I have always struggled with keeping order in my home.
Royal and I have made gradual, continual improvement in this area since our marriage in 2001, I am very proud to say!
In 2004, Royal was out of town for a few weeks, and I discovered a marvelous book from the 70s called, Sidetracked Home Executives (S.H.E.): From Pigpen to Paradise by Pam Young and Peggy Jones (sisters). This is a system for doing all your homemaking chores or recurring activites (piano practice, reading time, bathing your children, etc.). Basically, you make a 3x5 index card for each chore or activity, and then you use a filing system to make sure the chores are done on the right day and done at the right frequency (once a day, once a year, etc.)
The Card System was very helpful, but I found myself being too perfectionistic. I was tired of having 3 or more cards not finished at the end of the day. So, eventually, I gave it up.
At the end of Dec 2005, I was admiring the order of my girlfriend's home. She encouraged me to check out Flylady.net- a system for cleaning your home and ordering your life that was based on the original S.H.E. book, but it was simplified with less cleaning hours per week. Marla Cilley, "Flylady", sends out emails that teach you how to get your house and life in order a baby step at a time. Basically, you only "clean" for 15 minutes a day, plus one hour on Friday.
The flylady system was somewhat helpful, but I was never really able to work it out for my personality. I especially struggled to make a morning or evening routine that ever consistently worked. (I tried for about 12 months.)
Now, I've just received Sidetracked Home Executives from Paperbackswap.com! I have reread it, and I have pulled my card file out of a pile of junk. I am able to do it much better now that i have ditched my "do it all or you are failing" attitude.
So far, I have gone to bed twice on time, and I've gotten many things done that otherwise would have waited another several months. Yea! I'm so happy!
So, if you struggle with order in your home, I recommend both these systems. Also, you can email me to share good ideas and resources you have found!