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How To Fake It... A Clean House That Is!

Updated on November 30, 2011

Preparing For Guests On Short Notice

As if the holidays don't come with enough stress, there is nothing quite as unnerving as a phone call from guests announcing that they are going to pop 20 minutes! Let's face it, unless you are a self proclaimed Martha Stewart, chances are that your home is not "guest-ready" on such short notice. This is even more true if you have children.

Below are some tips on how you can fake a clean house. All you need is a few minutes to follow these simple steps, a sharp eye and your home can appear picture perfect in no time. In fact, most of us really do have clean homes but it's just clutter and perhaps a fine layer of dust that's making it look messy or dirty.

First Impressions

I realize this might sound foolish but the first thing you need to do is go outside and come back in again, with a keen eye, look around and take note of what your guests are going to notice. Begin with the entryway. This is the first area anyone is going to see when coming into your home. Make sure coats and shoes are put away or neatly organised. If there isn't room in a hall closet, simply fill up a laundry basket with unnecessary clutter and poke it out of sight until you can put the items away. Continue the walk through out your home and de-clutter as necessary.

The living room is probably where your guest will spend most of their time, Make sure pillows are fluffed, toys and magazines are put away and if you have time quickly run over coffee and end table with a dusting cloth. Give the TV a quick wipe and quickly run a dusting mop or vacuum over the floor. A small spray of air freshener also goes a long way as well. Use pillows or throws to cover any stains or dingy looking spots on couches or love seats.

Another spot where guests may hang out is the kitchen. Put any stray dishes in the dishwasher or hide them inside the oven if you don't have a dishwasher. De-clutter counter tops and table tops and give the sinks a quick clean. Remember it's not about making it spotless, just a surface clean will do the job. Another great idea is to boil the kettle or start the coffee pot in advance to cut down on waiting time after guests arrive.

It's also important to give the bathroom a quick once over. Start by checking the toilet paper roll, and then de-clutter counter tops and tuck personal items under vanity. Wipe the mirror, counter tops and sinks with a nice smelling cleaning solution. Also, lift the toilet seat and give a quick wipe with a Lysol or Clorox wet wipe over the seat and toilet rim. It will amaze you how quickly it can get dirty under the toilet seat, especially with young boys in the house. If you have dirty towels or laundry lurking, tuck away into a laundry basket or ...gasp, hide in the bathtub and pull across the shower curtain. Light a lovely smelling candle, put out a fresh set of towels and you're done!

Cleaning Cheat List

A few simple suggestions to fake a clean home, guests will never know you took short cuts.

Wipe base heaters with a damp cloth soaked in Mr Clean or another great smelling product, the heat will circulate the scent making your home smell fresh

Light candles or incense before guest arrive

In the kitchen, boil a pot of water and vanilla (the kind you use to bake). It will give off a suttle but pleasing scent and is a great last minute way to freshen up kitchen smells

As mentioned, save time with pre-moistened cleaning cloths such as Clorox or Lysol. They are a perfect solution when time is of the essence.

Empty garbage bin and give a quick spray with an air freshener before replacing the bag.

That's it, you're done! You even have a few minutes to spare to change your outfit or run a brush through your hair. You look great, your home looks great, all you have to do now is enjoy your company. Happy entertaining.


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    • Miss Crayola profile image

      Miss Crayola 6 years ago from Sainte-Marie, QC, Canada

      Hey! You have great ideas! Faking it is easier than most of us think!

    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for the comment. I had to chuckle, not an expert just been "surprised" by guests way to often and learned how to deal with last minute visits :) It is very useful in a pinch.

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 6 years ago from Sweden

      It sure looks like you're an expert on this!

      Great and very useful ideas. I like them all!

      Bookmarking for a much-needed future reference.


    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      It's funny you should say that, because now that I think about it I have also used apple pie spices for this concoction.

    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 6 years ago from Canada

      Glad you found this useful and are keeping it for future reference. I love your idea of apple/orange with cinnamon, cloves or all-spice. It's the natural scents that are most pleasing to me, not a fan of perfumey scents. Your idea makes me crave apple pie.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      These are really great ideas. I will have to print this out and tape it inside the cabinet door just in case the need arises. It will be handy and I won't forget something.

      I like to cut up an apple and/or an orange and boil on the stove with a little cinnamon, cloves or all-spice. it smells great!

      Great hub!

    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks Kristen. Those are my favourite two on the list as well. I also love the scent of Vanilla, I'm not a fan of strong perfumey scents. I've gone through this routine many times, it seems like my friends and family enjoy the last minute visiting thing.

    • Kristen Haynie profile image

      Kristen Haynie 6 years ago from Modesto, CA

      This is awesome! These are great ideas for tidying up in a short amount of time. Many of these I never would have thought of. Like wiping the base heaters with a product that smells nice. What a great idea! I also like the one about boiling water and vanilla, as that's my favorite scent. Thanks so much!

    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 6 years ago from Canada

      You are very welcome, it's a lifesaver for last minute guests.

    • rochelj profile image

      rochelj 6 years ago from USA

      Thanks for these great tips on how to fake a clean house! It's so true, sometimes the guest is due to arrive on short notice, and it's time to take these tips into effect.

    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 6 years ago from Canada

      Most of my company is last minute, so you learn fast. Thanks for reading and commenting Veronica.

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Great hub! Yes, it can certainly be unnerving to hear that someone is just "stopping by" unexpectedly! I love the ideas, and the bit of humor you added to it! =]