Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Stacy Averette

I’m not a minimalist. I’m not a hoarder either although I suppose that depends on your definition of the word. I have a lot of stuff but it’s fairly organized and neatly arranged and for the most part, I can find what I’m looking for when I need it. There’s a method to my madness.

I am a minimalist when it comes to a few things:

  • Cleaning supplies—haha—How much do you really need?
  • Bed linens—1 set per bed plus a few extra pretty pillowcases.
  • Beauty supplies and makeup—I have the bare necessities.

Not a Minimalist. Not Sorry.

I read a post about minimalism recently and it made me think about my own life and why I reject minimalism as a way of life. I thought it would be fun to share some of my maximalist ways. I wonder if you can relate to any of these?

  1. In the kitchen

I have a small kitchen. Not HGTV “small”. I’m talking really, really small (and old) with almost no counter space, cabinets, and drawers. I don’t have room for gadgets and gizmos and time-saving devices. However, I love my kitchen and I love to cook for my grown-up kids when they visit so I’ve kept more pots and pans and baking dishes and serving dishes that our empty nest life needs in this season. I like being prepared when they visit!

I have two sets of dishes—a set of thrifted vintage Star Glow dishes that we use often and my mother’s antique gold Fiesta ware. I love them both and use them often!

Oh! And coffee cups. I have quite the collection (all thrifted of course). Coffee drinking is a hobby at our house and I like to have a coffee cup to match my mood!

  1. With Home Décor

So this is where I might tend to accumulate stuff. But I accumulate stuff I love to make our home a beautiful cozy haven that reflects who we are and what we love. I like home décor but I’m also very particular. My home is filled with vintage treasures and antiques and 99.9% of it is thrifted or second-hand. I love old stuff with a story even if I don’t know the story! Our walls hold vintage photos, oil paintings, prints, and any other quirky thing I can hang. In my defense, I often gift items to friends and family that I know they’ll love so I can make room for more treasures that I find on my thrifting adventures.

My car hasn’t seen the inside of my garage in over a decade because it’s one of the places I store home décor that hasn’t found its special place yet. I redecorrange a lot, move items from room to room, archive some things, and bring in “new” pieces to add interest. I love to piddle and phroof my home!

We have no doubt that we found just the right home for our family at just the right time and we see it as a gift from God to be loved and cherished for His glory.

  1. My Clothing

There was a time when all of our clothes—winter and summer—were in our small walk-in closet. With a house full of growing kids we made do with what we had. Oh, how times have changed!

You will never hear me talking about my “capsule wardrobe”. (Eric might have a capsule wardrobe because that’s what he loves but it’s not for me.)

Before I say more about my clothing, let me say this: pretty much every single thing I wear is thrifted. I often hear, “Do not tell me you found that at the thrift store!” But it’s true! There’s so much good stuff at the thrift store. I know many people cringe at the thought of wearing second-hand clothing but it doesn’t bother me at all! I feel happy when I’m wearing something I love and I know that I paid very little for it. It’s a win-win for me.

I love clothes! Clothing is one of the ways I express my creativity and fun side so I like to have lots of different items to mix and match. These days my closet is packed and I even have a few things in the guest bedroom closet. (I also have a box full of beloved clothing that’s too small but that’s another post for another day!)

  1. My Shoes

My mother and grandmother loved shoes despite the fact that they usually wore the same pair every day. But when mama got dressed up she had the shoes to match! What a fun memory of her! So basically I’m blaming my love of shoes on my mother and grandmother!

I don’t think I have as many shoes as some people I know but I definitely have more shoes than I need. Here’s the problem with my shoes. I have lots of high heels—the 70’s-hippie-platform-version—but I don’t have a high heel kind of life. Most of those shoes are on the top shelf of my closet in clear boxes so I can look at them with heart-eyes as I slip on my old faithful Birkenstocks and dash out the door. I also have a newly acquired pair of black Dr. Marten’s boots that Eric bought me this year for my 55th birthday. I’ve wanted a pair since we lived in New Orleans thirty years ago. I love them so much and wear them often with skirts and dresses.

Like my mother and grandmother, I have lots of shoes and still, I wear the same pair almost every day. I save the high heels for church and date night!

  1. My Jewelry

Coco Chanel was once asked about the single piece of fashion advice she would give ladies. She replied: “On your way out the door, stop and look in the mirror. Then take one thing off.”

Clearly, I don’t take fashion advice from Coco Chanel!

Long earrings, long necklaces, and rings, I love them all and I pile them on! My jewelry is thrifted or gifted and I treasure every piece. Sometimes I even gather little trinkets that I find at estate sales and thrift stores and make my own unique necklaces. It’s just another way to be creative.

I made the necklace I’m wearing below using thrifted beads, an antique drawer pull, and an Eiffel Tower souvenir.

vintage pickin, old lace, tulle skirts

  1. Furniture

I collect chairs. Seriously, no one will ever have to sit on the floor in my home unless they choose to. I have a weakness for vintage tufted velvet and at last count, I have nine of them! My favorites are the ones in my dining room or what used to be a proper dining room with a dining table. Now it has a DIY round coffee table with four vintage, tufted, dusty rose, velvet chairs around it. We fondly refer to it as the coffee lounge. I told you coffee drinking is a hobby at my house.

Side tables and lamps are in plentiful supply at my house, too. We have lots of comfy chairs with a side table and lamp perfect for sipping coffee and reading a good book!

