We all know that a clean house is essential in maintaining our family’s physical and mental health, so we’re all always looking for easy and fast ways to clean our homes. However, some of the cleaning habits we develop may actually be making housekeeping harder and may even be doing more harm than good to our homes.

Read the list below and see if you have any of these lousy housekeeping practices so you can get rid of them immediately. We’ve also included a few tips on how to organize and clean your home efficiently.

Hoarding Paper

Despite all the online transactions we can do nowadays, magazines, newspapers, school papers, and projects still tend to pile up in our homes. To avoid paper clutter, assign a place near the entryway for all mail, periodicals, and paper forms, with a shredder or recycling bin close by. Sort through the papers once a week to see which ones to keep or toss.

Photograph your children’s artwork, or frame them for display, and read articles from your favorite publication online to minimize accumulation of paper.

Having a good work-life balance offers several positive effects, including less stress, a lower risk of burnout, and a greater sense of wellbeing. It’s beneficial for both the employee and the employer.

Employers who provide environments that support work-life balance for their employees can save on costs, experience fewer cases of absenteeism, and enjoy a more loyal and productive workforce.

Achieving a work-life balance is not so much about dividing the hours in your day evenly between work and personal life. It is more about having the flexibility to get things done in your professional life while still having time and energy to enjoy your personal life. You might need to work longer hours on some days to have more time later in the week to enjoy activities that are not related to work.

Here are eight ways to create a balance between your work and other life roles:

Leaving Behind Bunched-up Shower Curtains and Wet Towels

Mildew grows on damp surfaces, like your wet towels on the floor and bunched up shower curtains. To prevent mildew growth, close the shower curtain after each use, and hang dry your wet towels. By doing so, you also lighten your laundry load.

Using Too Much Cleaning Product

Residues from cleaning products can cause dirt buildup in your home. Make sure to read directions and to use the recommended amount of product to prevent the accumulation of dirt and waste of time and money.

Using Dirty Cleaning Tools

You can’t expect your home to be clean if you are using dirty cleaning tools. A dirty rag or duster cannot trap dust particles.

Give special attention to the maintenance of your washing machine and vacuum cleaners as they are the most used machines in your home. Give your washing machine a thorough wash when your clothes start to stink even after being washed. Regularly change and empty your vacuum bag to keep it working correctly.

Cleaning the Bathroom with One Wipe

One disposable disinfectant wipe is not enough to clean your entire bathroom. To effectively clean your bathroom, use a wipe that contains enough disinfectant and remains wet for at least four minutes. Use new wipes as the old ones dry out, or use a clean cloth with a sufficient amount of disinfectant.

Piling Dirty Dishes in the Sink

A sink full of dirty dishes is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and other bugs and insects. Make sure always to wash all your plates and glasses immediately after your meal.

Wearing Shoes Inside the House

Removing your shoes each time you enter your home not only minimizes the filth, germs, and bacteria that enter your home, but you also promote natural foot health. Help everyone practice this habit by placing a bench or chair in the front door or mudroom entry for easier shoe removal, and keeping a shoe tray close by for wet or muddy shoes.

Storing Cleaning Products the Wrong Way

Avoid wasting your time looking for your cleaning tools by storing them close to that area where you use them. Store your bathroom cleaners in a small plastic carryall and stash them on a shelf or under the sink, and keep all your laundry products in the laundry room.

Not Keeping Track of the Food in your Refrigerator

If your family hates leftovers, don’t stash them in the refrigerator. Instead, just go ahead and toss it. Improperly storing food can cause them to go spoil, which will not only make cleaning out the fridge a bigger task but will also endanger your family’s health.

Leaving Your Bed Unmade

No matter how clean and neat your bedroom is, leaving your bed unmade will make it look unorganized. Making your bed every morning will help you be productive the whole day. To make the task simple, choose beddings that you can quickly spread up neatly.

Dusting Last When Cleaning

Clean rooms from the top down, so the dust lands on the flood and be vacuumed away later. Use a clean duster to make sure that it is trapping the dust and not just pushing it around.

Leaving the Kitchen Dirty After You Cook

If you like cooking, you must also learn how to keep your kitchen clean. Wash all the dirty pans and pots as soon as you are done cooking, and remember to observe proper washing of cooking tools like the cutting board, knives, spoons, and bowls. While meal prep can be hectic, making it a habit to clean as you go will ensure that you’re not left with a big mess that you’ll still have to deal with later.

Do the same for stains. If you spilled something while cooking, use a damp cloth to clean it immediately, so it doesn’t dry up and become harder to remove. Make sure to keep a multi-purpose cleaner in your kitchen to help you deal with stubborn stains, particularly those on your stovetop that make your kitchen look filthy.

Getting Distracted While Cleaning

Starting a job and not completing it because you got distracted is a common bad housekeeping habit that most people have and need to avoid. It is perfectly fine to take short breaks, but if you tend to get sidetracked and completely forget your task at hand, set the alarm. Once it goes off, wrap up your task and move to another chore.

Delaying Minor Cleaning and Repair Tasks

Putting off minor home maintenance chores can lead to overwhelming tasks and bills. Overlooking minor repairs that need to be done can be hard to manage later on. The same goes for decluttering. Keeping up with your bad cleaning habits can lead to the accumulation of clutter that can ruin your house decor. To avoid overwhelming cleaning and repair tasks, try to do a bit of cleaning each day, like loading and emptying the dishwasher, completing a load of laundry, or vacuuming one or two rooms.

If you want a cleaner home faster, it’s time to drop these bad habits. For starters, choose one or two bad cleaning habits to change each week. Soon enough, you’ll have a cleaner home without the extra work and frustration.

For more housekeeping tips, get a one-year subscription of Good Housekeeping magazine at Discount Press! This monthly magazine covers everything from food, nutrition, fashion, beauty, relationships, home decorating and home care, health and child care, and consumer and social issues.