Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How to fake a clean house ...for those last minute visitors

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How to fake a clean house in 20 minutes. Over 25 tips, some that you probably wouldn't think of

My husband is notorious for springing people on me the last minute. Like, "Hey babe, Joe Schmo is coming over in 20 minutes." My first reaction is to freak out. Which I do. And then probably mumble a few certain words. And then I look around my house. And yeah. 20 minutes? No Way. I wish I could say that my house is immaculate all the time. But truth is, it is only 'immaculate' like one day out of the year...maybe. I work full time and have the babe running around constantly making a giant mess and the hubs running around constantly making his mess. And then there's me...yes, I admit. I make a mess too...and not to mention what ever heck mess our dog just did. :) Anyways, so I have gotten a great system down for those 20 minute visitors.... that I get probably once a week. I'm serious....my husband doesn't understand planning or either he just plain forgets to tell me until 20 minutes out. I'm lucky if it's 20 minutes too. There's been 10 minuters also. ..yes, that's a word...10 minute visitors...10 minuters :)

My house is quite open so there's no way to just shut the door to the living room or kitchen or dining room. When you come into the front door, you pretty much see everything....front room, stairs, hall, living room...walk a little bit further...dining room and kitchen.

So, these little tips apply to a semi-'contained chaos' home. If you have a huge mess on your hands, you'll probably need more time. I like it when I get the 1 hour visitors, it gives me a little more time but still...1 hour?...especially when your house is in massive chaos and your dishes are piled so dang high you can't see the window??  You can't get too much done in that amount of time, especially deep cleaning. I'm going to be very vulnerable here and show my deepest darkest secrets of my messy house...so don't judge :)..this is actually pretty contained compared to how it usually gets.

So, this is how I get my house from this:
How to fake a clean house in 20 minutes. Over 25 tips, some that you probably wouldn't think of
To this.... in 20 or so minutes.
How to fake a clean house in 20 minutes. Over 25 tips, some that you probably wouldn't think of

And yes. It does require complete attention on your part with no little ones interrupting and no stops for a sip of coffee...although you may need it lol. And yes, this will get your heart rate up. And as I said, this is how to FAKE a clean house. So, a lot of these tips mean you actually have to clean up afterward :) You'll see what I mean by that as you read on. I've tried to put these in some sort of category, but they all really fall into one category. Hiding and Half Cleaning...well, and Faking ;)

The main thing is to pick up the clutter in only the rooms that people are going to see. That will make 90% of the impact, especially if you have a lot of stuff strewn about :)

Hide the obvious.
  • Clean only the rooms that people are going to see and trash the others. I'm serious on this. I usually have a stroller parked in the middle of the hallway. Huge toys that have no real place to go except in the middle of everything. Laundry piled in the corner. Etc Etc. So, I just move all those into my bedroom and shut the door. My bedroom and the laundry room are catchalls for everything that needs to be out of the other rooms. I know no one is going in them so it's a safe place to hide junk..I mean, stuff :)
How to fake a clean house in 20 minutes. Over 25 tips, some that you probably wouldn't think of
today the stroller has been exchanged for a large rug :) ...and here's a sneak peak into my bedroom makeover. yes, the toys are staying :) jk

  • Storage containers are your best friend. Contain clutter in cute storage baskets, bins or other containers. For the baskets that over flow, just throw a cute blanket on top of them, then you can't see the clutter inside and it actually looks like its just a place to store you blankets which is totally stylish :) ...aka barbies with no heads sticking out of the basket are not. These are also great to corral movies, books, magazines, remotes, mail, randomness....etc.
How to fake a clean house in 20 minutes. Over 25 tips, some that you probably wouldn't think of
  • Hide shoes in a cute basket/bin behind the door. If it has a lid, even better!
How to fake a clean house in 20 minutes. Over 25 tips, some that you probably wouldn't think of
  • I like to hide toys behind the couch. I love my sectional because it offers this whole 'out of site' cleaning. Where it looks clean cuz you can't see it even though its there. 
How to fake a clean house in 20 minutes. Over 25 tips, some that you probably wouldn't think of
  •  I also hide toys behind the arm of one of the couches in my front room...and sometimes I hide things behind that big chalkboard...
How to fake a clean house in 20 minutes. Over 25 tips, some that you probably wouldn't think of

  • