I've been mulling this over in my head ever since Swistle wrote a post requesting housekeeping advice. I'm not terribly domestic, nor am I terribly clean. However I don't live in filth, and I do occasionally have to do something to maintain my slovenly lair.
*Put away ten things. This was actually a chore my mom used to give us when we were kids. As in, you can go outside after you put away ten things in the living room. If I don't know where to start, I start with putting away ten things. It's nice and non specific, and generally renders fairly visible results. Plus, once you put away ten things, you can have yourself a little rest, and then put away ten MORE things. Eventually, you can put away enough rounds of Ten Things that your house is tidy, and you can do it nice little units.
*Clear all horizontal surfaces but one. Somehow having one side table stacked with lots of papers seems tidier than having every horizontal surface in the apartment stacked with some papers. And once I get it all in one place, I can sit down and go through it all.
*Pick a goal that requires you take care of some other stuff first. For instance, I'll decide that I'm going to empty and wipe out my kitchen sink, which involves emptying and then loading my dishwasher to get to it. Or I'll decide I'm going to vacuum the living room, which means I have to get everything off of the living room floor first.