The one trick to keeping my house clean

I’ve read them all. Every tip, trick, list, and suggestion on Pinterest to keep my house clean so that I am not embarrassed if someone were to drop by and expect to come in. The problem was, until I changed my mindset about my messy house,
no tip in the world could help. The FlyLady website was extremely helpful in learning how stressful clutter is and how happy a clean home really is for my family and I.
I also began to realize that it was one of those things that was just going to take consistent effort. So a couple years down the road, with a pretty consistently clean house, here is the only trick that I have found:
ALL of the time. Like 500 things a day all of the time. As soon as I see something out of place I grab it, or, if I’m trying to teach a lesson, I’ll track down the culprit and make them put it away (exception: anything they are currently playing with or using). If I need to go upstairs, I scan quick for anything I can take up with me and vice versa.
IT’S NOT EASY, but it is getting easier. In fact, most often it’s an act of will. It goes something like this:

1)  See dirty clothes on the floor, thought process:
2)  I should grab those and throw them in the laundry room.
3)  I’ll grab them next time I come through.
4)  Just get them, you’ll be glad you did, it will only take a second.
5)  Grrr…why do I always have to be the one to pick up everyone else’s stuff.
6)  It’s not that big of deal, just grab it,  you really like having the house clean.

It’s not glamorous, but it really does work. Some days I have given myself permission to slack if I have a lot of work to do or a deadline to meet.  But, inevitably, by dinnertime I find myself feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it feels like things are out of control when the house is a mess.
So now, instead of saying “I’ll just clean up before my husband gets home from work” or “when the kids are napping” or having a day of the week just dedicated to cleaning, I make a consistent effort throughout the day and it really does work.  Again, it’s not easy, but for me, it has made cleaning a lot less daunting.