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Fake a Clean House in 20 Minutes

Having kids at home can guarantee 2 things: You won’t have tons of money and your house won’t stay “presentable” for more than 30 minutes at a time. I’m not sure what it is about the floor, but kids seem to think everything goes there. Everything from dirt-covered worms to their smelly underwear ends up in a pile on the floor. As moms, we learn to overlook these little piles of “treasure.” Until unexpected company calls to say they’ll be dropping by, that is! But did you know you can fake a clean house in under 20 minutes?

Nothing gets a house presentable quite like an unexpected guest. {Seriously. My husband knows that the best way to get our house cleaned is to tell me we’re having company! I fly into panic mode and the entire family pitches in to get the house shiny and clean. Okay, who am I joking? It’s presentable. Which is still much better than its usual state.}

For those instances when there simply isn’t time for a deep clean (or, heck, even a real cleaning,) you can still make your house look nice. Even if it looks like the toy box just threw up {AGAIN!}, you can have it guest-ready in about 20 minutes. The secret is to enlist the help of the whole family and move quickly. As the old saying goes, “Many hands make light work.”

Once you get the rest of the family on board, it’s important to do only the necessary work. We’ve rounded up 9 easy ideas to fake a clean house in 20 minutes or less.

Love these 9 tips to fake a clean house in under 20 minutes! No more tornado-zone welcoming our guests!

Do what’s necessary:

There’s no point in in cleaning the master bedroom if your guests won’t be going in there. The same is true with spaces that are upstairs or downstairs, the laundry room, garage, office or any other part of the house they won’t be going into.

If they won’t be going into your kids’ bedrooms (and I’m praying they won’t! I know how those rooms tend to look.) then use that space to stash big items that you don’t have time to put away in the proper place.

In the middle of folding laundry in the living room? Throw the clothes back in the basket and return it to a room that your guests won’t be seeing. It won’t matter that you stashed an overflowing basket in the nursery and your guests will never know.

First things first:

There are certain things that need to be done first. It won’t matter if your bedroom is sparkling clean if your entryway is strewn with Legos. Start with the areas your guests will be seeing first.

A first impression is forever, so if you can make them think your house is spotless when they walk in, they won’t be as likely to  notice your small messes in the other rooms.

But if they are greeted with piles of papers, Barbie’s decapitated head and loose marbles all over, they will immediately know the truth. 😉

Set your scent:

One of the first things I do when guest are coming is light a candle and take out the trash and any scraps of food.

Removing the cause of the odor is a must, even if you don’t smell anything.

Light a candle to set a relaxed mood and help fill your home with a pleasant aroma. I like to do this first so that the candle has time to ignite the whole house in its smell.

Declutter all surfaces:

Nothing screams “messy” quite like clutter. Quickly clear kitchen counter tops, coffee tables and your TV stand of papers and other clutter.

Don’t have time to file them away?

No problem. Simply grab a basket, tote or cute bag to store it all in until you have a chance to put it away.

Head to the bathroom and put away your straightener, hairspray, toothpaste and other items that aren’t pretty.

Of all the tips to fake a clean house, this one will usually make the biggest difference!

Love these 9 tips to fake a clean house in under 20 minutes! No more tornado-zone welcoming our guests!Straighten those stacks:

Have a stack of books or magazines? They can look messy if you leave them jumbled up. Take a few seconds to straighten them into a neat stack and they’ll look am million times better.

No longer will your end tables look like a dumping ground, but instead will look tidy and fresh.

It takes only a few seconds and can have a huge impact on the way the room feels.

Do the details:

When you’re running around panicking, it’s easy to forget the details.

Small tasks, like straightening the hand towel, can make a huge difference in the room.

Straighten the area rug, fluff the couch pillows and open your curtains.

Small adjustments can take your home from ‘frazzled’ to ‘put together’ in just a few minutes.

We love using a cleaning service once or twice a year to cover the big details. Places like this Phoenix cleaning service can really lighten your workload! Using them makes cleaning the house smarter, not harder!

Clean those floors:

There’s something about floors that can make or break a clean house.

When we installed vinyl flooring a few years ago, I had no idea how much better they would look after being cleaned. Each tiny speck of dirt is visible and makes the house look messy, even when it’s not.

If you want a lot of punch, clean your floors. Simply sweeping or running the vacuum quickly over them can make a world of difference.

Your guests’ eyes will naturally fall to the floor, so make sure they appear clean.

{I like to keep a microfiber mop on hand for grabbing the stubborn dust from our hard floors.}

Love these 9 tips to fake a clean house in under 20 minutes! No more tornado-zone welcoming our guests!

Scour the splatters:

It’s no secret that kids can be nasty.

My kiddos are in charge of cleaning their own bathroom and sometimes, it can get straight up disgusting.

Before guests arrive, I always head to the bathroom to make sure there aren’t any poop streaks sticking around inside the toilet. Having a strong flushing toilet helps prevent this too.

A cup of bleach will easily take care of any stubborn splatters and splashes inside the toilet.

Let the bleach sit while you quickly wipe down the outside of the toilet, then clean with your toilet brush and flush.

In under 2 minutes, you’ve made your bathroom smell better and clean enough that your guests won’t leave with the heebie-jeebies.

Ditch the dishes:

A sink full of dirty dishes can be quite an eyesore.

If you still have a few minutes to spare, place them in the dishwasher, without rinsing them.

If the dishwasher is full and you are fresh out of time, grab a laundry basket, and place the dirty dishes in there.

Carefully carry the basket of dishes to the bathroom and place the basket inside the tub.

Pull the  shower curtain closed and waa-laaa, it’s like they’ve magically disappeared!

If you don’t have very many dishes, you can also stick them in your oven, fridge or freezer to quickly get them out of sight.

If your dishwasher is empty but you don’t have time to load them properly, you can always stack the plates on TOP of the racks, instead of in between.

It’ll save you just a few minutes but will get them out of view for your company.

Utilizing these simple tips, you can fake a clean house in under 20 minutes! Your guests will never expect that you typically live in the aftermath of a toddler’s tornado.

Love these 9 tips to fake a clean house in under 20 minutes! No more tornado-zone welcoming our guests!