My husband and I are very alike in how we like the house to be kept. Clean and as clutter-free as possible is the goal. We have routines that happen daily, and some weekly, to ensure our home life is as calm as possible, because Lord knows, it can get chaotic FAST.
We just don't do well with messy spaces, and can't sit down at the end of the day unless everything is in it's place. You know those sayings about how it's more important to spend time with your kids than spend time cleaning, or messy dishes can wait, but your children are growing up so fast...blah blah blah? Yeah, I don't buy into those, I think they can perpetuate laziness. Having a clean and tidy home allows your family to relax and and spend time together happily instead of feeling overwhelmed and distressed and trapped. Also, I've found the thought of cleaning/decluttering is worse than actually doing it - it goes by so quickly with some fun music on and everybody doing their part. I'd rather take five minutes to clean up after lunch and then be able to sit and play with my kids in peace than constantly be bombarded by seeing dirty dishes all day long that I know I need to do at some point. What peace is there in that?
Every morning, we are in a rush to get out of the house. The morning routine is usually - I get myself ready while Phil gets the baby ready and makes breakfast and coffee. Then I pack up the six kids into the car and we try to pull out of the driveway by 6:30 am. I drop off the older five to school, then the baby to his sitter's house (hi Michelle!) and continue on to work. Phil gets himself ready and tries to leave the house orderly, turning off all lights, doing dishes, whatever he can to make it feel nice to walk back into later that day. Small spaces feel even smaller when there is stuff everywhere!
Once we get home in the afternoon, the kids have to bring in and put away their things. This is when the craziness begins. We don't have a mudroom, so shoes go in their individual baskets and backpacks go on the landing of the stairs. Allllllllll the papers and artwork goes on the kitchen table and after dinner is cooked, eaten, and cleaned up, we have the following helpers (we've noticed calling the kids a certain "helper" makes them feel important and gets the job done!):
Lunch Helper - Takes out all lunch boxes and water bottles, pack snacks (the kids get free lunch at school), fill water bottles and put in fridge, put lunch boxes back in backpacks.
Cat Helper - Empty cat litter box and feed her.
Laundry Helper - Put in a load of laundry, fluff clothes in dryer, later on take out dryer clothes and put wet clothes in, bring up clean clothes.
The rest of them clean up the family room and living room and the littles get to watch a show while the big kids do homework (if they haven't finished it before dinner). Then we do baths and showers and they take up their folded laundry from the day before on their way to bed. Phil and I do any last minute cleaning (vacuuming, sweeping, dishes, folding laundry, going through kid's paperwork and tossing all of it) and then we can relax for a little before we fall asleep.
If we just keep on top of the cleaning and decluttering everyday, it doesn't get too bad. Same for the laundry, we do a load every.single.day of what we were wearing for the day, and it never gets overwhelming. Soccer season can throw us for a loop because we are at the fields every day except Monday, but Phil and I either divide and conquer or choose to just take on the evening chores by ourselves because the kids won't have a chance to do anything. On the weekend, they all have a chore chart they need to complete before they get to play video games, and that's a big incentive! My kids aren't slaves, but they do make most of the mess, and there's no maid here :)
We've always made them clean up as soon as they could make a mess and we ALL love to live in a tidy home. You can just breathe better! Xander will often tell me after I vacuum that the house looks like new :) If things build up little by little, and you need to do a big decluttering, I highly recommend this book (I wrote my review here) to get started. The less junk you have in your home, the less there is to take care of. We really don't need that much stuff, letting it go is so freeing!!