When I was younger, I was very organized. I kept my room neat and clean, I alphabetized all my books and tapes (this was before CDs, people), and I knew where all my stuff was.
All of this was before children.
Now, it doesn't matter how much time I spend cleaning, they will mess it up. A few months ago, I had all but given up, tired of cleaning the same floor six times in a day (and oh, how I wish I were exaggerating). Toys could be found on every flat surface of the house, cleaning was done in a haphazard fashion, and I grew more and more discouraged. The house grew less and less clean.
Then I met The Organizer Lady. Hubby found a book in the church library called The Messies Manual. And in it, Sandra Felton lays out her plan to go from disaster area to comfortably clean. Now, I won't say I follow her plan 100%, because she recommends some sort of flip chart with 3x5 cards to keep track of things that need to be done. I just programmed it into my PDA. And I don't have the problem of disorganization. I have always kept all my papers filed and separated and I can find virtually any piece of paper, given the right search parameters. But as far as keeping the house clean, she has wonderful ideas and give her the lions share of the credit.
So now, while my house is still "in transition" between messy and clean, I am so much happier with how everything looks. As long as I stick to the schedule, things stay pretty clean. And of course, getting the boys to do their chores helps too. I'm now reading her book "Organizing Your Home and Family, which is great, too.
If you are cleaning challenged like I am, perhaps it's time to join Messies Anonymous. There's a lot of info on the website, and there are Yahoo groups as well for daily encouragement. I could actually have people over for coffee now.