Sometimes people just up and surprise you by coming over…and sometimes when that happens, your house is in a total state of chaos and disarray. But with these simple steps, you can make your mess of a house seem pristine to the untrained eye. Here are 15 sneaky ways to make your house seem cleaner than it really is.
1. The three T’s
Toilets, tabletops, TV. If you have a minute or less to clean and can get a quick wipe down of these areas, your house will already look significantly cleaner. Spray with disinfectant spray as you’re finishing up to leave a nice smell that would make it seem like you deep cleaned.
2. Go with the flow
Only clean the areas that people will see/spend time in. So, clean up near the entryway of the house, down the hall, and the living room. Don’t stress about bedrooms or even the kitchen if no one will be going there. Vacuum and mop floors in those areas, if you have time.
3. Make the bathroom sparkle- stat
Close the shower curtains, close drawers and clean everything off the counters to make it seem neater. If you have time, use a paper towel to wipe the mirror, sink, counter and finally, the toilet.
4. Clear clutter
Sometimes everyday items that are just lying around the house can make it look messier than it really is. Put away remotes and papers that stack up on coffee tables. Put things away neatly, in their proper place, so you’ll know where to find them later.
5. Get out some clean linen
Replace all dirty towels (dish towels, hand towels, bath towels) with clean ones and spray them with starch to make them look ironed.
6. Pet hair– get rid of it!
Flip couch cushions covered in hair to the other side and voila- no more pet hair! Cover other surfaces with a throw blanket or quickly run a vacuum or lint roller to catch hair.
7. Dishes– hide them!
Your house automatically looks cleaner without stacks of dishes in the sink…so, if you don’t have time to do them or your dishwasher is full, then stack them in the oven for later. You could also put them in a bucket of soapy water or a bathtub to let them soak until you can wash them.
8. Make it smell good!
Light a candle or spray Febreze all over the place. Good smells can make things appear clean to our senses. You could also simmer water with cinnamon, citrus peels, nutmeg, cloves, or ginger.
9. Lighten up
Open the blinds to let in some natural light if it is daytime. If it’s dark outside, then turn off overhead lights and use lamps instead. The lower light makes your home feel cozy and will hide imperfect areas.
10. Clean ‘dem blinds
At the very least, turn blinds up, not down, to mask dust hiding there. If you have time, use newspaper sprayed with vinegar water to quickly clean windows.
11. Show off your shiny things
Place something pretty and shiny like a mirror or vase at a good focal point. People will spend more time looking at shiny things and less at the mess surrounding it.
12. Use the vacuum trick
Leave the vacuum in the middle of the room and tell people that they caught you cleaning. Ha! Now all the mess is excused!
13. Get the right tools
Disposable cleaning wipes make a good quick helper, but you can also use an all-purpose spray and a cleaning cloth.
14. Don’t say sorry
Once you’ve finished your quick cleaning, and your guests arrive, don’t apologize for the state of your home. Guests come to see the host/hostess, not the house. Unexpected company, especially, will understand if everything isn’t perfect.
15. Clean yourself up
Honestly, guests will probably pay more attention to how you look, than how your house does. So, take a moment to make yourself look nice and neat. Do your hair, put on clean clothes, dab on some makeup…whatever you need to do to look presentable quickly– do it!
16. Fill a big bowl with lemons.
A big bowl full of lemons shows that you can cook, bake, maybe even fancy enough to spritz a little lemon water in your water. “Home-y, this one,” they’ll think. Also makes for a great interior design counterpoint!
17. Create an easy but sophisticated dessert.
Just break a couple of blocks of dark chocolate and place it on a plate with fruit and nuts. Delish!
18. Put a variety of ingredients in jars.
Take out that pasta, rice, or other ingredients from their packaging. Pour them inside jars and place them on display. Way to say you are a wonderful homemaker!
19. Display your green thumb.
You can just get a plant that lasts forever or maybe just keep it simple and get a couple of branches from a walk and stick them inside some glass bottles. Rustic!
20. Put water inside empty glass bottles and place them inside the fridge.
To seem (and be) environmentally friendly and cool, put water inside empty glass bottles and place them inside the fridge.
21. Get the tea and coffee ready
Know those free tea and coffee packs you get from hotels and restaurants? Now’s a great time to feature them. “Would you like some English Breakfast tea? A Chai?…”
21. Shiny up the bathroom.
You gotta do it. Scrub the toilet, shiny up the taps, wipe the mirror, etc. It’s embarrassing for your guests to use a dirty toilet, anyway. Also, you have to clean your bathroom some time!
22. Have Tasty Appetizers On Hand
“Oh, you must try this spread on Melba toast!” Who cares if you just tasted it yourself that same morning?
23. Replace that toothbrush.
Besides replacing that old, disgusting toothbrush, also remove the icky stuff. If your bathroom area is looking a bit empty, put in those gifts from people and those free hotel stuff you keep on getting (just one of those things you’re embarrassed to admit you do at a hotel).
24. Get the latest book you’ve read and put it on your bedside table.
Don’t place a book you’ve barely read on your bedside table. Just put one you’ve already read or one you are actually reading, so if they ask about it, you have something to say! Now don’t forget that bookmark!
25. Place leafy herbs in a jar with water.
Buy parsley, basil, and coriander and place in a jar with water to give off that “I’m healthy” vibe. This is also great for sprinkling over dinner!
26. Get okay-looking paper napkins.
You can get them at an affordable price and they look so much better than a paper towel roll!
27. Load up your sofa with throw pillows.
You can buy some pretty affordable throw pillows online. This shows you’re into good design.
#14 Dim those lights.
Well, if they can’t see the dust, it’s probably not there! Strategically place those candles and keep the lights off or turn them down.