The Art Of Minimalism And Living With Intention

Picture of a piece of wood  sticking up in the ocean

I am a big fan of the phrase ‘less is more’ and minimalist living in general. I define the Art Of Minimalism And Living With Intention to mean living with what I need in a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing environment.

Principles of minimalism


Being mindful and purposeful in the choices I make, ensuring they align with my values and priorities is what I call simple living. Intentional living plays into my decisions, especially when I think I need or want something.


Striving for a life free of unnecessary complexities, distractions, and clutter is how I live. I have just the amount of material possessions in my living space that I need to be comfortable. I am not sure if my style of owning minimal material things stemmed from being on a budget for most of my life or I just gave buying excess stuff little thought.

What is essential? 

Identifying and prioritizing the essential aspects of your life, while letting go of the non-essential, is living mindfully which goes hand in hand with living minimally. Today I am drawn to surrounding myself with fewer possessions as a lifestyle choice because it adds less clutter.

I personally am not, nor have I ever been, a part of any lifestyle movement. I just find having less stuff has a positive impact on me on a daily basis as well as align with my core values  


I am a natural declutter-er, its seems I am wired this way. I love my physical spaces to reflect a more minimalist lifestyle because it is who I am. For one thing I find physical clutter very distracting. I would like to think I take a minimalist approach to all things in my life including my carbon footprint. This is certainly true about the clothes I wear and the food I eat.


As a life long self supporting artist it is my preference and style to make minimalist art as well. It is only natural my space reflects the same. I live a simple life because I learned this causes me less stress. 


Adopting a more eco-friendly lifestyle by consuming responsibly and reducing waste is important to me. By having less it is easier for me to maintain the physical spaces in my own home and work studios. Practically speaking too it is a nuisance and often costly endeavor to get rid of stuff. Disposal costs have soared!

Benefits of Minimalism

Reduced Stress 

A minimalist lifestyle helps to reduce stress by eliminating the overwhelming burden of excessive possessions and commitments. I have definitely learned to say no and this is a gift. This frees up precious time to do the things I love!

Clarity and Focus 

By decluttering physical and mental spaces, you can enhance your ability to focus on what truly matters in your life.

Enhanced Well-being

Living with less can lead to increased contentment, satisfaction, and improved overall well-being.

Time and Energy

With fewer distractions and responsibilities, you have more time and energy to invest in meaningful pursuits, relationships, and self-care.

I realized in the very beginning of having my own home it would be much easier to keep my spaces clean and organized if I had less home decor objects scattered about.

Financial Freedom 

Minimalism encourages mindful spending and promotes financial freedom by reducing unnecessary expenses and debt. Living minimally enters into all areas of your life including finances.

I made an intentional choice to have just one credit card. This is because we need in this society a credit card for certain things like renting a car etc. When I shop, especially locally, I prefer to spend cash because it has an immediate impact on the merchants, many of whom I know. Cash sales eliminate the need for merchants to pay credit card processing fees thus providing them more profit.

Environmental Impact

By consuming less and prioritizing sustainability, minimalism helps to reduce waste and minimize environmental impact thus leaving a positive impact on our environment.

Increased Creativity

A clutter-free environment can foster creativity and provide space for new ideas to flourish because clutter is not a distracting factor.

Better Relationships 

Minimalism encourages intentional relationships, allowing you to invest time and energy into meaningful connections.

Freedom of Choice

By letting go of material possessions and societal pressures, you gain the freedom to define your own values and priorities. I also have more leisure time and quality time to do the things I love.

Inner Peace 

Embracing the concept of minimalism and living simply in alignment with your values can bring a sense of inner peace and contentment. Enjoying inner peace is the most important thing in my life today.

Simplifying your life through intentional choices

Taking inventory of your belongings

If you are thinking of adopting a more minimalist lifestyle take an inventory of what you presently have. This inventory will show you what you need to keep to live comfortably and effectively while pointing out all the stuff you have that no longer serves you.

