The dreaded chore of cleaning can drive anyone to frustration. We dust, vacuum, wipe and scrub, clean up the kid’s messes, and struggle to get fingerprints off doors. Then when someone in the house is sick, we run around wiping down doorknobs and light switches. Yet we often forget some of the most-used items.

The Remote Control

The remote has a massive amount of dreams. Grubby chubby toddler hands, that guest with a cold, and a teenager who didn’t wash his hand after school . . . they all add dirt and germs to the remote. A simple solution is to wipe the remote with alcohol on a cloth and use a q-tip dipped in alcohol to get around the buttons.

Keyboards

This is the same as with the remote. Often families share computer or gaming keyboards, which contributes to the amount of germs. Q-tips come in handy here, again. Seriously, when was the last time you cleaned your keyboard?

Lampshades

While these won’t harbor germs, they can hold dust, attract pet hair, and ultimately result in a dimmer light. Use a good sticky lint roller and roll shades weekly outside, inside, and around the top and bottom rims.

Ceiling Fans

These are massive dust collectors. Then when you turn the fan on, it spews into the air. Some cleaning pros suggest using an old pillowcase to clean blades. Simply slide it over the place, use a soft grip and slide down from the inside to outer edge to remove dust and keep it contained. Take the pillowcase outside, shake it out, and wash it. Another method is to use a damp paper towel to wipe down the blades. Simple and effective. Be sure to do it often enough that the dust doesn’t build.

Your Closet Floor

Yes, this. We throw our shoes in there and often our laundry too. If you have tweens and teens, especially those who play sports, dirty uniforms hit the floor more often than we’d like. At least once a month, take the time to clean the closet floor. If it’s a carpet, vacuum and sprinkle with baking soda or carpet freshener to avoid mold and odors (and carpet beetles). Hard floors need not only a sweeping and vacuuming but a good wipe down with floor cleaner every so often.

Now that you’ve added these new items to clean, there are some objects that just need to be thrown out. Our top two are your kitchen sponge and toothbrushes.

Sponges should be replaced every 2-4 weeks and toothbrushes are recommended to be replaced every 3 months, or anytime after you are sick. Keep a few on hand in a spare drawer so you don’t forget to replace them or make a note to start each season with a new one.