  1. Gardening

One can never have too many ferns or rose bushes or rosemary plants or blueberry bushes or hydrangeas. I’m a collector of bushes and shrubs and flowers. We used to have a yard full of playful kids and dogs so gardening wasn’t practical. I hated to spend time and money on something that was likely to get trampled by the herd.

This is usually what my feet look like after a day of yardwork!

Our yard is now brimming with shrubs and bushes and flowers. Pam at Everyday Living has a beautiful outdoor garden that has inspired me. I enjoy her Monday Morning Blooms and tablescapes posts. Click here to visit her blog here and see for yourself!

  1. Creativity

For years I was happy to have a corner in the playroom and some space on a shelf to store my minimal craft supplies. We homeschooled for many years and used a large room downstairs with good natural light. Now I’ve claimed that space as my own studio to write and create and play. I’ve happily decluttered a lot of supplies over the years but I have everything I need for a quick craft project. I’ve found creativity to be a healthy prescription on bad days.

  1. Words

If you’re still reading this long post, then you already know that I’m not a minimalist when it comes to words. I’m a talker. I have lots of words.

I love words but not just any words. I hate small talk almost as much as I hate an uncomfortable pair of shoes. I much prefer a meaningful conversation (that may begin with a little small talk) so I get to know you better.

And of course, I love writing. I’ve been expressing myself on a page for as long as I can remember. I have two drawers full of journals and notes dating back to high school.

Frederick Buechner said, “There are always some who have to set it down in black and white.”

I’m one of those people. I’m unapologetic about having to write it down!

So What’s The Point?

Why have I written a long post about my lack of minimalism? There is a point actually and this is it: Minimalism seems to be one of the new forms of virtue signaling.

(My definition of virtue signaling: moral grandstanding intended to make oneself feel superior and others feel inferior).

Let me say that I don’t think that everyone who embraces minimalism is virtue signaling. Some genuinely need and want to practice minimalism. I can certainly appreciate so much about minimalism.

But minimalism isn’t for everyone.

I believe we are to be good stewards of what we have but I don’t think I’m a bad person for not being a minimalist. As a family, we are frugal and also very generous with our time, talent, and resources.

We live in an age of decluttering. I love to declutter and get rid of things I no longer need or want but less isn’t always more! Sometimes less is actually less. I read an excellent post by Sallie Borrink this week called “Why I Reject Minimalism and Embrace my Cozy Living History”. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from her post:

A vocal portion of our culture seems obsessed with making everyone the same. In trying to make everyone the same, we lose the individual quirks, histories, and more that make us such interesting people.

My parents weren’t minimalists by any stretch of the imagination. My mom loved shoes and my dad loved tools! They thoroughly enjoyed their God-given lives and were a great example of stewardship and generosity. On more than one occasion I asked my dad about a tool or gadget or machine. He’d say, “You know, I loaned that to somebody but I can’t remember who. Oh well.” They owned a lot of stuff but it didn’t own them! My grandparents (my mom’s parents) were the same way. They had a modest house and several barns full of stuff but they wouldn’t hesitate to share it or give it away if it was needed.

Dear friend, in this age of decluttering and minimalist living, don’t let anyone boss you around about the stuff you love. If you want to simplify and declutter do it. But don’t be guilted into getting rid of stuff you love! Sometimes I think about what my kids will have to deal with when we’ve moved on to our heavenly home. I know from experience that it’s a lot of work to deal with mamma and daddy’s stuff.

But let me tell you, I learned so much about my grandparents and my parents while going through their earthly treasures. We laughed and cried as we rummaged through the bits and pieces of their lives. I’m glad they didn’t get rid of everything because I would’ve missed so much.

I’m not a minimalist. I’m a mindful maximalist. I don’t acquire more stuff just for the sake of acquiring more stuff. Stuff can never satisfy our deepest need—only Jesus can do that! But I do believe He has given me a love for cooking, decorating my home, wearing fun clothes, planting flowers, and writing words. I strive to do all these things with thanksgiving and praise to Him.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

How about you? Are you a minimalist or a mindful maximalist? I’d love to know!

4 thoughts on “I’m Not a Minimalist”

  1. Hi Stacy – I loved this post and your insightful thoughts on not being a minimalist. As you know, I am a minimalist now, but in my earlier years I was a ‘mindful maximalist’ as you so rightly described it. We have 5 grown children, so as they were growing up there was simply a need for more stuff. Now that we are empty nesters, I slowly transitioned over to a minimalist home. It seemed the more that I gave away, donated or tossed things – the lighter I felt – mentally and physically. It is not to say that minimalism is for everyone, just that in this stage of my life, it works for me. Each of us have our own unique personalities and that is a beautiful thing. This world would be awful boring if we were all the same. All my best, Suzanne.

    1. Well said, Suzanne! What a blessing to be able to appreciate and adapt to different seasons of life! I’ve learned so much from the minimalists I follow and find the philosophy helpful in many ways. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your uniquely beautiful personality!

  2. A mindful maximalist and a bit of a hoarder when it comes to art supplies. I am at that point in life where I tend to define a house as what is in a design magazine and a home as a reflection of the people who live there. Love your writings.

    1. Dearest Sara, I think hoarding art supplies is totally acceptable! And this: “a house as what is in a design magazine and a home as a reflection of the people who live there.” What a perfectly lovely definition! Thank you, friend!

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