I think the saying “keep it simple, stupid” or “keep it short and simple” is pretty familiar to us all. According to Wikipedia, the KISS principle is based on the notion that systems work best if they are kept simple and not complicated. Simplicity works best for design. “Keep it simple, stupid” originated with the Navy in 1960 by Kelly Johnson who was the lead engineer for Lockheed. It was a saying that came about so that the jet aircraft they were developing was capable of being repaired by an average mechanic during combat with a handful of tools.
I’ve used the saying around my house many times and try to apply it when making major purchases for our home such as when buying appliances. I’ve learned this lesson more than once. Keep it simple, stupid can help you save money by buying the no-nonsense, no bells and whistles type of appliances or furniture instead of the ones with all the fancy buttons and gadgets.
My last refrigerator and stove I bought (the manufacturer will remain anonymous) is more elegant than the simple models that have been around forever, and I have paid and paid for that. My refrigerator had to be repaired three times. Each and every May (how coincidental) the fan would stop working. After our last complaint, the repairman seemed to repair it properly as we haven’t had a problem for a few years. Touch wood! Fortunately, I complained so extensively about this fridge to the manufacturer, that even though it was no longer covered under our warranty, they did complete the repair with no charge. It seemed quite suspect that the fridge broke down every May without fail.
Our stove was the same problem (same manufacturer). Let’s just say I will never buy this brand of appliance again. The inside of my oven is covered in a blue enamel coating. Shortly after we started using the oven, the blue enamel began to chip and crack. We had to have that stove replaced. Just last year, one of the flat-top burners on the stove wouldn’t turn off. It was a complete fire hazard. When my daughter researched the Internet, we learned that there was a recall for this problem. We ended up having the whole control panel replaced. I really wished when I bought these two appliances that I had kept the KISS principle in mind – keep it simple, stupid.
The KISS principle can be used for most items you buy. It always seems like the items that have been around for a long time are the ones that continue to perform well. Look at refrigerators that our parents owned. I remember my mom and dad had one, I believe it was either a Frigidaire or a Kenmore, that was still being used in my parents’ basement for the longest time to keep extra groceries cold. My sister-in-law also has a very old refrigerator in her garage that has been around forever. They were made to last – no water dispensers or ice makers, no shelves that open up to reveal shelves behind them, no fancy doors, just straightforward craftsmanship that ran for 30 years.
Keep it simple, stupid can apply to all areas of your life but if you are truly trying to save money, you can use this principle before purchasing anything. In researching items for your home, try to think about how the latest gadget will help you, what will the expense be to repair it, what is its typical lifespan, does it truly save you time and improve your life? The newest item is always more alluring but, when you are starting your home, staying with the most reliable may be your best bet. Not only does this principle help you to save money, but it also helps with living more stress free because if your home is not crammed with the latest and greatest, you feel more of a sense of calm and you are able to stay more organized.
If you want to save money, think of the KISS principle before buying the most current gadget. It may just save you a few bucks and your gadget, appliance or furniture may work and last many years longer.