Myth: you are either a minimalist or a maximalist

Myth: you are either a minimalist or a maximalist

Myth: you are either a minimalist or a maximalist

Reality: nope.

You are not born one or the other - how many possessions you prefer to have is not a binary and permanent state. Your desire for and comfort level with your quantity of “stuff” can change throughout your life. It’s just a preference and as we know, preferences can change (except Apple vs Android, that does appear to be a fixed mindset).

Regarding the general concept of minimalism, there are many reasons that you might choose to live on the minimal end of the scale:  

  • Altruistic reasons (it’s wrong to have so much when some have so little)
  • Current living quarters (van life sounded like fun at the time)
  • The cult says I have to (I really hope this isn’t your reason)
  • Personal aesthetic style (sparse surroundings create peaceful vibes for you)
  • Etc.

However, owning and being surrounded by ALL the things can be equally gratifying and fulfilling and you should never have to justify your preferences, regardless of which mode is in style. 

Also, your preferences can move all over the dial throughout your life.

My own example:

I currently have a small-ish to medium amount of possessions. However, that wasn’t always the case. 

When we bought our first home many years ago, it was an old two-story house built in the Victorian style. Having been raised by O.G. minimalists in a two bedroom ranch house, both the style and the space of this Victorian house completely captivated me - so many rooms, such high ceilings, what intricate woodwork!. 

Around the same time, one of my best friends and I discovered the world of dusty, musty antique stores (much to the horror of our children who were dragged along on many treasure hunts) where we could furnish our homes for a lot less than buying new at Crate & Barrel.


Victorian house + newly discovered passion for antique stores = a lot of colored glassware, decorative steamer trunks dramatically draped with silk piano scarves, fussy tea cups (why? I don’t even drink tea), claw footed dark wood furniture, vintage linens, swirly, twirly wallpaper and I could go on…but I shall stop as I realize I am describing the house from the movie Psycho. 😬

We then began what turned out to be a series of house moves which meant frequent boxing, moving, storing, and unboxing of our belongings. Although house #1 had taken on a distinct Downton Abbey vibe, I did not, in fact, have a valet to do this work so had to make a lot of decisions about what to take and what to say goodbye to. 

I like where I am right now with my medium sized home and my medium amount of things but tomorrow I might discover a passion for creepy old dolls and pack them into every room in my home (no need for a guest room anymore, scary dolls = no guests). Or I could become one of those people who live on cruise ships year round and divest myself of nearly all my belongings.

Your current life scenario does not dictate if you are a minimalist or a maximalist, you can be either one or an in-betweenist, you can be one way today and another tomorrow - that’s for you to decide.* 

*apologies and credit to Dr Seuss, definitely influenced the language of this last paragraph

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