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How to Fake a Clean House

If you just found out your friend, in-laws, landlord are coming over and are terrified because your house is a disaster, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s go over the fastest way to fake a clean house until you can actually get your crap together.

A word of warning that if you’re a naturally organized person who never has a messy house – this post is probably not for you.

Instead, I’m talking to those of you (like me!) who lose control of your home from time to time and are embarrassed at the state of your home.

If you have a messy house that needs to appear clean immediately – try these steps.

Then, go through my post on how to get control of a disgusting house in order to make sure you never end up in this position again!

Smell Test

The smell of your home is a dead giveaway of its cleanliness.

If your house smells musty, like pets, or has a generally funky smell, your guest will notice and it will be hard to convince them your home is clean – no matter how it looks to the naked eye.

Remember that you are probably nose-blind to any smells in your house.

Before you get started doing anything else, light a few candles, diffuse some essential oils, and sprinkle baking soda on all carpets and rugs.

Candles immediately make your home feel cleaner and give the appearance that you have your crap together.

Porch / Entry Way – 5 Minutes

The key to tricking someone into thinking your home is clean and organized is to make a great first impression.

One of my favorite quotes is “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” and this goes for your home as well.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Take 30 seconds and clean the glass in your door.

Sweep the porch.

Straighten the rug out front and make sure there is no clutter.

If you have clutter on your porch, move it somewhere else for now.

Pets (5 Minutes)

Even if your guests are perfectly aware that you have a cat or dogs, they don’t need to be smacked in the face with it as soon as they enter your home.

Yes, your pets are part of your family, but the appearance of lots of animal toys makes your home appear cluttered and sometimes…dirty.

These awesome charcoal bags are great for pet owners or people with scent-sensitivities. If you’re trying to eliminate pet or smoke smells – pick up a few of these. They last for SO long!

Eliminate this by putting away their toys and for the love of all that is holy – hide the litter pan.

If your pet can handle the change, put away even their bed and water and food bowls until your guests leave.

Remember – we’re creating the illusion of a clean home here, so try your best to not be offended at this suggestion!

Kitchen (15 Minutes)

This is almost always the most cluttered room in our homes.

Start by gathering all garbage and shoving it into your trash can or a garbage bag you can carry around with you.

Move fast!

Hide as many dirty dishes in your dishwasher (if you have one) as possible.

Put any remaining ones in the oven.

If your guests are looking in your oven to check cleanliness, they’re weird and we don’t want them to visit anyway 😉

Make sure you have clean glasses and something cold to drink for your guest, just in case.

Even if you have sodas in the fridge, have clean glasses on hand in case the person says “I’ll just take some water.”

Put any appliances into cabinets (toaster, blender, etc).

Wipe down all flat surfaces and remove all clutter from the outside of your fridge.

Just shove any papers you’ve been sticking to the front or side of your fridge into a drawer for now.

Bathroom (15 minutes)

This is the true test if a home feels clean or not.

You do NOT want your toilet to be gross when guests are over who may very well need to use it.

Take this opportunity to spray something that smells great in your bathroom – even if you already have candles burning.

Spray your rugs and shower curtain with Febreeze or your favorite room spray.

Set a timer and clean your toilet as fast as possible in 5 minutes or less.

Make sure these items are readily available in the bathroom:

  • Soap
  • Toilet paper
  • A hand towel

Spot clean the mirrors and counters.

Shove everything unsightly and clutter under the sink or move it to a nearby closet.

Empty the garbage can.

Living Room

Remove ALL clutter from this room or whatever room you’ll do most of your entertaining in and shove it into whatever closet or room you’re positive no one else will enter.

Look at the room as though you’re a guest when you first enter it.

What do you notice?

Fluff the pillows, straighten the rug, dust everything in sight.

Turn on any lamps to bring more life into the room.

Last Minute Tasks – 15 Minutes

Vacuum absolutely everywhere you can in 10 minutes.

Even dried crumbs on your counters.

Rethink how you use your vacuum and handle your ceiling fan, your drapes, even your upholstered furniture like your couch.

Vacuum like your life depends on it.

Spend another 5 minutes wiping down all flat surfaces.

If you have an especially gross flat surface, like a counter with old food caked on it, spend the time necessary to make the counter really sparkle.

What tips do you have for anyone expecting an unplanned guest? What do you do to make your home look presentable in no time flat? Join the conversation on Instagram HERE!