(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

Getting into a routine is the best way we've found to stay on top of cleaning house. To establish a routine, determine how often you will tackle particular household chores. One tool for doing this is Real Simple's Periodic Table of Cleaning.

It breaks down housecleaning items like dusting furniture through having your rugs professionally cleaned. The table starts with those items that are addressed most often and works its way down to once-a-year cleaning.