thanks everyone.......ive had a look on flylady and i remember seeing summat a while ago about having young ones as i cannot be cleaning all day but i do have 1.5 hrs to tidy/clean up etc in the mornings and same in afternoon too as ive got a 6 m old and my youngest dd is in nursery in mornings where my oldest in school all day but i gotta pick her up after school.
I used to be extremely messy - now I'm extremely tidy. (since having DCs 1 and 2 I have got more and more clean & tidy!!!) I like things immaculate and I have 2 under 4 so it's a challenge but I deal with it every day. I also work full time.
Basically this involves constantly doing something to make the house either cleaner, tidier or both. eg If I go in the kitchen for a cup of tea, I will probably empty the dog bowls, wash up a few bits in the sink, put away the few dry bits on the draining board, put the empty milk carton in the recycling (outside the back door). What I don't do is stare at it all like I used to, thinking "I'll wash up when there's a full bowl... no point putting the drying away yet, there's more coming... I'll wait until I have a massive amount of recycling before I can be bothered to open the back door and drop it in the right bin..."
I don't go to bed before the lounge has been tidied of all toys, cups, plates and rubbish. The dishwasher goes on last thing at night. It gets emptied first thing in the morning, when I am waiting for the kettle to boil.
I have learnt that your house is only as good as the storage you give it, so everything has a home. I have hooks everywhere on the back of doors. All shoes have a home. The hallway is always clear.
I don't go up or down the stairs without taking something. Every time I leave a room I generally do something to make it more pleasant or cleaner or tidier.
I am basically 100% less lazy than I used to be, but I didn't realise I was being lazy. I used to wonder how other people had homes that looked good and tidy all the time, and now I know that if you want your home to look good you have to get decent storage, decent cleaning stuff and deal with it all the time not just once every three weeks. I am just constantly making good the areas I walk through. That's it really. (keeps me fit, I don't do excersise otherwise!)
Not a day goes by I don't do something. Before I take the kids to school & I go straight to work, I make all the beds (or get the eldest 2 to make their own) & ensure the kitchen is clean & tidy (wash all the breakfast dishes). I always tidy up the living room before I go to bed so when I get up in the morning its nice & presentable. I find it easier now that the kids toys are banned from there - they each have their own rooms since we moved to the new place.
Little things every day does work. I can easily clean the bathrooms in 20 after tea (or dinner if you're posh).
Flylady is fab. I used to do her routines a couple of years ago and am going to get back into it now. I'm ok at surface cleaning, but it's finding the time to do all the detailed bits. Flylady works on 15 minute sessions a day and on the website, there's a place where she walks you through making your own household diary/routine book. I'm going to dig mine out ready for Monday. here is a link to the flylady page.