How to Fake a Clean House

By L. Roberts on October 21, 2019

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Cleaning house is something we all dread doing – that’s a fact. I think even people who choose to be employed as cleaning professionals sometimes hate their careers. While there are some people who find cleaning to be relaxing, most of the world can’t stand the fact that our houses (and our lives!) get so messy so quickly.

When you’re a college student, one of your biggest fears is probably having your parents make a surprise visit when you haven’t cleaned in months. Sure, some of you might be more worried about passing all of your classes and financing an insane number of textbooks, but for the most part, if our mothers decided to “pop in” unannounced, we would be heavily reprimanded for the grossness that our houses likely are during college.

But there are great ways to “fake” a clean house without having to deep clean every nook and cranny in your home. Your mother’s going to be looking for certain things, so if you want to fake a clean house when she comes to visit, these are the things you need to focus on:

1. Make sure your home smells delicious.

One of the first things people notice when they come in your house is the way it smells. When people walk into your home, they want to breathe in a scent that’s welcoming, subtle, and refreshing. If your house smells like dirty socks, no one is going to want to come in your home – much less stay in your home. If your parents are coming to visit and you want to “fake” cleaning your house, focus on making it smell nice first and foremost.


2. Focus on the most important rooms.

Your living room and bathroom need to be the rooms you focus on if you’re wanting to “fake” a clean house. No one wants to come visit a place where dirty laundry is strung about, the toilet paper roll is empty, and there’s toothpaste all over the sink. If you’re wanting to quickly freshen up your place before a surprise visitor, focus on making sure your living room and bathroom are all squared away. You don’t have to deep-clean every surface, but make sure to get the big stuff.

3. De-clutter your living space.

There’s nothing worse than going to visit someone and not having a place to sit because there’s stuff everywhere. If you’re in a situation where you need to quickly get ready for a visitor, grab a laundry basket and pick up the items that are laying around your house. You’d be surprised at how much your space can change just by simply picking up after yourself.

4. Quickly once-over your space with a vacuum.

Grab your vacuum and do what you can to get up the big pieces of dirt. Run a vacuum over your carpet or bare floors and pretend like you’ve gotten every corner and spiderweb in your home. Focus on the bigger rooms – the places where your guests are more likely to spend time. You don’t need to spend hours and hours vacuuming in order to make your place look halfway decent.


5. Take care of dirty dishes.

If you have a dishwasher, this step is going to be easy! Load all your dirty dishes into the dishwasher before your guests arrive. If you don’t have a dishwasher, rinse off your dishes and scrub them down before laying them out on a drying rack. One of the more disgusting things your guests can experience is walking into a house full of clutter and dirty dishes. It also contributes to a musty/dirty smell.

6. Take a quick look in the mirror.

The truth of the matter is that your guests are stopping by your house to see you, so they probably won’t remember too much about your place or be paying too close of attention. Before your guests arrive, consider freshening up yourself. Whether you change your top, throw on another layer of deodorant, or brush your teeth, make yourself presentable for your guests and they’ll be tricked into thinking your place is just as presentable.

When you’re in college, no one expects you to live in a place that’s spic and span all the time. However, if you’re expecting guests and you don’t have much time to clean up, there are ways you can “fake” a clean house. I used these tricks pretty often when my mom came to visit. Sure, she still noticed where I cut corners, but I did a pretty good job faking it for the time being.

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In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her pup at the dog park and binge watching Netflix with endless cups of Hot Cocoa.

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