R. and I had a calm, productive conversation this morning about the state of our house. We are both frustrated. There was no yelling, blaming, or lamenting that we don't have time or money to keep our house. Instead, we both acknowledged that we do in fact have the time; we have just not been spending our time doing it. We I finally admitted that it is not money or the need for organizing equipment that is keeping our house in this state. It is the people who live here. It doesn't cost anything to put my shoes on the shelf in my closet. It doesn't cost anything for the kids to keep their clean clothes off the floor so we don't spend 20 minutes washing, hanging, and folding clean clothes when we do laundry. It doesn't cost money to use the items in our pantry before buying more, which will save money, time (additional trips to the store), and space. Right now we have the space we have, we are not expanding the space, so we need to live peacefully within our means.
One of our biggest frustrations is that the hour or two we have allotted for cleaning daily involves so much back-work that we don't get to the projects that will actually improve our house. For example, instead of just being able to sweep the floors, first we have to clear out the shoes, toys, and books that were not put away. This takes 15 minutes that could be used to clean out the closet or the top of the refrigerator. We also realize that we have a pattern of one person checking out while the other cleans. If we both cleaned at the same time, we would get twice as much done. Instead, we end up doing the work of one person not two, which explains a lot. There is also the problem of the kids—we need to get them involved. Once R. and I get in a routine, we will begin helping the kids. First, however, we need to do the work ourselves.