June resolution wrap up and introduction to July’s goals

My resolution for June was to get our garage in gear. This ended up being an extremely relevant task seeing as our old car died and we got a new one. We had two hail storms in June, and it was wonderful to be able to pull the new car into the garage to keep it safe.

I started by clearing the clutter out of the garage the first weekend of the month. Rather, I started by clearing our clutter out of the garage. I had forgotten that our landlord had some of his stuff in the garage when we moved in (a couple dining chairs, etc.), so I wasn’t able to clear out his things. Mostly, though, only our garage-appropriate stuff remains in the garage (lawn mower, rake, trash cans, tools, bikes).

The second task was to organize what remained in the space and I sort of did this. See what I mean by “sort of”:

We have shelves now in place and space to organize, but I haven’t yet completed the project. Most of our tools and garage items still remain in their moving boxes. Since my mantra was garages are for cars, not clutter, I didn’t push myself too hard to get all of the organizing work finished. I can get the car in the garage and find things, so I’ll just keep unpacking boxes and putting items away over the next few weekends. I met my parking goal, so the rest is simply icing on the proverbial cake. As far as I’m concerned, the resolution was met, even if not perfectly.

My goal for July is to review and reset a number of our family’s routines and to do the same with some personal and professional goals. Now that my son is in preschool, we have a different structure to our day and different demands on our time. Not only does our family need to figure out how we want to structure our schedule, but I need to figure out which of my goals are best for me to achieve right now.

This may seem like a light resolution, and it is in terms of physical labor. However, it’s something that has to get done to retain our family’s sanity and for me to feel like I have better direction personally and professionally.

I haven’t yet figured out how I’m going to tackle this goal, but as I do I will give a few updates over the course of the month to help anyone who may be doing something similar. Creating new routines can be challenging if the first attempt isn’t one that can last over many months. And, identifying what I want to accomplish personally and professionally is going to take some introspection, and I need to set aside the time to do this properly.

What are your resolutions and/or goals for July? How did you do with any resolutions or goals you made for June? If you have annual resolutions instead of monthly resolutions, how are these advancing? The first of July was the half-way point in the year — are you on track to accomplish what you are hoping to by the year’s end? Share your experiences in the comments.

Erin’s 2011 monthly resolutions: January, February, March, April, May, and June.

26 Comments for “June resolution wrap up and introduction to July’s goals”

  1. posted by Susan in FL on

    My goals for 2011 got kicked to the curb February 22 when I received a diagnosis of breast cancer. In March I had a lumpectomy. In April, genetic testing and my oncologist suggested that it might be best if I had four chemotherapy treatments which began April 20. In May I continued chemotherapy. On June 22 I had my final chemotherapy treatment. Today July 5 I will have a planning/simulation session with the radiologist. It has already been determined that I will have the first of thirtythree radiation treatments about July 15. The treatment are once every weekday for six and a half weeks. Once I finish radiation, I am due for my once every three years colonoscopy – which was supposed to be done in June but had to be put off. My goal for the year is to be healthy when it is over. Ladies – do not neglect your annual mammogram which was how my very small tumor was discovered.

  2. posted by jodi on

    My goals for july are pretty heavy:

    Unclutter/organize the attic, basement, storage unit.

    Finish replacing the roof/remodeling the attic (helping my husband)

    Plan our vacation for August.

    Deadline: I am having shoulder surgery on the 29th.

    I actually typed a “Ask Unclutterer” email last night. As the organizing goals all deal with my husbands stuff…it might be timely given the finishing you have to do in your garage! Look for my email sometime this afternoon!

  3. posted by oliviedu on

    My goal for July as I move from near Paris to Tours (both in France) : organize a smoother move as possible for my wie and kids

  4. posted by Anita on

    My July goal is to get out of debt. I got hit with a huge tax bill this year (due to HR incompetence, too little income tax was being deducted off my pay. Lesson learned: pay close attention to your pay stubs!) and I took out a line of credit to remedy my tax situation because I refused to take it out of my savings or my emergency fund (other people’s stupidity is NOT what I am saving for).

    I’ve spent the last 3 months paying off about half of the line of credit, but I’ll have a lot of travel coming up in the fall and winter so July will be one big push to pay off my debts so that August can be used to save up for my trips.

    So decluttering will be progressing steadily, but the biggest emphasis will be to limit spending and cut out impulse and non-essential buys.

  5. posted by Senora H-B on

    “As far as I’m concerned, the resolution was met, even if not perfectly.”

    THANK YOU! I need to remember that my resolutions do not have to be met 100% perfectly all of the time.

