10 Essentials for Your Cleaning Kit

A Checklist

OK, don't get hostile. We know the last thing you need right now is one more list of instructions. A cleaning checklist can be really helpful, though. Have you ever cleaned the bathroom and put everything away only to realize you forgot to clean the tub surround, toilet or sink? Something probably happened to upset your regular cleaning routine: the phone rang or the kids got into an unfriendly brawl about chores. If you have a checklist, distractions won't lead to cleaning mishaps. All you have to do is take a quick peek at the list after a cleaning session to make sure you haven't forgotten anything.

Having a list can be neat in other ways, too: You can decide how often you want to do certain chores -- or who will do the chore -- and make a simple check to sign off on, say, baseboard cleaning for this quarter. You'll also have a handy spot on which to make a note that you need to restock your supply of room freshener. Taking an occasional gander at all the cleaning you've accomplished is rewarding, too.

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