really lived in is bound to get dirty. Aside from the visible clutter that seems to accumulate as a result of our need for ‘things and stuff,’ dirt, bacteria, and other unwanted guests can, over time, make our home their home. There are three specific areas that often get overlooked but definitely need a little more TLC to keep our home environments as clean and healthy as possible. The Bathroom Counter We all do a great job of keeping our kitchen counters clean and wiped down. But how often do you do the same in your bathroom? Begin with a microfiber cloth and your preferred natural cleaning solution. Simply add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to help kill any microscopic critters hanging around while you clean. Choices include lemon, tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint or grapefruit essential oils. To start, remove everything from the counter and wipe thoroughly, including the sink and faucet handles. And while you’re at it, get rid of any face or body care items you aren’t using and then be sure to wipe down the external surface of any products you decide to keep. And voila! Your bathroom will look and smell amazing! Door Handles The number of bacteria, dirt, grime, and who-knows-what-else on the handles in your home is…well, kind of gross to think about. We often don’t think about cleaning the most commonly-touched surfaces in our home but this should be at the top of our radar, especially during the winter season. A quick swipe of door handles (both sides of the door), the handles in your kitchen and bathroom, sliding glass doors, the steering wheel of your car, and your computer keyboard will help to keep your environment healthy and free from looming bacteria and viruses. In addition, there’s one more surface you might want to consider, which is probably the worst offender of them all: your cell phone! Think of all the places your cell phone (and your hands) have been… ewww!! Doorway Entries As the gateway to your home, doorways provide easy access for dirt and grime. Regardless of whether you have a floor mat, carpeting or hardwood floors near your doors, the bottoms of your shoes will deposit whatever they picked up while you were at the grocery store, walking down the sidewalk, at the local shopping mall, gas station or wherever your travels have taken you. Beyond just the dirt and dust, your shoes can carry an unimaginable number of things into your home including environmental chemicals, pesticides, bacteria or other parasites. As part of your 3-point weekly cleaning ritual, be sure to wash or shake out any loose mats around your doors and then mop or vacuum the area nearby. You might also consider leaving a basket near the door where friends and family can shed their shoes, keeping your home a little bit cleaner!