We are all about clean here at ServiceMaster, but everyone has panic moments when real clean is just not an option. Maybe you just got a text that from your in-laws. Surprise! They’ll be at your house in 30 minutes. Don’t panic! Your house doesn’t have to be clean. It just has to seem clean. Here are some tips on how to fake a clean house when the clock is ticking.
Before you do anything else, light a scented candle. The pleasing aroma will fill the house as you clean and cover any tell-tale smells of leftovers or dirty laundry. If your house smells nice, people will assume it’s pretty clean.
Now, grab a bag for trash or recycling. Start in your main living area. Toss or recycle school papers, newspapers, ads, and any other paper clutter. Put important papers on the coffee table for now. Move without stopping from room to room covering the whole house. Gather the important papers and shove them into a drawer to be filed or otherwise dealt with later. 5 Minutes.
Next, grab a laundry basket. Start back in your main living area and pick up toys and shoes and anything that doesn’t belong in that room, or you just don’t know where to put it. Throw it in the basket. Again don’t stop moving! You can put everything where it goes later. Move briskly around the house in this fashion removing all clutter from the floor and flat surfaces. Stash the basket in your bedroom closet. 5 minutes.
Now, grab a damp cloth. Spritz it with a multi-purpose cleaner and swiftly wipe down all flat surfaces. Make sure you cover your coffee table, dining room table, and kitchen counters. These surfaces are what people notice. 5 minutes.
After the flat surfaces are clean, head to the bathroom with a couple of paper towels and a bottle of Windex. Toss any counter clutter into a box or basket under the sink. Spray Windex directly onto the paper towel and spot clean the mirror. Wipe down the counter and faucet. Then using the same paper towel hit up the toilet. Wipe the handle, tank, seat and lid. If you have little boys, grab another paper towel and clean around the base using the Windex. Close the shower curtain to hide toys, shampoos, razors, etc. All of this should take less than 5 minutes.
If you have a sink full of dishes quickly throw them into the dishwasher if it is already empty. If not, stack the dishes onto a sheet pan and hide them in the oven. Or, if you only have a sink full, plug up the sink and fill with enough sudsy water to cover the dishes. Not to wash them; you don’t have time for that now. Just to cover the smell and crusted on food so when company shows up it looks like you were in the middle of washing them. 5 minutes.
Vacuum or sweep the main living area without bothering to move any furniture. Fluff up the sofa pillows and arrange them in a pleasing way. Fold the throw neatly and drape it over the back of the couch! Tada! Your dirty house can pass for clean! Total 30 minutes.