Have you ever had the thought that you could be a minimalist, and began wondering what the difference is between being a minimalist and being streamlined means? Or how about what it means to be a maximalist? The following differences can help you decide which lifestyle sounds better suited for you.

A minimalist keeps the basics of items needed to live. Some minimalist are looking to not only live lightly, they are also interested in living financially free – releasing financial burdens by reducing materialistic items, living space, and bills. Some believe in life to be enjoyed as an experience vs enjoying life thru physical items.

A streamlined person keeps the basics of items needed to live, plus items they don’t necessarily need, but enjoy using or really love.

A minimalist could probably pack up ALL their belongings and it will fit in their vehicle. A minimalist can go where the wind blows them in a moment’s notice. They may or may not have furniture to haul, and if they do, they could hook up a trailer or rent a moving van and be gone in one quick trip!

A streamlined person lives comfortably within the space boundaries of their home – no matter what size it may be. There is not a lot of excess stuff filling their lives or home. They aren’t necessarily looking to maximize each storage space and like having extra empty space, and at the very least plenty of wiggle room to access or put things away with ease. A streamlined person has different tolerance levels for how much stuff can be in a space before it disrupts their sense of peace. While some streamlined people have a more bare environment, other streamlined people enjoy a bit more cozy and comfy spaces that are pleasant and primarily clutter free. You’ll usually see or feel more spaciousness than stuff in a streamlined home. However, the main goal of a streamlined person is to have a soothing environment where each of their living zones is super simple, efficient and easy to use. Most of their routines flow smoothly because their systems are functional.

Getting streamlined = purging + spatial arrangement of belongings to create a highly functionable area that is also beautiful.

Like a minimalist, a streamlined person does not tolerate a bunch of extra busy work that lots of belongings require, and instead is very efficient when tackling tasks – at home or work. They are somewhat of a minimalist, but their goal is not to be a minimalist and instead to focus on a nice, calm, productive, spacious environment that is easy to keep up and easy to enjoy – they place high value on getting things done with as much ease as possible instead of working so dang hard because it’s good for their energy and overall health. They don’t need the extra stress that excess stuff adds to their life.

A maximalist is a person who maximizes their space to organize as much as they can into an area. The smaller the space the more requirement there is to maximize the space to its fullest potential – maxing out the space until no more will fit. Of course, maximalists are aiming for functional full spaces too. If you’ve ever seen a retail store’s stock room, you have seen a prime example of a maximalist storage solution. In a home, for example, a bookshelf may be completely full with no wiggle room left over for new books. The book maximalist lets go when they have to make room for new books. Or they will find another space to store the trickle-overs. A maximalist is not necessarily a hoarder, especially if they can function very well in their space, they simply love the things they love, no matter what size the collection, and they will find a perfect home for it. Smart cookies, they are. A maximalist may or may not have a cluttered look – most I’ve met are really neat and organized, with beautiful spaces.

A minimalist and streamlined person are closely related in many aspects, however a streamlined person is also living primarily between the minimalist and maximalist person depending on how large or small their home is – a streamlined person can have some maximalist spaces – yes, some collector loves, like books or marble collector eggs.

A maximalist, as well as a “clutter-y” person can have a hard time making decisions on what goes to free up space. But compared to a minimalist, a streamlined person may have more attachment to things.

A streamlined person learns through practice to let go, let go, let go to reach the goal of living the ahhhh… super easier to use, super easier to clean, super easier to enjoy streamlined lifestyle.

If a space is getting too cramped, harder to keep clean, or just plain disorganized and causing you frustration then you can go from “too much stuff in here” to a streamlined lifestyle or take it further, and become a minimalist. Or maybe, your sweet spot is somewhere in between. Or a mixture of the minimalist, streamlined, or maximalist lifestyles.

We all have different loves, goals and needs that our environment can help us achieve.