Identifying areas of excess and clutter

Maybe start in your garage or basement to sort through your possessions. Going into people’s homes and work spaces to help them organize has shown me the step people take before finally letting go of the things that no longer serve them. What they often do is put these objects in their cellars, sheds and garages.

Recognizing sentimental attachments

I would suggest saving the things you identify to have sentimental value to sort through last. This group of goods seems to be the most stressful and difficult for folks to make decisions about.

The process of decluttering

Establishing a decluttering plan or method 

Make a plan or write out your goal. This will be your roadmap. Without a clear and concise direction you will never arrive at your destination.

Sorting and categorizing your belongings 

When I help folks I set up 3 big black heavy contractors bag in the room we are in. Each bag is designated for a specific purpose. The 3 categories are

As I said we set aside sentimental possessions until the end. Then we proceed one object at a time deciding what to keep, donate, sell, or discard. The object in question goes into designated bag.

Organizing and streamlining your living space 

Creating functional and minimalist storage solutions

This is the very last step of your process. Please don’t rush out to buy totes, shelving units or make plans to have builtins installed. These things can all be a magnet to keeping things you do not need, causing clutter.

Utilizing efficient organization systems and tools 

You likely have more storage options than meet the eye. Ask a friend to pop in and see your space with a new pair of eyes.

Simplifying furniture arrangements and layout

Owning only what I need works well for me. I have no need for clothing bureaus because I own a minimal wardrobe. The clothes I have all live nicely in one closet outfitted with the California style closet shelving. I am the odd person that has empty shelves and underused spaces.

Honestly although my home is not large it has 3 different levels. You will not find a kitchen or dining table anywhere because I prefer to not eat at a table. Sure my friend and I gather in my home. We just don’t do so around a table. We still have a lot of laughs!

Curating a Minimalist Aesthetic 

A monochromatic color scheme, throughout my home, and clean lines have always been my preference in how my physical spaces look, feel and how I dress. I have bare walls in the areas of my home I relax in. Since I can remember I have always been drawn to straight line design favoring the Shaker style.

Incorporating natural elements and textures 

Is there anything better than products made with natural and sustainable elements? This surely has always been my preference. Actually second choice because my first thought is ‘can I make this myself’. If the object in question is not overly complicated I give it a try. My background as a craftsperson has given me enough skills to at least approach the idea along, with the help of a well produced Youtube video.

Emphasizing quality over quantity in decor and furnishings

Another reason I believe I have always been drawn to a minimalist lifestyle is because if I wanted something and could not afford the quality of the item I wanted my preference has always been to forgo the purchase. This leaves me with a pretty decent quality inventory of things.

Cultivating Minimalist Habits 

Mindful consumption and avoiding impulsive purchases

Going into brick and mortar stores is not something I consider fun. Going to the dentist I think at times would be preferable! Stores are loud and distracting to me. Online stores are my dream come true! Extra points if the websites have great filtering systems!

Regular maintenance and clutter prevention strategies

When I make a big purpose it does not get into my space without another item leaving home. This is a minimalist mindset choice. I also consider the impending maintenance of items. A fair amount of folks seem prisoners of stuff, constantly having to take care of their things. One word – boats.

The benefits of minimalism 

The payoff to me for living minimally are I enjoy my calm and peaceful living environment and work space. I am able to focus on my artwork and all the important things in my life without distraction allowing me greater productivity and clarity. 

Enhanced appreciation for the things that truly matter

I encourage folks to find joy in the simple things life offers us as a way of life. Owning fewer things is my lifestyle today and this suits me perfectly. One of my best feelings today is to love everything I do have because it has been carefully and thoughtfully selected by me.

Marj pic

Marj Bates is a life long ridiculously organized declutterer and artist. Less is more are words Marj lives by in everything she does except collecting dogs. “Dogs are like potato chips! Can’t have just one.” says Marj. Marj wonders if growing up with a fanatically clean Jewish mom means her decluttering and organizational skills are in her blood.

For more Declutter Buzz & Freebies check out our safe and private Decluttering community on our Facebook page. We are a safe and private space of like minded folks tackling this all encompassing clutter thing once and for all. No shame allowed! We will have a few laughs too!

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