It would be nice if we could all hire a housekeeper to handle the tasks of daily cleaning, pickup and even those deep cleaning chores that have to be done every few weeks or months. But for most of us, those jobs are ours alone, so finding the best and most efficient way to complete them can make more time to do the things that are actually enjoyable. There are also some basic cleaning rules to follow to ensure that you keep your family safe and to keep your home free of illness-spreading germs. The following lists 7 sins to avoid when cleaning house. These should help you stay on top of the cleaning so that your house is place to relax and unwind, not stress about chores.

House Cleaning
House Cleaning

1. Cleaning While Pregnant

Many moms may not realize that there are some cleaning products that you should avoid when you’re expecting. It’s best to avoid anything with strong fumes or smells and wear gloves to avoid excess exposure to skin. Most importantly don’t overdo it and take it slow when cleaning small areas with little ventilation. Opening a window can help reduce the chance of becoming sick from fumes or inhaling chemicals scents.

2. Don’t Start with the Floors

House Cleaning
House Cleaning
Many people begin with cleaning their floors because it’s perceived as the dirtiest spot in the room and can make the most impact when completed. But to be efficient in your cleaning, you should actually work from the top down. Dust corners, high pictures and shelves before beginning on the rest of the room. And remove cobwebs first. Once these are done you can clean the windows and mirrors and dust the other things in the middle of the wall area. Sweep, mop and vacuum last, and slowly work your way towards the exit of the room as you clean the floors to prevent footprints and smudges on damp floors.

3. Never Mix Bleach and Ammonia

House Cleaning
House Cleaning
These two chemicals are great on their own but they are toxic when mixed and can actually kill by creating chlorine gas. This mixture is one component away from mustard gas! Be sure to read the label on all your cleaners and keep anything with these two ingredients separate from each other. Simply breathing in the fumes can cause serious health risks.

4. Don’t Doubt the Power of Homemade Cleaners

Most people have some of the ingredients for the best homemade cleaners already in their kitchen. Not only are these cleaners effective, they’re also super cheap. Vinegar is great for windows and can also be good for cleaning stains when diluted. Baking soda is a wonderful abrasive for cleaning out your bathtub, sink or for scouring the kitchen counters. Exact formulas for cleaners can be found through an online search, but be extremely careful when mixing.

5. Disinfect All the Common Surfaces When Dealing with Illness

Be sure not to overlook those items and surfaces that everyone touches daily if you’re dealing with a sick family member. Bleach wipes or disinfecting spray, especially those in an aerosol can, are the perfect items to have to kill the germs that may be covering your home. When dealing with something that’s infectious like the flu or a stomach bug, you will want to be sure to clean light switches, doorknobs, remote controls and anything else that everyone in the home touches throughout the day. Wipe down kitchen and bathroom counters and other hard surfaces that may have had contact with the germs. You should also wash bedding and towels in hot water to kill any lingering bacteria. If you prefer to go the natural route with cleaners, there are several essential oils that can disinfect when mixed properly. Recipes can be found online for those who are interested (once again, be very careful with what you mix).

6. Don’t Forget to Delegate

When you’re left with the responsibility of taking care of the home, you may feel like you have to do it all on your own to get the job done right, but that’s simply not the case. Kids can begin doing very simple chores at a young age. This not only sets them up to learn responsibility, but can also help you around the house. Age appropriate chores will depend on the child, but some easy chores for children can includes sweeping, transferring clothes from washer to dryer, loading or emptying the dishwasher and taking out the trash. Decide what simple tasks you need help with and dole them out to the kids.

7. No Cleaning Before Pickup

You can’t clean around stuff, not properly anyway. Get the kids involved in picking up the stuff in their rooms, as well as around the house. Trying to clean with toys and laundry and other things in your way will simply lead to frustration and discouragement. Take care of that stuff before you start cleaning.

Cleaning the house is a job that many of us would rather avoid, but who wants to live in a dirty home? When hiring a regular housekeeper just isn’t an option, the case for most average families, you just have to do your best to work efficiently and safely to keep your home in the best shape for your family. Following a few basic guidelines can help you stay on task to keep your home and everyone in it happy, healthy and safe.