I'm a neat freak at heart, but too lazy to make it happen most of the time! I live alone and most of the time my apt hovers between reasonably neat and messy and cluttered. I have found over the years certain things make me twitchy, but also that it takes very little to remedy them. I hate the way my kitchen looks when i don't stuff way, but have found if i take 5-10 minutes each night, i can have the dishes done, food put away, etc. and counters wiped clean.
Same with picking my stuff up off the bathroom vanity, putting it back where it belongs, hanging the towels nicely. i've actually timed myself and can do that in under 3 mkinutes,. same with unloading the DW. once i realized this, it didn't seem to be such a chore anymore.
I also agree with working on one task or area at a time. i will do both, depending on my mood. I'll say, ok, tonight i will clear off the coffee table. Or deal with all the paper, mail, receipts, etc. and if i do it like that, i feel like i've accomplished something, and the rest will follow.
I never, however, have filth. Food gets thrown away, and ONLY in the kitchen. while i may leave dishes in the sink, they are rinsed, etc. And i clean my bathroom regularly. Never had any kind of infestation of bugs or anything else due to being filthy. the wasps in my old apt, whole other ball of wax.
Although right now, since half my closet shelf/hanging rack fell off the wall completely,. portions of my apt look like I belong on hoarders, since i had to empty half the closet in anticipation of maintenance coming to replace it.