  6. posted by Alix on

    @ Susan: Best wishes to you in reaching your goal of a healthy new year. Health goals (annual mammograms, checkups, etc.) are the most important of all, and can literally save your life. A clean garage is nice, but it can’t do that! πŸ˜‰

  7. posted by melissa on

    my goal was to KEEP the main level of our home clean so that we are never more than a 30 minutes away from being able to have people over. we have cleaned so many times before, but it never stayed that way for more than a few weeks in the past. i am happy to report that for the last 6 months, the main floor of our home has STAYED clean! πŸ™‚ I am so proud of us! I have read this site for a few years and implemented a few systems that work for us. It took a lot of trial and error (especially with the paper/mail clutter), but we did it!

    so my next goal is to clean the upstairs level and keep it that way too, one room at a time. this goal will allow us to have NEW people over…and be able give them the grand tour! we can’t do that now. only people who have already seen our whole house clean once can come over right now! πŸ˜‰ now that i know how to keep the entire main level clean, I am certain that once i clean the upstairs i will succeed in maintaining it. i have already made progress on one of the messy spaces (and so far i haven’t backpedaled). i’m so excited for when i have completed this goal!

  8. posted by Keter on

    It wasn’t a resolution, just a task that needed doing: I set up two shelves in our temporary storage room and organized building supplies for the next phase of our remodeling: creating a master suite. That project should keep me busy through the end of summer.

  9. posted by Julie on

    I finally got accomplished a task I set for myself several years ago and that has been hanging over me. I now have a will, power of attorney for health care, advance directive, and funeral plan in place. Whew! I hope none of them will be necessary for many years, of course, but it’s a good feeling to have them done.

  10. posted by Sue G. on

    I’m looking to your thoughts as you work through July’s goal. I’ve been trying to change my schedule since I started grad school (on top of FT work) and I haven’t had success (I write up nice charts, but sadly they’re fantasy), finding that my life is run by the emergency of the minute — which I hate! I’m taking the summer off from school (first break in 2 years), so I’m trying to develop good (better? best?) habits now to be ready for the fall again. Good luck with your plans and I’m eager to hear how you tackle it.

  11. posted by Roe A. on

    I actually installed these same shelves in two of our garages. Just putting them up is enough to give you the motivation to get organized!

  12. posted by Zen friend on

    I’ve discovered mid-year goal gold: several earlier goals (emptying dishwasher in AM, keeping clothes closet in order and laundry put away, dealing with mail when it comes in the house) have become habits. I’ve actually caught myself doing them more or less on autopilot.

    With a lot less “stuff” in my house, chores take up much less psychological space and I’m (almost) enjoying them. Who’d have thunk it? Not me.

  13. posted by Tammy on

    Wow, my goal for July is very similar. My first child is staring Kindergarten August 10th. I have to figure out a whole new schedule, one that will include being (actually, becoming) a morning person. (First problem is its’s 9:45 pm right now and I’m not even thinking about bed yet.)

    My days are going to be completely different, and I get a little nervous when I try to come up with a plan.

  14. posted by karla on

    @tammy: speaking as a night person in a day world, start now!

    If you already have a night routine, just start it 10-15 minutes earlier now. nothing drastic. Next week, a little earlier. Come August you should be in about the right place.

    Of course, even though that has always been my intention, I just end up using caffeine to get me moving in the morning πŸ˜‰

    My goal for July is to clean out the office and get the paperwork under control. I know there are all sorts of insurance claims I either need to file or follow up on. Maybe I’ll even get a new sheet feed scanner and digitize most of it.

  15. posted by Janet on

    Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on ‘re-scheduling’ to fit life changes.

    I am in the midst of doing the same thing. I have taken a part time job – 4 days a week – because my husband’s business is suffering from the poor economy. I still have office work to do for him and I am trying to get my fiber art business off of the ground. Just yesterday I was talking to my husband about how I have to reorder my day and make use of the blocks of time that I have now. Easier said than done!

  16. posted by Jillian on

    @Roe, Erin:
    Where did you get these shelves? We need something like that for our garage! Looks great, i’m very inspired! The garage is our July AND Aug project – wish me luck!

  17. posted by Karen on

    My youngest just graduated high school and will live on a campus starting this fall. Both she and her brother lived with me until recently….Soon I may be by myself. My new priorities then will be to revive my musical performing career, save money for my daughter’s tuition, do yoga on a more frequent regular basis, and visit friends more frequently.

  18. posted by Kathy on

    Susan- Thank you so much for posting this. I changed insurance almost 2 years ago and have been procrastinating on my health care since I have to find all new health care providers after over 28 years with my old ones. I also have been caring for my husband who has been very ill during this time, so I just had to let something “go”, which was me.

    My goal for July is to make those calls and get those test done. No more putting it off. This includes the root canal and braces for my teeth for an accident from 2.5 years ago. I wish you well and good health. Thanks again for the wake up call.

  19. posted by Keter on

    @Jillian – I’m not sure where those shelves came from, but I got some extremely heavy and durable industrial shelves that are slightly larger than the ones shown. They were from Costco for I think about $70 each with tax. Mine are prettily finished in brown-black textured enamel on the steel frame (attractive enough to use inside the house), and feature inch-thick solid shelves with matching melamine tops, which I prefer to mesh, metal, or vented because it is easier to clean and stuff doesn’t fall through. It was a two-person job to put them together because of the weight, but only took about 10 minutes per unit, total. I have them in my pantry and my workshop.

