Once the dust settles on the countertops, it can be hard to keep up with the dirt. We reveal the 5 daily chores you should be doing to prevent more work.

Humanity only faces a few challenges that require constant small attention or face an inevitable end. The first is eating and drinking, the second is personal growth. Like these other two great wars of attrition in life, cleaning needs to be addressed bit by bit to avoid calamity.

Daily chores do more than keep a house under control; they also relieve stress. The link between clutter and stress demonstrates why even the smallest steps feel rewarding.

If you’ve lived in a house for any length of time, you notice some work always needs to be done. In a long list of maintenance cleaning, how do you compile a short list?

Read on to understand why this essential list matters.

Essential Daily Chores

The short list of daily household chores needs to cover easy-to-do things to increase motivation that delays larger cleaning projects.

Many of these are the same bottom to top routines done to keep hospitals running. The home version is less work-intensive and wasteful—you are aiming for clean not objectively sterile conditions.

1. Make the Bed

Not that you want to make it immediately. Leaving the bed open for a few hours gives time for the air to kill off the bacteria you form while sweating in it overnight.

After that, a quick bed tidying keeps out dander and dust and provides a little bump of accomplishment for the day.

Bed making makes a bedroom look put together, even when other elements are still in disarray. It also makes a handy staging platform for many cleaning and organizing tasks done in the room.

2. Address the Dust

Dust forms from a variety of unsavory ingredients. Seriously, a nuanced understanding of dust leaves you wondering why every house isn’t built with negative pressure to shove it all out.

Dust accumulates because we all die a little bit each day.

Floors and surfaces accumulate this dust and then start to clog up mucus membranes and anything else they can touch.

Start with the floor, then wipe down the middle surfaces and then the upper surfaces. Taking a few minutes per room leaves a fresh feeling all day long.

3. Wipe Down Bathrooms

On the opposite spectrum from dust is water buildup, specifically mildew and molds. The bathroom isn’t as frightening a place for clutter as many other rooms, but it does fall into disarray over time.

Wiping down the surfaces with a towel after the daily shower routine will keep the surfaces looking good and get the water dry sooner leading to less mildew later.

4. A Load of Laundry

What to do with that wet towel? Toss it in the laundry!

A load of laundry a day (or, more precisely, .75 loads per person per day) keeps the laundry in check. What are all those automatic washing and drying machines for if not to keep the house free of dirty cloth bits?

5. Clean as You Go

The most important of household chores doesn’t even make it to many daily chore lists. Simply clean up as you go.

Every time you pass through a room, you can move one thing that needs to be placed somewhere else.

Try it and you’ll find that you start getting disappointed that everything always seems done before you even think about cleaning up.

A Deeper Clean

While keeping a list of daily chores helps to keep a household running, it isn’t the final step in the battle. Eventually, you will want to hit the harder to reach surfaces with more power.

For the big projects and the yearly things, get quotes on outsourcing to keep your life free of the clutter of responsibility.