17 Amish Secrets to Make Your Life Easier
For many people, life has become busy, overwhelming and too complicated. With so many responsibilities, commitments and obligations, it may seem challenging to stop and enjoy your life. However, in the midst of all the rushing around, there are some habits and secrets you can implement into daily life to make things easier and more manageable — as well as to avoid feelings of stress and anxiety.
Some of the best and time-tested ways of simplifying life come from Amish traditions. Today many people are growing more interested in the Amish lifestyle as they look to reconnect with a simpler way of life. By embracing and learning about Amish secrets, your can make your life easier in areas like cleaning, housekeeping, health, finances and even overall daily living.
While the Amish lifestyle may seem mysterious or fascinating to outsiders, it is a way of life that can be used as inspiration even in modern living. The Amish lifestyle is entirely based on hard work and simplicity of life for better health, happiness and family values. Gratitude, service and community are at the forefront of their traditional beliefs, and their lifestyle ensures these remain the priority. This is something many families today wish to use in their lives and to instill in their children.
By following certain basic Amish lifestyle practices and tailoring them to your own life, you and your family can benefit from the Amish secrets that make life easier and more efficient.
Some of the most important Amish ways of living include secrets for a clean house and personal health remedies. These secrets also include day-to-to-day living tips from how to save money to how to choose the best furniture polish for maintaining household items.
Here are 17 Amish secrets you can implement to become more efficient and to simplify your lifestyle so you can better appreciate life and be happier:
- Create Your Own Household Cleaning Products
Many household products and even garden herbs have beneficial cleaning properties that have been used in housekeeping for centuries. These natural ingredients clean effectively without the side effects of harmful chemical cleaners. Natural cleaning products made from household items are one of the Amish secrets to a clean house. If you have children or pets, consider reducing the use of or eliminating chemical cleaners altogether and opting for your own homemade versions instead. Items such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice are powerhouses when it comes to cleaning:
- Vinegar diluted in hot water can be used as a streak free window cleaning product. It can also be used to clean stainless steel appliances.
- Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and can help eliminate smells naturally from many areas of the home. It can also be used to get rid of mineral build up in sinks, showers and toilets.
- To add some citrusy-freshness to your home, use lemons. The acid in lemon has natural anti-bacterial properties, so lemon juice can be used on surfaces that house bacteria in the kitchen and bathroom.
- Hang Your Clothes to Dry
Other Amish secrets to a clean house include laundry practices. Instead of using the dryer, hang your clothes outside to dry on a line or a rack. This is especially nice in the summer because it gives clothes a fresh, clean and natural scent.
This can even be done in the wintertime by drying your clothes on a rack indoors. This is a great way to save money on rising utility costs, which increase during the colder months. Hanging your clothes on the line to dry is also better for the clothes themselves. It preserves their quality much longer as the heat from the dryer can break down delicate fabrics over time.
- Grow Your Own Food
One of the most important elements of Amish culture is the ability and commitment to growing their own food. This same principle can be applied in daily life even if you don’t have much time or space. Today there are many gardening systems available to allow families and individuals to grow their own food at home. Even if you live in an apartment or home with no yard, there are many vertical systems and techniques to maximize space for growing food. There are even systems available to allow you to grow your own food indoors near a window.
Growing just a small amount of food makes a big difference in cost savings. The ability to fully or even partially sustain oneself is also an empowering part of embracing Amish tradition.
- Preserve and Can Food Items
One staple of the Amish lifestyle is canning and preserving their own food. This was a tradition even in many non-Amish households just a few decades ago, and it’s making a comeback in modern life, too.
Preserving, canning or dehydrating your own food is a hobby that can also save you time and money. This works especially well for busy families or professionals who need meals or snack items ready to go. Having canned, dehydrated or preserved food in supply is a convenient way to ensure you’re still eating healthy even when you’re busy and constantly on the go. Try canning jams, salsas, sauces and soups. The possibilities are endless when it comes to preserving and canning foods at home.
- Use Natural Fertilizers
Many people today are worried about chemical fertilizers and the damage they can do to the environment and to your personal health. You may be especially worried about the impact of using chemical fertilizers outdoors if you have children or pets since they could come into contact with toxins. You may also be concerned about using chemical fertilizers in your vegetable garden and the risk of consuming these substances.
The Amish are agrarians at their core and grow impressive yields all without or with very limited use of chemical-based fertilizers. If you keep a garden, try using natural fertilizers. Some of the best natural fertilizers include fish fertilizer, compost, egg shells, grass clippings and dozens more. The result is organically grown food that’s safer and healthier for you and your family.
- Buy in Bulk
Many Amish communities purchase their grains and sugars in massive bulk quantities. While this may be a bit excessive for your own family, the principle still applies. Buying in bulk is an excellent way to save money as it can be much cheaper to purchase larger quantities. Additionally, purchasing in bulk reduces the number of trips you need to make to the store, which saves you time and fuel costs.
Depending on the product, buying in bulk can also help reduce the amount of packaging waste consumed each time a new and smaller quantity is purchased. Try purchasing common household items in bulk such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, flour, sugar, coffee and more. The more you make buying in bulk a habit, the more items you will end up finding available in bulk.
- Make Saving a Priority
Finances are a large focus of the Amish way of life. Amish community members never acquire debt and have made saving money a habit to support life planning and emergency survival. Their money consciousness and savviness is also why Amish people are known to be excellent business people.
Though saving money may be difficult for some families, there is always room to cut back, spend less and adjust spending habits. Even by choosing to spend a few dollars less per week, it adds up over time. Compare what you are spending now to what you would spend if you were to eliminate certain regular purchases. You can also choose to purchase less expensive versions of products or simply purchase fewer products of higher quality, which will generally last longer.
Keep this in the forefront of your mind whenever you make a purchase. Be sure to get your children and family involved as well to cultivate this money-saving habit and to hold each other accountable.
- Eliminate Waste
One of the easiest ways to save money is to reduce or eliminate waste as much as possible. In the Amish culture, it’s important to find creative ways to reuse and repurpose items from furniture and clothing to food and household goods.
This resourcefulness can prove incredibly important in actually improving your quality of life. While you don’t want your house to become cluttered by saving everything (like every single glass jar, for instance), the more you can repurpose items and produce less waste, the more you can save by not having to purchase something new again.
It’s also an excellent way to cultivate the mindset of gratitude in your family. By reducing the amount of waste you create, you become more grateful for each item you have and see ways it can serve a new purpose.
- Repair Items Instead of Buying New
Along the same lines as eliminating and reducing household waste, the Amish have learned repair skills that they pass on to the next generations. Whenever anything breaks or wears out in an Amish home, it is often mended or repaired as opposed to simply being tossed out and replaced.
Sometimes, it does require creativity and resourcefulness to determine the best way to repair and restore an item. However, fixing it not only saves you from having to make the investment in a new item, but it also teaches you valuable life skills and appreciation for what you have.
In your own home, there are literally countless items that can be repaired instead of newly purchased. Clothing, blankets, dishes, appliances and more can be expensive if you have to purchase them anew. However, they can also be easy to fix if you know what to do. Today there are thousands of tutorials and how-to’s available online in articles and video formats that can teach you how to fix a variety household items.
- Determine the Difference Between Need and Want
Another fundamental value the Amish teach their children is to determine the difference between want and need when it comes to making a purchase. They consider the item before making the purchase in terms of whether it will add value to their lives in some capacity.
The same can be applied to your own life, even when choosing items as basic as food products. You can ask yourself if you need the name brand food or if you want the name brand food — and what the difference is between the two. If the name brand is higher quality and will make you healthier, then this is a justifiable purchase.
You can also look at bigger ticket items like cars, large homes, expensive vacations and more. You may want a luxury car, but what you really need is a reliable vehicle. Approaching purchases this way helps put into perspective your needs versus your wants. Over time, these decisions can lead to a much better financial situation for your family.
- Invest in High-Quality Goods
The Amish are known for producing high-quality goods, especially furniture. By investing in items such as high-quality furniture one time, you’ll never have to buy new furniture again. This could save you thousands of dollars over the course of your own lifetime — as well as your children’s lifetime.
Instead of purchasing cheaply-made furniture items, invest in pieces for your living room, for instance, that are crafted from solid wood and will never need to be replaced. This is largely why antique furniture is so valuable — it was built to last.
By learning to invest in high-quality items like furniture and fabrics, you’ll spend less money on replacing them in the future. Additionally, you won’t have to go through the decision-making process again and again which can be lengthy and time-consuming.
Purchasing high-quality items also comes with the responsibility of maintaining and caring for them. If purchasing high-end and solid wood furniture, be sure to select the right type of furniture polish and care products to extend the piece’s longevity. One of the Amish secrets is furniture polish that keeps items well-maintained.