    @Sue – Having been where you are, there’s no perfect solution, but what I did was forget scheduling other than deadlines and meetings, and used a GTD system similar to the one promulgated by David Allen. Decluttering my productive time by saying ‘no’ or ‘can this wait until (name a future date and then schedule it) also was key.

  20. posted by Julianne on

    My July goals are (on the surface) extremely simple: do all the things I haven’t gotten done between January through June (insert huge sigh here).

    Interesting about garages, though. My husband & I moved to suburbia a few years ago (didn’t take; after 2 years we moved back to downtown Toronto), & one of the Greater Mysteries that still has me baffled is why every single house out there had a big driveway on which stood two or more vehicles while the garages — double and even triple in size — were packed to the rafters with . . . stuff. What’s up with that?? Maybe that’s why it didn’t work for my husband & me. All we had in our (double) garage were two cars, 2 bicycles & a (push!) lawnmower. LOL!

  21. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Jillian — Home Depot

  22. posted by Lou on

    Last month. I took 6 boxes of clothes to the Salvation Army, so that I now have only as many clothes as I have hangers – goal met. Next change of season, I’ll cull another 25% of my wardrobe.

    My bigger accomplishment last month was that I finally completed phase one of a paper clutter project. I reached the intermediate goal of being able to open our second entry door (we live in an apartment we remodeled to merge 2 smaller units). We got rid of a futon that did not function well as a guest bed (his) and a VHS cabinet (mine). I moved the unopened boxes (mine) that were blocking door #2 into the cleared space. The boxes of paper clutter are now stacked adjacent to my computer and shredder.

    Since 1 July, i have emptied 2 of the 14 boxes that formerly blocked the entry hall. My goal is to reduce the total number of boxes to NONE by the end of August. This month discard the unnecessary. Next month, clean out my file cabinet to accommodate whatever survives the culling.

    I hate this!

  23. posted by Ish on

    I recently moved into a cottage that I share with my two teenage children. We have to keep it tidy because there simply isn’t room not to. I struggle with the garage though. You said “the garage is for cars not clutter” and many of my neighbors have two cars in their two car garage and no clutter. Unfortunately, we are avid campers and save renting a storage unit, I can’t figure out how to get anything but my Tahoe in the garage with all the stuff (yes, I can fit my giant Tahoe in there). I have storage racks and closed cabinets and a bike hanger, but it just never seems neat. I don’t even have room for the Goodwill pile, and goodness knows there’s no room for THAT in the house. Help!

  24. posted by Rachel on

    @ Kathy and Sue G.,
    Excellent points! Arranging one’s will, power of attorney, medical power of attorney, child custody designations (in some states, the state takes custody if parents die without leaving any other written arrangements), funeral arrangements, etc. may seem ghoulish but the end result is having peace of mind because potential disasters have been averted and a significant source of subconscious uneasiness has been eliminated.

    Even if we are not yet elderly, don’t have young children, and/or enjoy good health, we could still have everything change with one bad accident or horrible diagnosis. It’s way, way easier to plan when life is calm rather than make arrangements after a crisis develops. Also, if we don’t want to have everything disposed of by default (e.g. state law gives the entire estate to the second spouse, nothing to the children–young or adult) we have to make active decisions.

    I read somewhere that this list should also include “hidden beneficiaries”: Your life insurance, retirement accounts, etc. should name the people you really want to inherit the funds when you die–not the people you named years ago before your children were born or when you were married to your now former spouse.

    Yes, arranging these matters take time, energy, and money, but it’s a good use of resources. If we’re not yet able to make these arrangements, they are an excellent motivator for decluttering one’s surroundings, calming one’s routine, and organizing one’s papers and one’s money. There _are_ some low-cost or lower-cost-but-still-legally-viable options out there for doing a will or a child-custody designation (I don’t know enough to give useful advice here). I don’t think it costs _anything_ except time and decisionmaking to change the beneficiary named to inherit a life insurance policy or a retirement savings account (but check the facts for your own situation–there’s probably some profit-hungry retirement fund manager who charges people for this service!).

    Erin, I like the way you have expanded the definition of “uncluttering” to include living with peace of mind (see your recent post about not fretting about rude strangers). Living with reduced anxiety about the future is another significant benefit of uncluttering.

  25. posted by Sue G. on

    Yes, the power of “NO” is good and very important. It’s been interesting to see which of my friends understand _and support_ this and which do not.

    The thing I need to work on is not giving up things like workouts to fit other stuff in. I make the all too common mistake of not making myself the priority.

    Good luck to everyone on their July goals!

  26. posted by Rachel on

    My only goal for July is to do all the workouts my trainer has laid out for me (only 10 per week… how hard can it be?).

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