When it comes to living simply, I believe the Amish may be a tad cluttered.
You might find that hard to believe were you to, oh, say try and close our kitchen junk drawer. Or see the hall closet that should be roped off with yellow caution tape. Yet I sincerely believe less is more.
I am magnetically drawn to the slick magazines touting simple living. Beautiful pictures of organized linen closets, pristine laundry rooms and under-the-sink cleansers arranged by scent, color and height are as intoxicating as orange-scented furniture polish.
I pick up one of the popular magazines that will enable me to create the simple life and immediately drop it. The magazine is so heavy I should be wearing one of those black safety belts the clerks wear in the big box stores before I try to pick it up.
Question: How many pages does it take to explain how to organize your belongings, reduce clutter, and throw away things you never use?
Answer: 314 pages, once a month, 12 months a year.
Rome wasn't decluttered in a day.
Perusing page after page on the art of simple living, I announce to the husband that there are going to be some drastic changes. We are going to streamline our way of living, I tell him. We will eliminate clutter! We will reduce waste! We will organize our dresser drawers!
Without looking up from his newspaper, he dryly says, "Leave my socks alone."
I don't have the heart to tell him this goes beyond socks with holey toes and threadbare heels.
"I'm going to need a few start-up supplies," I announce. "For starters, I'll need magnetic measuring spoons that stick together and take up less space. Trust me, they're an essential."
"And that will make room in the utensil drawer, for what? Three Tic Tacs?"
"No, it will make room for specialty travel dishes enabling me to more simply transport food for pot lucks."
"We don't go to potlucks," he says.
"We will once we begin living simply," I say. "By the way, there may be a few other costs to simplifying."
"I thought living simply meant less, not more," he says.
"In the long run it does, but in order to get to simple, I'm going to need to buy new shelving, plastic crates, wall racks, a collapsible step stool, additional cabinets, drawers that slide, stacking wire shelves, a shelf extender, a drying rack and six cute little metal-framed canvas boxes."
"How much is all this simplicity going to cost?"
"The simple bottom line? A lot."
He sighs and returns to his paper. Some people just aren't as progressive as others.
A short while later the husband asks how the project is coming.
"After considering how to simplify house-cleaning by buying more tile wipes glass wipes, countertop wipes and furniture polish wipes, and studying a tutorial on when to throw away sponges and a chart on different drawer organizers I've simplified things beyond what the magazine editors imagined.
"I tied the organize-your-life magazines together with yellow caution tape and tossed them in the closet. Colorful yet simple."