Miele Vacuum Cleaner - We love German design so this vacuum cleaner was a wish we had for a few years. We finally bought this one used 5 years ago. We had eyed them at Warner's Stellian but worked out a deal with them to buy the model they used to vacuum their front rugs at the St. Paul store. They knocked the price down about half! This can be used on carpet and hard floors, has a telescoping handle, and comes with two attachments. The built in hepa filter is wonderful...we don't sneeze when we vacuum! It's lightweight and has a very powerful motor. This was definitely worth the investment, and now we are thinking about getting a second one just to have on hand for the downstairs.
Swiffer Duster with Telescoping handle - This is great for getting spiderwebs off walls and dusting those tall, hard to reach places. I love it because I'm vertically challenged! This really gets the house clean where neither the children or I can reach. This is great for the tops of doorways and ceiling fans, too.
Swiffer floor and surface dusters - These are just great for everyone to use. I know they are light enough so even the kids can dust a room or "swiffer" a hard-wood floor to get dust bunnies.
Clorox Wipes - These are great for doing a quick disinfecting swipe before cleaning day. On cleaning day we use stronger cleansers, water, and elbow grease. But for a quick job, these do the trick!
Our ex-cleaning lady also got us used to hitting the reset button before cleaning day. This means all the clothes get rehung, folded, and put into drawers (if it isn't already) and all the toys get disassembled and put away or at least up off the floor. Toys and other items get retrieved from under beds, and surfaces get tidied. This is also our time to throw things away or set them aside for donating. This happens every two weeks so we can maintain our home in an orderly way. It's great because I don't get anxious about the house being disorganized or dusty. By maintaining this routine, we are able to manage our spaces and things. I always tell the kids the house is for us not just our stuff so that helps them make decisions when they want to purchase things. They always ask themselves if this is a NEED or a WANT. In either case, they have to think about where it will go if they get it. This may mean something else may have to go. This is hard for them, but I can truly see they are happy living in an orderly, clean place.