How to Fake a Clean Home in Five Minutes

How to Fake a Clean Home in Five Minutes

Shifrah Combiths
May 5, 2017

You just remembered that you're hosting a potluck baby shower. Your high school crush, all your new co-workers, the perfect-mom down the street, and your mother-in-law will all be in attendance. Your house is a wreck. You have five minutes. Don't panic.

Before you start Googling to discover if Merry Maids has an emergency number, repeat after me: "I've got this." Take some deep breaths, put on Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, and psyche yourself up for a master class in faking it:

  • Grab a laundry basket.
  • Clear all surfaces of clutter in your living areas, i.e., toss everything that's not where it belongs in the laundry basket.
  • Toss the full laundry basket (or three) in your bedroom.
  • Close all the bedroom doors.
  • Grab a rag sprayed with all purpose cleaner.
  • Go into the one bathroom the guests will use and wipe down all the surfaces with a cleaning or disinfecting wipe, toilet last.
  • Squeeze some hand soap into the toilet bowl and give it a swish with the toilet brush.
  • Stick any dirty dishes in the oven. (Please don't forget they're in there.)
  • Grab some car air vent fresheners and stick them on your HVAC vent and run your unit. (Or light a couple candles or diffuse some essential oils, if you're fancy.)
  • Straighten couch and chair pillows and the hand towels in the guest bathroom.
  • Straighten up any books or magazines in the living room.
  • Straighten up any shoes or coats in the entryway.
  • Exchange your lounge clothes for something more presentable.
  • Take a look at yourself in the mirror, take a deep breath, and smile.

The bell rings! Open the door warmly. Do not apologize for the state of your home when guests arrive. A pleasant face and a happy attitude will make everyone feel at home — and that's what's most important. You've got this. (And don't forget to take those dishes out of the oven later.)

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