How To Tell If You’re A Minimalist Or A Maximalist

Who Are You?

The personal identity of people today is in crisis the world over, and especially in first-world countries. As a country becomes more affluent, greater opportunity actually ends up producing different pressures which can erode identity. People begin to identify themselves by what they spend their money on, which is not a very good metric of personal identity.

That said, it is common. People define themselves by the movies they like, by the music they listen to, by the cars they drive, by the homes they live in, by the neighborhoods that are theirs, and by the family surrounding them. Except for family, none of these things purely contribute to identity. You’re not a vampire because you like vampire movies!

What this means is whether you buy things in a “minimalist” way, or a “maximalist” way, your identity still exists apart from purchasing decisions. However, which of these two categories defines you can help give you some clue as to the things you truly value. This writing will take a brief look at what defines minimalism, maximalism, and where there may be some level of crossover.

The Minimalists

A minimalist is going to decorate at the bare minimum. Instead of filling every blank space with pictures, the minimalist might have one bouquet of flowers attached to the wall, or one picture. Instead of lavish furniture, a minimalist is apt to acquire only that which is necessary for their needs.

Now some minimalists are in this mode of decoration and life owing to personal finances. Others just want to reduce the complication of managing assets. The more you own, the more responsibility you must take in managing your possessions—eventually they can come to own you! Many minimalists love to travel, and restrict possessions as a means of expanding personal freedom.

The Maximalists

A maximalist is going to fill every nook and cranny in their home with pictures, decorations, paintings, memorabilia, furniture, and the like. Pianos, busts of animals, chandeliers—you name it, it will be sought and installed in a home. The maximalist is more interested in continually acquiring things—“maxing” their situation out, as it were.

A maximalist may have some deep love for that which they’ve purchased, and even tie up some of their identity with it. While the minimalist conforms their identity to their level of flexibility, the maximalist identifies with the fine things they’ve accumulated over time. They may even use certain furniture items like a sink to “make a statement”.


Sometimes you can find certain things which meet the needs of the maximalist and the minimalist simultaneously. A maximalist isn’t necessarily seeking the most expensive options available. They’re seeking that with which they have the greatest personal identity. So a cabinet that looks good, but is cost-effective and conserves space, will meet the needs of the maximalist and minimalist equally.

Today’s options in terms of furniture have pieces of this kind. Have you heard of RTA, or Ready To Assemble, furniture? In many cases you can commission it exactly, have it shipped to you, assemble it on-site, and in the end come away with furniture that’s better than you would have been able to find pre-assembled to begin with.

Sourcing RTA kitchen cabinets manufactured by The RTA Cabinets can give you the greatest solution in terms of cabinetry for the least expense; it’s a cumulative win-win.

For the maximalist, fine aesthetic and quality are achieved while money is saved. For the minimalist, necessity is fulfilled with an option not nearly so opulent as pre-assembled furniture. Either way, something like a remodel can truly reflect your personality; whether minimalist or maximalist.

Learning To Define Yourself Apart From “Things”

Something both minimalist and maximalists would do well to remember is that regardless of feelings, having things or not having them does not make you as a person more or less individual. Who you are has nothing to do with possession. It’s bound more in thought.

So whatever you do, find things which help get your thoughts aligned the right way, as such action will represent the best way to fully mature your identity. If that means filling your living space such that every square inch is accounted for, then do so. If it means reducing your possessions for greatest autonomy, do that. But feed your mind.

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