50 Shades of Beige

This key shouldn’t be necessary.

Simplicity is beautiful. The more responsibilities you have, the more you can appreciate the value of simplicity, because simplicity saves time.

In the spirit of simplicity, I appeal to you. Saturday afternoon I tackled a task that had been on the back burner for a long time. Too long. It was one of those tasks that you consider and say, “Hey, it’s not going anywhere. I’ll get to it.” You know it should be done, but it’s just not as urgent as other tasks. Then something comes up and you wish you had tackled it, because now it’s an even greater annoyance. You know where I’m coming from here. It’s that thing that should be organized, but it’s too time consuming to organize, so you skip it. Then you need to find something in that chaos, and it’s an exercise in continuing frustration.

This particular task involved 28 cans of paint with no identifying labels. The cans were left behind by the prior owner and they waited patiently for attention during the four years I ignored them. Make no mistake…their presence changed my behavior. Four years ago, I became fastidious about labeling paint with the exact date and location of use. I wasn’t going to be part of this problem.

Then last Saturday afternoon, I set out to solve the problem. Armed with my Dollar Tree foam board and disposable brushes, I made this key. As it turned out, eleven of the cans contained dried paint and could be set aside for special disposal. That still left seventeen cans of paint with no useful information except the clear evidence that they had been opened and used.

The next step will be to identify the location in the house where each paint was used. Believe it or not, there are at least three different shades of beige used in three adjoining rooms off the kitchen. They are similar enough to create a perceived match at first glance, and dissimilar enough to exasperate when examined closely.

I leave you with two appeals. First, label your paint. For the love of reason and all that makes sense in the world, if you open a paint can, write some useful information on it for the next poor soul who might follow in your steps. Second, decide on a shade of beige, or gray, or whatever it is. Have the courage to make up your mind. Do if for the sake of simplicity.

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