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You are here: Home > Organizing Advice > Household Management > Nip it in the Bug!
Contributed by Rita McGhee, Sort My Space,

Over the past several months Ive had questions posed to me about the most recent viral explosion on the human population, H1N1, and how is the best way to clean and sanitize a home.  As a mom of elementary-age children, viruses and bacteria enter my house DAILY!  If my children bring something into the house, we all risk getting sick.  With flu season approaching, including the H1N1 virus, getting sick comes with a host of complications ranging from sore throats to death.

According to the CDC web site,, Congressional update on May 4, 2009,  the H1N1 virus lives on a dry surface for minimum of "2-8 hours."  My first line of defense is hand washing when entering the house.  As far as the children go, their school clothes are put in the laundry daily.  If clothes cant be washed, steam them or put them through the dryer on at least the medium setting cook the little bugs! Wipe down back-pack handles & folders with a disinfectant cloth every day.

Each time I clean a room, special consideration goes to areas of high use.  This is especially true at the first signs that a bug has entered the house sneezing, coughing, fever or intestinal issues.  I use a disinfectant cleaner on a cloth or paper towel and clean these areas first:

    * Bathroom - Handles, switches, sink, cabinet edges, toilet.
    * Kitchen Sink, countertops, appliance handles and controls, switches & knobs.
    * Common Areas Switches, knobs, controllers, phones & keyboards.

Ive done this routine so often that I can sanitize each room within just a few minutes.  It has stopped many a bug in its tracks!

Rita McGhee is a professional organizer in Charleston, West Virginia and author of "Organize Your Home the Green Way."