First, the most important step is the camera. It doesn't have to be a fancy camera. But it does have to have a white balance setting. My camera has an option that lets me set it manually. So to do this I select the option to set the white balance manually and point the camera at the white paper that I use as my background and hit the shutter button. This sets that white paper as pure white. Of course each camera is different so check your own specific camera's instructions on how to do this.
When taking pictures I do NOT use a lightbox. I have nothing against them, I just happen to not use one. I also don't have an opportunity to take advantage of natural light. I take all my pictures either before or after work, so it's dark outside when I do.
My set up is very simple. An old desk, a large sheet of white paper, two lamps and items that I use as props.
So after I set my white balance, and take a picture it looks something like this
It needs a lot of work! (and yes it's always that cluttered)