A perfectly clean house is almost unheard of these days, but it's not impossible. If you're too intimidated by the clutter in your home to know where to start, try following a few of these simple guidelines.

A widely used cleaning service, merrymaids.com, provides a helpful list of tips for deep-cleaning your house (without it becoming too overwhelming).

Tackle each room by splitting each task up into three or four separate weekends. Aim for cleaning your bathrooms and kitchen the first weekend. The next weekend, focus on bedrooms. The following weekend, shoot for the linen closets, mudroom and laundry room. Lastly, focus on the common and outdoor areas.

Maybe make a chart to keep track of each smaller task you tackle while working on your bathrooms and the kitchen (such as cleaning the tubs, showers and toilets or cleaning out the refrigerator).

Get rid of expired or unused household items. Move furniture to wash baseboards. Wash windows and door frames. Vacuum, mop or wax. Wash out trash cans. Use each weekend to focus on a new goal.

If you're not quite to the deep-clean stage yet, start small. Make your bed every day. Do one load of laundry per day. Start a donation box to help you declutter. The rest will come later and the process will get easier.