs lifting-up, a little grace, or some shouts of joy. (I’m totally ok if that person is you! Sometimes a little self-care is needed too.)
And let’s not forget GusGus, our 444Farm mascot! 444Farm Facebook page will continue for now. Those animals need a voice! 😊 We’ll also let you know of Adoration Bath Co's special sales or new scents at 444Farm facebook page. (But please stop by and like Adoration Bath Co. facebook page and sign up for Adoration Bath Co. newsletter at www.adorationbathco.com)
Simplicity is a Journey
This journey we are on is born out of necessity. I was a crazy lady and was planning out my days with the bare minimum of what I needed to get done each day.
And while math is my friend, these numbers would not add up. There truthfully was not enough hours in the day to do what I needed to do. That opened the door to resentment to activities that were preventing me to get to other activities.
Instead of letting resentment takeover, I took a "do less with less" attitude and I'm exercising the word "No."
We laugh at how much hard work it is to become more simple. We see more big changes on the horizon but the teeter-totter is just about to tip the other way and give me more time in the shop.
What about you? Have you gone on a simplicity journey? What did you find out about yourself?