With two kids under 5 and an accident-prone mother (that's me), we'd be making messes even if I wasn't serving our 21-month-old milk in an open-topped cup and letting my 4 year old help cook. But I hated the expense and waste of throwing away paper towel after landfill-clogging paper towel.
So right around when Baby A started eating solids, I bought a jumbo pack of yellow microfiber cloths from Costco (they're sold in the automotive department). We've never looked back. Dampen one of those babies and you can clean any surface in the house--wood floors, furniture, countertops and tile! Use 'em dry and they grab (and hold onto) dust, dirt and hair. And while in desperation I've used a microfiber cloth on the kids, I try to keep a few cheap washcloths handy for face and hand-wiping duty. When we've dirtied a rag or washcloth, we just toss it into a bucket on our basement staircase to be laundered.
That's my top secret cleaning tip, brought to you by Parent Bloggers Network and Pledge's How I Clean Now.