In the 1960s, the cartoon "The Jetsons" promised a life of ease in the 21st century, made possible by all sorts of futuristic gadgets and robots. Housewives of the day were particularly taken with Rosey the Robot, the Jetson family maid who, with just a touch of a button, could make the Jetson's glass space-house spic and span.

Unfortunately, flying cars and housecleaning robots haven't yet made it into our day-to-day lives, and getting your house clean still takes some good, old-fashioned elbow grease. Everyone knows that once winter's over, it's time to spring clean. But what about the other seasons? All four seasons -- spring, summer, winter and autumn -- ring in different weather and different reasons to keep your domicile clean. The changing of the seasons offers you an opportunity to get things done around the house -- organizing clothes, fighting allergens, reducing clutter, ensuring your family's safety and even saving money.

Before we jump into heavy-duty seasonal cleaning, let's talk a little about what you need to keep your house sparkling on a daily basis. Here's a list of supplies you should always have on hand:

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Toilet brush
  • Scrub brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Rubber gloves
  • Old toothbrush
  • Dry-cleaning sponge
  • Squeegee
  • Broom
  • Sponge mop
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Mild abrasive
  • Dust mop
  • Extendable duster
  • White vinegar
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Vacuum
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Supply caddy

[source: Real Simple]

Having these supplies handy will help you keep the dirt and grime under control. Of course, they only work if you use them! Experts advise taking a few minutes -- under a half an hour -- each day to take care of basic cleaning tasks. This includes wiping down countertops and sinks, cleaning any spills on the floor, wiping mirrors, wiping down the toilet, making your bed, tidying up the sofa and clearing major clutter. Taking care of stuff like this on a daily basis will prevent you from becoming overwhelmed with big cleaning projects.

You should also do the following at least twice a year:

  1. Check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  2. Change the filters in your furnace and air conditioning units.
  3. Check your rubber washing machine hoses for cracks and bulges.
  4. Vacuum and flip your mattress.
  5. Clean out your pantry.

Now, get your mop and feather duster ready because we're going to give you the low-down on cleaning your house for every season. Let's get started.