Kelly Q. Anderson

Minimalist vs. Maximalist: Which one are you?

A friend recently made a fascinating observation about me after she saw photos of my living room (don’t worry, that is not my living room pictured above).

She said, “You live like such a minimalist…yet you dress like such a maximalist!”

I had never heard myself described in such a way, yet it made total sense. I’m hyper-aware of my minimalist tendencies when it comes to my home. I’m organized and I do not like clutter- I really leaned into this when I had children because I noticed that my mood was neatly tied to my environment. A simple space had a calming effect on me. When there is a newborn baby rocking your world, calm is a welcomed respite!

What minimalist home life looks like: I donate to Goodwill a LOT (nearly weekly). I sell off old baby things. I pass along hand-me-downs. I don’t keep anything on the off chance that I *might* need it. This is a very freeing notion for me even though it takes a lot of effort. I also approach my home on a micro level- what small change can I make? New carpet in a room? A gallery wall? Basket organizers for a shelf? Often those small changes clean up the aesthetic of a room.

Resources that I found to be of value: The Minimalists documentary, Real Simple (website, cookbook, articles), Marie Kondo, Emily Ley’s declutter challenge, and an assortment of personal reflections (my mood swings, productivity, etc..).

What dressing like a maximalist looks like: I only buy what I need but I wear a lot of layers (I’m always freezing cold). I pass on fast fashion and mostly steer clear of trends. I buy sparingly but pay close attention to high-quality details: is the item made in Italy? Is the fabric enduring? Can I see myself loving it for years? I like big sunglasses, ponchos, hi-tops, loafers, and bright lipstick (I’ve always liked these things but again, having kids took this to another level because wearing these items could mask my sleep-deprivation and also, I needed comfortable flat shoes).

A fun trick I like to do: when I find myself tempted to buy something new, I challenge myself to wear something in my closet in a way that I’ve never done before (it’s like my own bizarre form of Project Runway but I swear it works). I put a button down over a dress; throw on a summer skirt with black tights and a black turtleneck, or search for apparel-specific ideas on Pinterest (try looking up ‘styling a Chambray shirt’).

So what do you think? Are you a minimalist home/ maximalist dresser? The opposite? Minimalist across the board? I’m curious. Let me know!

P.S. For fun, check out this maximalist apartment– absolutely lovely and joyful!

Image via Commercial Interior Design

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: