If you have been looking for old-fashioned ways to live a more simple life, then these lessons learned from an Amish visit are a great place to start. Get a unique outlook of a family that lives life a different way and maybe take with you a few tips that you can then use in your own daily life. Simple living is what we love and Simple Living Country Gal, and we hope these tips today will help you to do just that.
Over the years I have lived with Amish neighbors and they have always fascinated me. Their ability to live in the past in a world that is full of the future is astonishing. On one visit I left an Amish farm with a new outlook. And those things I witnessed ended up being lessons that I helped in my own journey to a more simple life.
One evening a few years ago my Hubby and I went to visit an Amish couple about an hour from our home. I just love driving through Amish communities, it takes me back to a time of simplicity and peace. Clothes hanging on the line, plows being pulled by a team of horses, and little Amish children running lunch pails out to the pasture barefoot with not a care in the world.
The way they are able to live such a unique way of life amidst our world of heavy technology is truly inspiring to me. That dedication is not something I see often so when I get to experience it first hand it leaves an impression.
When we arrived at the home we were greeted by a pretty white farmhouse with flowers and plants all around. As we pulled into the long driveway, I noticed a good-sized blueberry patch on the left. It was housed in a sturdy wooden frame that held netting to keep the birds from eating their harvest. I noticed how that patch was neatly manicured and not a single weed could be seen.
It was at that moment I knew I was in for a learning experience.
As we continued down the drive we saw a large greenhouse sitting off to the left. Out came a barefoot Amish woman waving hello to us. Her warm smile and friendly greeting made it feel as if she had been waiting for our arrival all day long. She told us to park back by the barn near to the pasture which was just a few feet from their home. As we got out of the truck, up trotted a young goat with a rather large and intimidating buck directly behind her.
They came right up to the fence to see who we were. You seriously could not have scripted a better greeting.
Out in the pasture, I could see a variety of animals. Large fluffy sheep, horses, and a few more goats grazing around together without a care in the world.
The farmer came out to greet us, again with a warm smile and a firm handshake. He asked if we wanted to see the farm and of course, I immediately said yes. I love to checkout farms and see how folks have their homesteads set up. I am always looking for more efficient ways of doing things with my garden and my livestock. You can tell a lot about a person from their farm.
I also love barns, especially older ones. The character of an old barn is so lovely to me and I enjoy seeing them both inside and out. Most barns are dark and full of clutter and cobwebs. This barn, however, was completely different.
It was pristine.
As my hubby chatted with the man I walked into the barn to look around. The floor was spotless and there wasn’t a cobweb to be found. I have never in all of my life been in such a neat and orderly barn.
Two little goats greeted me as they ate their dinner in a stall that opened to the back pasture. Across from them was a storage stall with tools and supplies all organized and neatly in its place. I noticed a few horseshoes nailed above the door and that just added to its charm.
As I walked around the barn and the pasture outside, I could tell this man loved what he did. As a friend told me once, if you love what you do, you should do it right.
This Amish farmer, in my book, was doing it right.
Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do too, but my barn is cluttered. There are cobwebs EVERYWHERE and piles of things scattered about. The difference between my barn and his barn was (as a stranger I could tell right away) that this man loved his farm and took pride in its tidy and organized appearance. It showed in every inch of that barn and pasture.
And maybe a stranger would know at first look that I love my farm as well, that is if they could get past the clutter, cobwebs, and chaos.
Sadly, we did not go into the house that day, but I know exactly what we would have seen if we had.
A very neat, tidy, and orderly home. Things housed inside of that home would have been bought for a purpose and not on a whim. Pictures and nicknacks would not be everywhere covered in dust and lost in the clutter. Instead, I would have seen a few treasured items showcased to be noticed every day. The Amish are very intentional when they buy or make things and it’s that intention that I believe describes simplicity.
When we left that evening I marveled again at what I saw. Everything was well-kept and neat. I did not see piles of junk stored around the yard or weeds overtaking flower beds or gardens. The barn didn’t have windows full of cobwebs or pastures littered with junk. This couple took care of their things and it showed. Their home looked so welcoming and it really inspired me to do the same at my own home.
