Despite the nearly infinite torrent of new goods and designs released every year some things never change. You can greatly simplify your life and cut down on the clutter from the kitchen to the bedroom to the garage by choosing classic designs.
At the home-centred blog Small Notebook they use their kitchen to illustrate how despite trying out a variety of “new” things they ultimately settle on using older and time-tested tools and methods for getting things done around their kitchen. The begin by sharing how they ditched one specialised piece of kitchen equipment for a more practical one:
In Mark Bittman’s cookbook How to Cook Everything, he says the best way to stir fry is to use a flat-bottomed cast iron skillet. “Though woks are marketed as the ideal pans for stir-frying, this is only the case if you have a special stove-top burner for accommodating a wok, which almost no one does.”
When I read that, I remembered how I gave away my wok months earlier. It had never worked well on my electric stove, because it could never get hot enough, and I knew to me it wasn’t worth the disproportional amount of space it took up in my small kitchen. The next time we had stir-fry (made in the skillet) the results were so superior I had no regrets.
They follow up with numerous kitchen examples but I can think of even more example from outside of the kitchen. For years I shaved with whatever premium semi-disposable razor was on the market, usually some variation of the Mach3. I never really enjoyed shaving, I spent lots and lots of money on little plastic cartridges that seemed to only shave well for a day or two at best — we grow beards like steel cable ’round here — and the razor itself simply never felt right in my hand. I was spending a lot of money to do something every day I didn’t enjoy one bit.
I finally switched to using a safety razor — the old-school razor that dominated the shaving market between the heyday of the straight razor and before the advent of the disposable plastic ones we use today. I’ve been shaving with it ever since — stored in a glass of mineral oil to lengthen the life of the blade — and I’ve never been happier shaving. It shaves better, I never get razor burn or any other shaving-related issues like I used to, supplies cost me less than 25 cents a month, and I love shaving every morning. All it took to reap those kind of benefits was to ditch the current way of doing things and start using a classic tool. The razor I use everyday was first made in the 1920s and the design hasn’t changed a single bit since then. Despite the hype and the push of Madison Avenue the classic — and almost always cheaper, simpler and easier to maintain! — design is often the best.
Have a story of how you ditched something from the current crop of consumer offerings to start using a classic design from generations past? Let’s hear about it in the comments.