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