In no particular order:
-If you have a child old enough to sit up unassisted in the tub (and be trusted not to start performing acrobatics and/or climbing out of the tub the second you turn your back,) take a few minutes of their playtime as a chance to clean the toilet, wipe down the sink, straighten the towel closet, etc. A few days of this and you'll have a clean bathroom! Every fixture won't be perfectly clean at the same time, of course, but things will stay decent. A really ambitious mother may even attach sponges to a squirmy child's limbs and turn their splash time into a good bathtub scrubbing. But that would be pushing it.
-Even if you can't get to anything else, try to at least clean up the kitchen (or make sure SOMEONE does) before going to bed. There is nothing like facing a sink full of dishes and a counter top splattered with crusted marinara to kill what little morale you may have after changing two nighttime diapers.
-Every house needs a clutter spot, of course, a dumping ground for random junk that you technically NEED but that doesn't exactly fit into your decor or your organizational categories. But try not to make this place your bedroom. When you have little kids, Desperate Housewife thinks that the adult bedroom should be a sanctuary for naps, sex, and sleep (though not a good night's sleep, on most days, and not because of all the wild sex, either.) Your room won't feel much like a sanctuary if it is cluttered with stacks of photos to be sorted and piles of unfolded laundry and random papers and overdue library books. Try a dining room, the laundry room, or even the front hallway, but save your room for yourself.
-Don't stress much about floors, or you'll make yourself nuts. This is particularly true if you and your offspring are home all day. When you're spending that much time in the house, the floors are going to be smudged or crumbed or otherwise have their freshly mopped/vacuumed glory bespotted within about five minutes. So aim to clean them with some regularity, but don't make gleaming floors the hallmark of your tidy home, or you will feel like a failure. And remember: a little Windex and a paper towel can take care of most "mopping" needs. Ditto for a Dust Buster in lieu of a thorough vacuuming.
-There are a few things that can really up the clean level of a room with minimal effort. One of them is making beds. I don't do this EVERY day, but when I do, I notice I feel markedly better when I walk into the room. (I also notice less dog hair on my sheets.) Another trick is dusting or wiping just the main surfaces of a room. If the counters are a mess, so be it, but if you have a kitchen table, at least try to keep it wiped down, and it will be a clean haven for your eyes to rest on when everything else looks chaotic. Same goes for coffee tables. If you can get them wiped down every other day or so, and maybe the end tables too, if you have time, it will help a lot with providing a clean "feel" even if everything in the living room/den area hasn't been freshly dusted.
-This was Swistle's hint first, but I have been doing it ever since Addy was little, so I'm going to claim it, too! Keep the value sized diaper boxes in your kid's closet, and use them to store too small/too big clothing. Much faster and cheaper than more elaborate systems, while not necessarily as decorative. Try to keep the boxes marked, though, or you may get confused and start cursing yourself for your box system. Not that I would know.
-Have a chocolate stash at all times. A SECRET chocolate stash.
-INVEST IN A PLAY YARD!! I cannot emphasize this strongly enough. You will not be sorry. It will look like a mini prison right there in your living room, assaulting your eyes with its ugliness, but you STILL will not be sorry, because that mini prison will be the thin, gray plastic line between you and a drinking problem. (Little joke there, now, don't fret.) (But still.)
Oh yeah. Still no reassuring visitor. But this morning's test says I'm in the clear, so I'm just blaming breastfeeding for whacked out hormones. Yes? Or should I be concerned about the trustworthiness of tests purchased from unknown online company?