My Oversimplification Mistake!

Before I got married, I was living with my family in a nice apartment in Heliopolis, Cairo.

After marriage, I bought a house in Mokattam, Cairo where I lived with my wife for almost 5 years.

A couple of months ago, we relocated to a new house in First Settlement, New Cairo, to be close to my daughter’s school. You know when you have kids, they set the rules :)

For every house I had a set of keys. My keychain was getting bigger with total of 8 keys.

I thought I need to simplify my keychain, so I split it into two sets. One for my family and old house (5 keys) and the other for my new house (3 keys).

Today, I use my old house as my home-office.

In the morning, I took my car and headed to my home-office as usual. It takes around 45 minutes from my new house to the old one. When I arrived there, I realized that I took the new house keys, instead of the old one’s!!

I was mad on me! I couldn’t believe I did this silly mistake.

I had no choice but to go back to bring the right keys … shame on me :(

That’s a 90 minute total waste of time and effort!



I believe this is an oversimplification issue

Sometimes you get addicted to simplicity that you oversimplify things … this may cause a lot of problems.

When you have items that have the same purpose, you should compile them into one functional item. I shouldn’t have split my keychain into two. By the end of the day, moving around with 8 keys in a nice keychain is no big deal.

But it was oversimplifying that caused me all that trouble.

Lesson learned today …


Do it the Midway :)

I would love to hear from you if you had a similar trouble with oversimplifying … please share your story in the comments below …


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24 Responses to My Oversimplification Mistake!

  1. Willow December 11, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    My most recent oversimplification mistake was during a move/renovation I had to store clothing. Unexpectedly I went on a trip and needed the warm sweaters which were packed and inaccessible. I wish I’d saved out even one sweater.

  2. tohami December 11, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

    Interesting Willow… Sometimes we don’t have to pack everything. We should anticipate future needs.

  3. Barbara K December 11, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

    I don’t understand why you have multiple keys for each house. If you spend a little bit of money (less than $600 total), you can have the locks re-keyed. Then you’ll have one key for each house! Or you could even have all three houses keyed the same, so you’ll just have one key total!!! (You don’t need to have the door knobs and bolts replaced, only re-keyed, which a competent locksmith should be able to do.) That’s not oversimplification, it smart simplification. Best to you.

    • Mohamed Tohami December 13, 2014 at 11:14 am #

      This is a brilliant simple idea! I’ve never thought about it before. Thanks Barbara :)

  4. Karen December 11, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    I would have changed the locks for the doors in the houses so that I only needed 2 keys for each house. That way I would only be carrying 4 house keys on the one key ring at any one time rather than eight. And I would have colour-coded the keys so that one colour belonged to one house and the other colour belonged to the second house. I would then attach them to the car keys, and that way I would only ever have to pick up one set of keys when I left the house. No thinking required.

  5. Christy King December 11, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

    My husband used to do that sort of thing with his keys too, and after a few times of not having the right key decided that carrying them all wasn’t such an inconvenience after all.

  6. Lisa December 12, 2014 at 1:49 am #

    Maybe you should sell the old house and simplify completely. Just saying…

    • Mohamed Tohami December 13, 2014 at 11:16 am #

      That’s an option. But I currently use it as a home office. There are two kids in the new house, so you can imagine how difficult it is to focus :)

  7. BazW December 12, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

    I have split bunches of keys and occasionally foul up, I call that a memory failure – but then I’m old and have an excuse!

    • Mohamed Tohami December 13, 2014 at 11:17 am #

      So, you may need to have them all in one keychain :)

  8. Barbara K December 13, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    So what are you going to do?

    • Mohamed Tohami December 15, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

      I will search for a locksmith who can do this … meanwhile I am moving around with one keychain with all keys. So far, It’s no big deal

  9. Berry December 14, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

    How about carrying only one key for each house, one that could get you in the door, and leaving all the other keys for each house in a safe, hidden area in the house itself?

    • Mohamed Tohami December 15, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

      I need two keys to get in the door. One for the main gate and one for the apartment.

  10. Jean December 14, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    I gave away several special-occasion items, only to find myself buying a serving bowl this weekend because I had nothing elegant enough for a dinner party. I’ll be using it three more times before February, so it’s sensible to own it. (Particularly since I have space to spare in the kitchen shelves.)

    • Mohamed Tohami December 15, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

      Thanks Jean for sharing your experience. I think you made the right decision. As long as it is easy to store and maintain and it is useful, then you should keep it.

  11. Sigal December 15, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

    I usually pack for my husband and always pack an hour xtra pair of pants. For his most recent trip he packed for himself, and true to our belief in minimalism packed only one extra shirt and a change of underwear, for a short trip. Sure enough, he tripped and ripped his pants and has to purchase a new pair for his meeting, sometimes packing something. Just in case is the right thing to do.

  12. Carollida February 20, 2015 at 4:32 am #

    I agree on not over simplifying. I think the biggest issue I run into is not enjoying long amounts of work or long amounts of complicated work. I find I am getting a bit more frustrated with complicated things that I see could be simplified.

  13. Lee March 3, 2015 at 6:25 am #

    I really like this post: it resonates.

    I live in a two-storey house and over-simplified by having two of everything – one for each level. I thought I was making my life easier. But in the end, I was wasting items (cleaning products etc.) because I would forget about the second stash and use one for everything.

    In the end, one is usually enough :)

  14. Brianna April 2, 2015 at 4:08 am #

    I feel for you – 90 minutes of driving due to having the wrong keys sounds like something i would do! :-)

    I have been trying to downsize, purge, simplify for so long it seems hopeless. I live with a dear friend who doesn’t want my things in his house, so i have been renting a storage room for many years to store my things. A few months ago i rented a second bigger room so i could spread my things out into categories, then purge each ruthlessly, then settle back into the smaller room all organized and downsized.

    However, due to the rainy weather and unavailable helpers, i have only had one workday to deal with this project. So i have been paying rent on both rooms for several months and it’s killing me. I have advanced kidney disease and can’t do any heavy lifting, but there just hasn’t been anyone to help me.

    In my attempt to simplify my life i have only complicated it even more!

  15. Nadine February 17, 2016 at 4:11 am #

    I packed for a short vacation on a mountain province and as I always wanted to “travel light”, I ditched bringing thick sweaters, jeans, etc. as they tend to weigh down my luggage. On top of that I also refused to acknowledge it was rainy season so I brought a cardigan, shorts and dresses instead. While I impressed my friends for bringing just a tiny duffel for the trip, I was freezing cold during our stay! I ended buying sweaters from a store there – an unnecessary expense! Something I could’ve avoided had I packed correctly.


  1. My Oversimplification Mistake! | Household Simplicity - December 12, 2014

    […] Mohamed Tohami Before I got married, I was living with my family in a nice apartment in Heliopolis, Cairo. After […]

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