Jess is a jewelry designer from Chicago and Makeunder My Life (MML) is all about designing a life with intention -- and less stuff. Why? Because, in her own words:
As a college junior, I was extremely uncomfortable in my own skin and sought out happiness and perfection through each bag, shirt, candy bar, and guy in my life. As you can imagine, none of these ill-conceived and largely unconscious methods worked.the best of MML to see Jess' posts about thinking with intention, designing a home with intention, and designing a business with intention -- and don't miss the Throw Out Fifty Things Challenge!
Then one day I heard a quote about Michelangelo regarding the David statue. He was asked how he designed such a phenomenal statue out of a piece of stone. Michelangelo said it was easy to carve the statue because he saw the potential within the stone and he simply needed to remove the layers hiding the beauty. Hearing that, my life clicked instantly.
The best Jess I was searching for wasn’t found pretending to be someone else or by buying something new, it was underneath all the layers of “stuff” in my life. I now define “stuff” to be clutter, unloved/unused/unneeded possessions, bad relationships, negative thoughts, you name it – whatever isn’t serving a positive purpose in our lives is hiding our best selves.
One of my favorite things that Jess has shared on MML is her four-step plan for a makeunder in any area of your life -- your stuff, your relationships, your business, your whole life -- anything. I'll briefly summarize each of the steps with you here -- click the name of each step for Jess' complete description over at MML.
1. Create a vision. Imagine how you want to feel once you have accomplished your intentions, and then identify the steps you need to take to reach that end.
2. Exfoliate stuff. Dump the stuff that isn’t needed for the life you want to live, following the need/use/love rule -- if you don't need/use/love it, dump it. To keep the stuff under control, practice the one in, one out rule -- for everything you buy, get rid of something else.
3. Identify intentions. Keep your vision and intentions in mind as you continue the makeunder, either rejoicing in the relief of living a new, uncluttered life or making over your life to fit with your original vision.
4. Reflect and evolve. Revisit your vision and add things that become important and to subtract what no longer is applicable.
Jess recently wrapped up a Makeunder My Finances series written by a Cathy of Fiscally Chic and following these same four steps: see step one, step two, step three, and step four at MML. (And in March we'll be MacGyvering our finances, so start thinking now!)
To get each of us started making under our lives, I asked Jess a couple of questions:
What is one task that each of us reading can do today to start our making under our lives?
The best thing I can suggest to add to your weekly routine is an "End of the Week Exfoliation." The idea is simple: get rid of (aka: recycle, donate, gift, or throw away) one thing each week that you no longer need, use, or love. Just like exfoliating our skin, sloughing off dead "stuff" in our homes makes it easy to keep from getting too much unnecessary clutter. Weekly Exfoliations in addition to regular seasonal "stuff" purging will help you keep your home constantly reflecting the vision you have for it.
Are there any other tips you'd give to us as we begin making under our lives? How do you stick with it day after day?
The thing that will help you continue and have the most success with making under and allow you to stick with it each day is to have a detailed vision of what you'd like your life to look like and how you'd like to be. By describing and envisioning what is truly most important to you will allow you to make decisions that will bring that life into being. But like everything worthwhile, it takes a lot of hard work, faith, and consistency. As they say, man overestimates what he can do in a day, but underestimates what he can do in a year. Baby steps combined with a personally compelling reason to change is essential.Thanks, Jess, and thanks to you all for reading!