I have a confession to make: I hate housework, I mean really hate housework. This is really contradictory to being a housewife, so I try very hard not to hate it by coming up with many many plans to get and keep the house to the best Martha Stewart clean I can. I have made schedules, bought random organizing pieces, realized the schedules were not working and made more schedules. Something always throws the schedule out of whack... illness, too much stuff to do out of the home, or a toddler promptly pulling all the folded laundry out of the drawers to dance with it.
Here are the things that I have found actually do work for me, either to give me piece of mind or to get the house to a small level of sanity
1- Realize that we actually LIVE here. When you stay at home and don't eat out much you generate lots of mess. It was a lot easier to keep my home clean when I lived alone and worked all the time as I was never there to mess it up.
2- Give myself a break, it does not need to be perfect, and if people come over they are coming to see me not the house.
3-Do a little at a time. The one system I tried that almost worked was the Flylady system. One of the parts of her plan has you set a timer and do as much as you can cleaning before the timer goes off. This has really helped me and I can get my daughter involved as she thinks it is a race.
4-Get rid of stuff. The less stuff you have that you don't use the less you have to organize and clean.
5-Ask for help if you need it. This is a never ending job and like any job some projects are better tackled as a team.