If you’re faced with two options that offer the same value:
- Choose less over more
- Choose small over big
- Choose simple over complex
- Choose light over heavy
- Choose quiet over loud
- Choose cheap over expensive
- Choose modern over obsolete
- Choose classic over trendy
- Choose standard over custom
- Choose experience over stuff
1. Choose less over more
This is very obvious. If less can do the same, why have more? Less means that you can share the excess to the others.
If you’re satisfied with only one car, why have ten?
If you’re content with only a few pairs of shoes, why have dozens of pairs of shoes?
2. Choose small over big
Have you ever had a wide, thick, bulgy wallet? I used to have one, and it doesn’t feel good carrying it around in my jeans pocket.
I always need to bring it out before sitting so I can sit comfortably.
Now with my SlimFold minimalist wallet, it feels like I don’t have my wallet with me anymore.
Choose short over long, narrow over wide, and thin over thick.
3. Choose simple over complex
Complex and fancy stuff can indeed do…complex and fancy stuff. But in most cases, the average person doesn’t need a flagship phone with all the unnecessary features.
I don’t need a mechanical watch that has to be readjusted every three days. I need a simple quartz watch that can last for years without me taking care of it.
I don’t need fancy widgets, plugins, and features on my websites. I need a clean and simple WordPress blog for my websites.
Assuming the hosting is blazing fast, a clean WordPress installation (without any plugins) is sufficient for my websites.
4. Choose light over heavy
It could mean a lot of things.
A lighter thing is usually more economical. Light things are cheaper to transport, easy to carry, and less likely to break other objects.
Heavy things, on the other hand, are not very economical, takes more effort to carry around, and if it falls to your foot, you won’t like the results.
A light program also saves more energy and doesn’t need a high-performance CPU. It works fine, fast, and gets the job done.
A lot of smartphone apps have their own ‘light’ version, meaning it’s stripped away from all the unnecessary features and only perform the core tasks. If you want to get more productive, try to use these ‘light’ apps.
5. Choose quiet over loud
Some of you might be confused, but if you live in a city in a third world country, especially in a crowded one, you’ll know what it feels like in a traffic jam.
Noise everywhere. Diesel engines, petrol engines, custom mufflers, and in general just too many vehicles jammed in a small area makes me stressed.
There’s no point in having things that produce loud noises unless we’re talking about amps.
It would be nice if all cars are electric since they make far less noise.
6. Choose cheap over expensive
This is very obvious, even to a non-minimalist. Assuming two products can provide the same value to you, always choose the cheaper one.
Cheaper price meaning you’ll save more money. Money that can be used for an emergency fund and buy other valuables (that you need).
Cheaper things are also usually cheaper to maintain. A cheap car maintenance cost would be different from a fancy one.
7. Choose modern over obsolete
In the technology field, small improvements are usually made over time, and the device/software/engine will implement those small improvements with updates.
However, there will be a time when a big major update will replace the whole thing.
Internal combustion engine vs. electric engine, Symbian vs. Android, Windows 7 vs. Windows 10, and WordPress Classic Editor vs Gutenberg.
Those are just a few examples of the classic, proven, tested, industry-standard stuff getting replaced by the newer things that can do more stuff.
You don’t want to buy a phone with a dying, unsupported OS just for you to buy another phone again in 6 months because the old one can’t keep up with the newer apps.
8. Choose classic over trendy
Some of you might think this point contradicts the previous one. But it’s not.
The previous is about moving to a newer one that’s already proven to work better than the old one.
This one is about choosing proven stuff over a merely hyped up and trendy stuff. Things that are heavily marketed as the better version but still haven’t stood the test of time.
This is crucial if you’re choosing fashion items as a minimalist.
Choose the regular fit jeans over the skinny one, dress shoes over those hyped-up sneakers, a plain shirt over overpriced Supreme shirts, and a pair of Converse canvas shoes over those big ass Nike bright neon sneakers.
With these timeless pieces, you will always be good looking and still be good looking ten years from now. See those old cringy photos of your high school yearbook? That’s because teenagers usually wear trendy items over the classic ones.
Trends don’t last forever.
9. Choose standard over custom
For most people, the standard option is enough and can bring satisfaction.
And actually, people design stuff to cater to the needs of the average person. So, it’s very logical why the standard option is most likely to be sufficient.
The standard option is also usually cheaper, easier to use and maintain, and more available than the custom version.
10. Choose experience over stuff
This one is tricky because both are different from one to another.
Buying an object is a very safe option. You buy the product, you get the product. The product is most likely to be your expectation.
With experience, such as traveling, being involved in an activity, or just simply going to a fancy restaurant, is a not safe option. You spend money, but you don’t know what’s the outcome. Will it be positive, or negative?
But my experience tells me that I don’t miss my old games and toys, but I do miss the time I don’t spend hanging out and traveling with my friends.
I don’t talk about my video games collection to people, but I do never get tired of talking about the vacation I took with my friends.
An object might last for years, and vacation only lasts for a few days, but an object is not a part of you, while the memories from the vacation is a part of you. It’s you that experience those things.
Also, choosing a vacation over buying things means less stuff in your possession. Less stuff in possession means less stuff to maintain, clean, and worry about.
These commandments are meant to be a guideline, not exact rules.
If you need the custom vehicles, clothing, or equipment, then go for it.