I start in the kitchen. I unload the dishwasher. Then I clear off all the counters and put things away where they go. Wipe all the counters and load the breakfast dishes. Then I sweep the floor.
The next room is the living room. I clear off surface clutter on the piano and bookshelf.
The bathroom comes next. Clear off the vanity counter and wipe it down. Then put things back or in the cabinet. Clear off the washer and dryer.
Then I go into the bedrooms and make the beds and clean up the floors.
I have this down to an hour.
I sweep and mop the kitchen and bath on mwf.
On Tues & Thurs I clean the toilet and dust the living room.
Saturday I do Tues. Thurs cleaning + the shower.
This usually take 30 minutes or less.
If I have down time in the afternoon I use it to do deep cleaning, decluttering, and organizing. I try to keep this minimal so I don't get burnout. Right now I'm spring cleaning (windows, baseboards, drawers...) one room at a time.
EVENING CLEAN UP
The whole family does this. Igloo & Munchkin tackle the kitchen: clear off table & wipe it off. Igloo does the dishes, wipes the counters, then sweeps.
Meanwhile, Jack and I (and Munchkin when she's done in the kitchen) get all the toys etc. from the living room and put them away. Then we go to the play room and their bedroom where we clean everything from the floor.
Then I vacuum the living room, hallway and bedrooms.
There have been some bad days where this takes longer than 30 minutes. I'm wondering if we need to rework it and do kitchen cleanup earlier or something.
Now, there have been times where the house falls apart. Especially when I am sick! When this happens I have a MUST-DO list. Mine is the dishes have to get done and table wiped off. THAT'S IT! Don't stress about the rest. When things get out of control you can get them under control again. This happened recently when I was sick. You just do what you can in the allotted time. The first day I started in the kitchen and it took almost the whole morning hour to get that cleaned up. Then I cleaned a little in the living room before my hour was up. The living room was cleaned a little more that night. The next day the kitchen went faster and I could spend more time on the living room and bathroom. After 4 days I was all caught up.
There are a couple of reasons this doesn't take much time: I live in 900 sq ft and I don't have lots of "stuff" anymore. I'm still going through some shelves and boxes, but slowly everything is getting a designated place. Once it has a place, it's very easy for it to be put back into that place. It's also easy to see what things I really don't use.
*edit*: It is so important that I add when the house falls apart I don't take a whole day to get things back in order. When I do this, I get burned out and don't stick with the routine. It doesn't work. You have to just accept that it will get done and give yourself a break! That is probably the MOST important thing I have learned and of course I left it out of the post ;).