|I don't smile maniacally when I do the dishes.|
I find the biggest obstacle to having a clean place is keeping up with it. I can put on my rubber gloves and scrub my place from top to bottom, but I still have to do things like cook and get mail and use the bathroom, so I've got to maintain. Some people swear by FlyLady, and while I think she's got a great approach, I've found that lately you've got to ignore a lot of plugs for products she said you never needed when she first started (I mean, look, microfiber cloths are nice and all, but she herself said years ago that you don't need them, just clean rags, some soap, and some water to clean your place.)
Basically, I'm able to stay on top of things by doing these things:
I get rid of any mail that I don't need, and I shred any mail with personal or sensitive information on it. Right into trash-recycling it goes.
I refrain from dumping things on my kitchen table when I get home (it's right near my front door--I'm in a condo, not a house). Yeah. Well, ideally. Not this week (hey, I said I need to practice what I write about).
I either scrape the dishes and put them in the dishwasher, or I wash and dry them, and I put clean dishes away. At the very least, I keep them in the sink if I don't have time to wash them in the morning and do them when I get home (but coming home to a sinkful of dishes inspires me to nap because ugh, that looks an awful lot like work and I just spent eight plus hours working and another two and a half hours commuting round trip).
I try to sweep daily. I absolutely do this in the galley part of my kitchen, which tends to get dirtier since I, well, cook there.
I keep a sponge or rag in my bathroom on a suction holder attached to the toilet next to the sink. I dampen the sponge or rag and wipe down my sink and other surfaces. I throw the sponge in the dishwasher whenever I run it; if I'm using rag, I put that in my laundry basket and replace it with a new one every couple of days. (I also throw the suction holder into the dishwasher.)
Granted, this is the ideal, but it's not like I'm good about doing this. I get tired, I work late, I socialize, I work out and am so tired after that I just want to shower and crash, I get up late and barely have time for breakfast let alone straightening up. . .
I guess the biggest thing I have to remember is that the world won't end if things aren't perfectly clean, as long as it doesn't get too hairy. As long as I never let it get to the point where it will take me a full day to get it looking halfway decent, I'm good.