Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Simple is Better

Why is it we always think we can build a better mouse trap? What I really mean to ask is why do we ditch things that have worked well for years and replace them with things that may offer great promises, but in reality, cause us more work? Usually there's just more to go wrong with the item. 

I use to feel this way about electric windows on cars. Seems that they were always getting stuck in the down position and therefore, more of a hassle than a help. Why not just keep the old roll up version? I bet women had arms with less flab because of cranking them so vigorously. Just think, no need to use weights at the gym! I confess, they've improved these devices and I happily enjoy my electric windows on my vehicle now... as long as they work!

Photo Credit: cwwycoff1

The Shakers were famous for their simplicity and use of simple devices. And it's amazing how beautiful their creations were. Each item was well thought out in terms of dimensions as well as practicality. And why add decorations to a home where every useful item is a work of art in and of itself?

I think that's why I like Martha Stewart's Turkey Hill house so much (and her set for her TV show). Each item is kept simple and yet practical. And organized. And color coordinated. And high quality. And...okay, I'll stop there.

Martha's kitchen at Turkey Hill.
      Photo Credit:

For years, I've hung my broom, swiffer, mop, and other items on this gadget...

I felt very clever for being organized. Until the dust started collecting on it and causing those little rollers not to roll so nicely. So I'd try cleaning them. That helped some, but it was a process that repeated itself regularly. And then there was the fact that a child wouldn't get the item put all the way in the slot correctly. As a result, an item was always falling down. Here it is on a good day...

Not too bad, but you can see the middle blue broom handle starting to fall out. And it's obviously overworked (uhhh... the vacuum hose. Not a good solution). I didn't photograph the bottom near the floor, but so many items so close together and always falling meant the floor was a mess almost 100 percent of the time. 

Then I found this beauty...

Simple, beautiful, and functional. REALLY functional. And did I mention it was sturdy. Those deep hooks are meant for holding things in a serious way. Here's how things looked after installation by my wonderful husband...

And that vacuum hose got a new home as well. I found a similar hook that was an over the door model. However, since I did not want it on a door, I had my husband make a block for it that could be attached to the wall. I still need to paint the plugs that cover the screws, but it seems to be the perfect fit for this item!

I feel a bit more like Martha already. Well, at least more organized. And while these two items may have cost a bit more, I think that in the long run, they're a much better investment. Cheaper is not always better, nor is it more frugal. It's the value for the dollar that makes it a good purchase.

What I find amazing is how a simple change can make an every day task so much easier and pleasant! Just the feel of reaching for a broom that is securely on a hook rather than struggling with a stubborn gadget makes a world of difference. Peace has now entered the pantry!

I really do think simple is better.


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