Suzukimom, I know how you feel. And I agree with Gem about homeschooling having an impact on this. That's kind of funny when you think about it, because we often talk about spending time focusing on life skills, personal development, and habit training. Maybe that's all like nature study--many of us long to incorporate more nature study into our schedules but find it gets left in the dust (yeah, pun intended) behind academics and other subjects that pull us in.
As we speak, there is a grimy-looking streak in front of the wall at the entrance to our kitchen, and I can't recall when it was mopped last. There are piles of books, magazines, junk mail, I've-got-to-look-at-this-later mail, and school papers.....oh, the school papers!....in most of the rooms. Except the bathroom. However, my elderly dad occasionally leaves a book or two in the bathroom, but what's an 86yo with "old guy issues" gonna do in the bathroom for that length of time?
My room is the storage bin for everyone's stuff plus the things that I want to "hide" from my aggressive, destructive, autistic son. My girls share a bedroom, and you can't even walk in it without fear of twisting an ankle. They have a large pile of clothing, girly stuff, hair appliances, manicure stuff, and scraps of paper that my daughter affectionately calls "the crap pile." (And she knows how I hate that word....no, not "the" or "pile" but the other word.) My son's room is actually somewhat better because a) you can walk on 75% of the floor, b) he puts his laundry in his hamper, and c) he keeps the junk shoved under his bottom bunk where it is not greatly visible. The main problem with his room is the damage he did to a couple of the walls a few years back before he decided that banging his head against walls was not a good way to manage physical & emotional pain. (That's a hard & lengthy lesson for some autistic kids, but, yay! He's pretty much stopped that.)
Somewhere along the way of homeschooling & raising three kids who are each about 15 months apart in age, being a single mom for the last 7 years, handling an autistic child's behaviors & physical needs, and just plain getting old (I'm 53 & didn't have my first child until I was 38), I have been too lax with habit training, especially getting them to do chores. Consequently, my house is usually a mess, I'm tired & occasionally not well, and I often don't like my kids' attitudes. We should have a club; I'd join, but don't ask me to be president!
I have tried incorporating FlyLady principles to my home management, I've read Emilie Barnes books (lovely lady--I just love reading her books but seldom put into practice), I've read Sandra Felton's Messies Anonymous books (which helped a little, for a short while), and I've looked at the possibility of using Chore-Paks but didn't think my kids would go for that. I haven't stuck with much of any system for long, so any progress I've made toward "House Beautiful" quickly regresses back toward disaster area.
Plus, when we moved in with my dad in 2006, he had been a widower for 10 years & never dusted, never mopped, never put away anything he thought he would need later & not be able to find. He has got to be the inspiration for the phrase "reduce, reuse, recycle" as he saves everything he can use again (no matter how awful it looks) and he has been taking aluminum cans & papers to bulk recyclers who pay for them for decades. However, he has plastic crates of stuff, bags of stuff, and piles of stuff everywhere....everywhere! We had to clear everything out of the kitchen, living room, and the bedrooms before we moved in. We still don't use my mom's lovely dining room with her lovely solid wood dining furniture because it is "Grandpa's office" (as the kids call it) with "stuff" lining the perimeter of the room and covering the once pretty china cabinet and dining table. The house is also old and some things really need repair, even if it's just cosmetic. I think this has had an impact on how we feel about keeping house.
I found FlyLady and other organizational systems a bit overwhelming to keep on going with, but I wish I could figure out a simple, one-thing-at-a-time method of accountability that I could join with others to keep up with just one or two things. I'm not really sure what that would be like, though. The daily email thing with FlyLady didn't seem to work for me, but there must be some simple, effective way to encourage each other and motivate each other.
For now, I guess I'll just leave it at "I hear you" and "Don't be so hard on yourself" because I do know that regardless of the messes we are in, the Father never loves us less. And I really think I (and other moms) could draw strength from His example. I know God never considers Himself a failure when He sees what His creation has become. If He does not call us "Failure," we should not call ourselves that, no matter how tempting it is to apply that label. He calls us a lot of wonderful things, but never that.