If your dining room table is cluttered, your bathroom is getting a little grubby, and there is a huge pile of stuff waiting to be taken to the thrift store, there is only one good solution: it's time to throw a party.
Having a party is a really great way to create a deadline for getting things done around the house. Decide what needs to be done to make your house presentable for company, estimate a reasonable amount of time to get it done, and invite people over shortly after that timeframe. This gives you a reason to get things finished and also an enjoyable reward for when you're done.
I'm going pretty simple this weekend and having a few friends come over to watch football tomorrow afternoon. I planned a little get together because I have been such a lazy housekeeper recently- I have been cleaning parts of the house here and there as needed, but have not had the entire house clean all at once for a long time.
I also have some other home improvements that I want to accomplish by the time my parents visit for Christmas. I am having the furniture and rugs steam cleaned next week, and am hoping to replace the counter tops in the kitchen by the time Saint Nick comes around. I will also need to clear the guest room of things waiting to be donated or sold, and somehow make some room in the guest room closet (which is now the most moster-ridden closet in the house).
The issue is not that my parents would judge me for having old counters, a messy guest room, and sofas with a mild whiff of dog, but that I'm much happier to share my home with others when it is looking its best.
On a related note, I made my first Ebay sale yesterday! A big thanks to Baker from Man vs Debt, who wrote this great guest post on Zen Habits about selling things on Ebay: http://zenhabits.net/ebay-guide/. If you are a little intimidated by the whole process (like I was), let Baker help you get started!