I've written a lot about the struggles of keeping a house in order. I let certain things go and try not to feel remiss about not having a pristine house at all times, but truth is, I am usually in a much better state of mind when my home is in order — and if Mommy's happy... you know the rest. Once I've reached a point in the day, month, season in which my house feels reasonably clean and orderly, there's a line I remember that really helps me keep in that way.
Cleanliness begets cleanliness.
So simple but so very true. It'll give you pause to set the junk mail on that counter you just spent twenty minutes clearing off — and you'll be motivated to deal with your papers in the moment. By the same token, tossing six more pieces of paper that you'll deal with later on top of the pile will only make it grow, will only prolong and add to the work you'll have to do later. What a drag.
Same with cleaning up: rather than leave the popcorn bowl on the coffee table because you just want to get to bed, if the living room is otherwise picked up, you'll be much more likely to take the dish to the kitchen. Oh, the sink is empty! Might as well wash that one bowl instead of messing up that shiny sink.
And laundry. Once you've tamed that beast, you're a lot more apt to keep it from growing, at least in the short-term. Much easier to do a couple loads starts to finish and hang on to that "caught up on the laundry" high for a bit longer when you are in fact keeping up with the laundry.
This mantra is one way I try to trick myself into having a house that cleans itself, and I hope it helps some of you as well!