While we make a choice not to fuss too much over the state of our house there are things we do to keep it from getting out of hand.
1) Mess and clutter is different that dirty. We'll never have a dirty house. Clutter we can live with; not knowing what that smell is is not.
2) There area lot of things you don't need. This is just true, you don't need as much as you think. You don't need as many clothes. Your kids don't need as many toys. You just don't need most of it and if you don't have it you don't have to clean it, care for it or repair it.
3) It's okay to say good-bye. I'm still learning this one, I attach sentimental value to things a lot so it takes time for me to purge items. But I do know, deep down that these are just things. It's good to pass on the things we don't use before they just can't be used at all.
4) Invest in quality over quantity. Whether it's your clothes or your kids toys or the pans in your kitchen. This wins out. When things last longer you don't need to go to the stores and get sucked into the new style or attachments. Keeping an eye on quality will, in the long run, keep you out of the cycle. When quality isn't needed - go used and second hand. If you're getting something because it's trendy or a passing interest of your children's don't sink tons of money into it; most likely someone else already has and passed it on to a thrift store for you.
Our house might not always be spic and span, but there's a rhyme and reason to it.
If you'd like to work out your own rhyme and reason I'd highly recommend my friend Rachel's e-book "Minimizing the Mess". She offers succinct, down to earth, realistic advice about taming the beast inside your home.
Now that it's spring we've been slowly purging things from our house, and I think Rachel's printables are just the thing to inspire that jump.
Her ebook is a steal at $2.99 and you can get it 25% thru the 22nd with code "LAUNCH". Find the book here.