Sometimes I like to use a timer. Ok, a lot of times. The kitchen is a great timer place. 15 minutes to clear the "peninsula" counter. Then 15 minutes for the kitchen and 15 for the dining room. Done.
The Basics (this is the 5 minute stuff that should happen every night)
File the paper clutter in the silver filer box and deal with the mail/kid papers.
Clear the counter/table/mini desk.
Hang up coats, put away boots/coats/gloves.
Hang up backpacks.
Shake the rugs.
Check levels of dish soap/hand soap/dishwasher detergent/rinse agent.
Dump boiling water down the drains.
Wipe down the door and light switch.
Sort some cabinets.
Wipe cabinet fronts.
Make dishwasher mix. (2/3 powder dish detergent and 1/3 lemishine)
Change table centerpiece/shelf art.