I like to do preventative cleaning - each evening I spend 15-20mins and go through my house and put things back in their correct place, put clean dishes away, straighten magazines/pillows/whatever. Dishes get done daily, counters get washed with dawn dish soap after each meal, kitchen floor swept (usually) daily. Beds get made daily.
This keeps my place from looking cluttered and messy and saves time when I do my weekly clean:
- Clean Sinks
- Bathroom Tiles
- Wash Floors
- Dish And Vacuum
- Wash Sheets
- Vacuum Couch And Chairs
I use whatever products I can get on sale, although I know a lot of people like to make their own. I love cleaning and have a very neat home so I don't mind spending money. I usually use microfibre clothes which I saw wash and reuse but sometimes use jcloths and paper towels too. I also use a vacuum as well as a little DustBuster type thing in case I spill something small and don't want to dig out the full size one.
Be proactive, not reactive with your cleaning.
Do it frequently enough that it's never a big task, and don't be afraid to experiment with how you organize things to get the most out of the space you have.
Try to do as much laundry during the week and put it away ASAP so it doesn't add up.
Manage the incoming flow of paperwork/gifts/goodie bags etc daily (I have two young kids and a dog). I alternate on the weekends: one weekend I wash floors (vinegar, dawn dish soap and a mop and bucket, the floors get dried with a dry clean towel immediately after washing.
This prevents the water being on the wood too long, further facilitates in cleaning, and maybe polishes them a little). I also vacuum upstairs. Baseboard dusting and/or washing gets included as needed. Same with wall washing except I would do this prior to washing floors and use that water and change it if necessary.
We have white baseboards and I hate when they are dusty.
On the next weekend, I clean bathrooms and wash bedding although the bathrooms get maintained as needed throughout the week with wipes/paper towels. Bedroom/living room, blonds, door frames etc dusting gets done as needed, I use the swiffer generic brands of the hand held duster and the floor broom thing. When I sweep my floors, I will use either the broom or swiffer thing depending on which I want to use. If I don't have a hand held duster, I will use anything such as a sock.
I don't use Dusting products as I don't like the films they leave. If I need to wash furniture, I would apply same methods as washing floors and walls (dawn dish soap, water, vinegar, dish rag). Windows get washed typically two times a year and as needed. My preference of cleaning products is obviously dawn dish soap, vinegar, any brand toilet bowel cleaner (much have bleach), and a clorox bleach spray bottle.
I like to wipe down surfaces with fresh wet rag/paper towel that received the bleach as I don't like my kids to come into direct contact with harsh chemicals.
When it comes to chemicals and supplies, go with the basics and expand based on your needs. A bottle of windex, a bottle of bleach mixed with water, barkeeper's friend for extra-greasy kitchen messes, some baking soda for removing odors from carpets, and vinegar for sink stank.
When it comes to keeping things smelling fresh, I typically put on a simmer pot with mulling spice. If you need a heavy-hitting odor killer, get the stuff that's made to cover pet smells.
Make sure you have decent drain covers in your kitchen and bathroom. This is less a cleaning tip and more a "only meet plumbers when they're not working" tip. The less junk down your drains, the better. Most drain cleaners damage your pipes, and they're less effective than prevention.