I want my home to not only be inviting to others but to ourselves as well. That means getting rid of the excess, storing things in an orderly way, and keeping up with the wear and tear of our property.
Here’s the thing, if we can’t take care of what we have then it’s probably a good sign that we have too much.
Lessons learned from an Amish visit.
I love learning by seeing what others do in their own lives. The tips I am going to share with you today are just that, tips. Take the ones you love and implement them into your own life.
Lesson #1. Buy what you need and only keep what you use.
This might be easier said than done but if you can adopt this one lesson I promise it will make a huge impact on your home and your life. Start by incorporating a shopping list for every category. A few ideas are:
- Cleaning supplies
- Livestock supplies
- Garden supplies
- Equipment supplies and upkeep
- Survival supplies
Use a notebook and title each page a new list. Each time you need something add it to the appropriate list. Whenever you run errands or order supplies refer to your list. Only purchase what you need and nothing more. This will help to stop impulse purchases and, in turn, keep necessary things out of your home.
Lesson #2. Love what you do or don’t do it.
Take a good hard look at the life you have. Do you love what you do? If not, how can you change that? Life is too short to not fill it with things we love. If you are gardening but lost your love for it, then take a break for a year or two and see if that helps. Sometimes reevaluating why you are doing something can be enough to reinvigorate your joy.
Lesson #3. The less you have, the neater you will be.
Oh boy, this is certainly true. It is so much easier to keep a neat home when you have less stuff crammed inside of it. Start today decluttering what you no longer need or use. Try gradual decluttering to make this an easier project that you can do without realizing it.
More Decluttering Resources
- How to Declutter Your Home in Minutes
- Start Decluttering When Feeling Overwhelmed
- 10 Minute Decluttering Tasks
Lesson #4. Chores are easier to complete if you do not have clutter to work around.
Have you ever tried to dust a table that is covered in stuff? Or swept a floor that is filled with bags and boxes? If you have then you know that it is so much easier to work when you have less lying around. This is true in your home, in your barn, in your yard, and in your pasture. Start by removing the trash and see if that makes a dent in what you have. Remember, it is okay to keep things that you know are of value and will be put to use someday. The key here is to store them in an organized way so they are easy to find when you need to get to them.
Lesson #5. It is hard to be content when you are drowning in unnecessary stuff.
Clutter is loud. The site of it can fill your head with guilt and noise. Start today working on cleaning out just one area in your home and see if you prefer it that way. You can start with a shelf in the family room, your kitchen table, or the floor of your car. See if less helps alleviate some of the stress your chaos may be bringing into your life.
Lesson #6. Clutter is noise and when there is too much noise, it is difficult to be content.
Get rid of the necessary so you can bring in more of what you love. Is there a stack of newspapers in your room? Take them to the recycling center and free up space for a reading nook. Now you can enjoy something peaceful and relaxing.
As you may have noticed there is a theme here. The Amish do not own a lot of stuff. Their homes are not filled with clutter and things and because of this, it is easier for them to live a more simplified life.
I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t want to have to work at being calm and content, I want it to come naturally.
Clutter is more than just messy, it is noise. And it’s that noise that can keep us from seeing the joy every day.
After that visit with the Amish, Hubby and I had a long talk. We decided to change our home by cleaning out the excess stuff and cleaning up our barn and property in the hopes it would change us for the better. We were in awe of the simplicity of their property and their mannerisms and we longed for some of that in our own lives.
This was a turning point for us and our family and since then we began to remove the excess and clutter that surrounded us. What was a struggle before was now surprisingly easy because we had our “why”. The reason we wanted to get rid of the excess and clean up what was left. And, the best part? As we simplified and removed all the extra stuff, we have not regretted a single minute.
There are many things about the Amish that I truly admire, and after that visit, I was reminded that how they live is a treasure and one lost in our culture today. From that moment on, we were committed to taking steps every week to get closer to our goal of a more simple life so we would notice what was around us rather than being stuck in what was around us.
The Amish are on to something, and I for one, admire them for that.
I hope you found inspiration in these lessons learned from an Amish visit. Which one was your favorite? Share in the comments below!