- Use Natural Remedies for Illness and Other Ailments
While the Amish do not totally eschew modern health care, many Amish families choose to use natural health remedies for minor ailments and illnesses. Amish health secrets include natural remedies such as Chinese or ancient traditional medicines that can effectively be used to treat certain mild or minor conditions.
Most of the natural remedies are plant-based through the use of herbs and essential oils. Many plants contain natural antioxidants and anti-inflammation properties. By keeping a number of solutions on hand, you can help to treat a variety of conditions that come up in your household. Aloe vera, for example, has natural soothing and detoxifying properties. Keep an indoor plant like aloe vera on hand to treat mild burns and sunburns.
Ginger and peppermint are also used to help treat mild nausea or stomach aches. Other remedies include Echinacea, oregano, orange and lemon, which can be used to help fight mild colds or sore throats.
- Power Down
Amish tradition strongly upholds the practice of living only with technology that is intended to add value to life rather than cause it to become too materialistically-focused. This includes the rejection of modern electronic devices like cell phones, computers, tablets and more.
Though many people can’t convert their entire lives to living this way, powering down devices is becoming more and more popular with many individuals and families. Many people are now choosing to be “out of service” for one day per week (usually Sundays). This is when they spend time with their families and don’t bring their cell phones and devices with them. Instead, they choose to live without the distraction of technology and focus solely for that day on their interaction with their loved ones.
You can implement something similar in your life by selecting a day or even a half day each week to forgo all devices and communication so you can just be at peace with yourself and your friends or family. By practicing simplifying your life for even just one day per week, you can achieve a greater sense of renewal, focus and mindfulness in your life.
- Go Solar
Amish communities operate without the reliance of grid-tied electricity. The idea is grid-tied electricity would make their way of life too dependent on the non-Amish world, which wouldn’t support their community values. Some Amish communities, however, choose to use alternative sources of power to operate electronic appliances. The Amish may use a variety of gas power, diesel, propane, batteries, compressed air and even solar panels for power.
Solar power is becoming an increasingly popular option for families throughout the world as well. With rising utility costs and a growing concern for sustainable living, many families are partially leaving or completely abandoning grid power and having solar power systems installed for long-term energy independence. In the long-run, this switch to off-the-grid living can save families thousands of dollars and simplify their way of life.
- Shop Local
The Amish tradition places a high value on community-centric living. A large part of this means supporting other businesses and families by purchasing or trading with them for goods and services.
You can implement a similar practice in your family by supporting local businesses instead of online shops or chain stores. There are also a growing number of farmer’s markets, community-supported agriculture programs and small artisan shops that can provide you with your everyday products, including food and clothing.
Supporting local businesses instills greater community values in your family, builds relationships with other community members and can offer many opportunities to simplify your life in general. Local businesses are important aspects of any thriving community and by showing your support, you can keep your community unique and authentic.
- Give Homemade Gifts
Another way to simplify your life, while also adding more joy and meaning, is by giving homemade gifts. When Amish community members give gifts to friends and family, they are usually homemade items. You can implement this as a practice in your family for Christmas and birthdays. Not only will homemade gifts save you money, but they are also more meaningful and thoughtful, and they help develop your creativity and other skills. Homemade gifts help to reduce waste as well, and they are often much more appreciated for their sentimental value.
- Be Grateful
The Amish community has cultivated an entire culture and lifestyle surrounding the value of gratitude. This same philosophy can be intentionally implemented into anyone’s daily life. Gratitude journals are becoming a more popular concept with many people today. Gratitude journals allow each individual to document their life’s journey by writing about daily events and what they’ve learned. It also helps to keep people more focused on their values and what they want to achieve in their lives.
Intentional gratitude helps reduce the stress we face in daily life and helps us create more happiness, joy and compassion for others. It’s also an excellent virtue to share with your children and family.
Amish Living in the Modern World
By drawing inspiration from some of the top Amish health, cleaning and living secrets, you and your family can enjoy the simplicity of Amish living without making major shifts or commitments. We all have room in our lives to make things easier and more efficient while cultivating more gratitude and happiness along the way.
To bring more of the Amish lifestyle into your home, choose high-quality Amish furniture, furniture polish and other products for a simpler life. For more information on high-end Amish furniture and more secrets to the Amish way of life, subscribe to our newsletter.