NEVER NEVER NEVER work from yourself up!!!! You are the LAST in lines and as such you ALWAYS work down - Hoatu te mana - give the mana to those who have come before you.
Do not work with whakapapa around kai (food).
When working with whakapapa, you need to learn to listen very carefully to your tinana - if you start feeling tired, or a headache coming on etc then STOP STRAIGHT AWAY, don't think, oh, I will just finish this bit.
Likewise, if say you are sitting down, or what ever and the sudden thought comes to you "Oh, I should work on my whakapapa" DO IT!!!
When you have finished working with whakapapa (and not around kai either) go into the bathroom and FLICK YOURSELF WITH WATER - right hand water goes over right shoulder, then left hand water goes over left shoulder then both hands over the top of your head. This ensures that the tapu is left with the whakapapa and you do not carry it around, then do something that breaks tapu and have the ones you are carrying with you get upset with you!!!
Keep your whakapapa in a safe place, like in boxes and put them in a cupboard what has NEVER had kai in it. If the room has never had kai in it that would be a bonus. Also, if you feel they need a bit of extra caring, then wrap the boxes in black cloth.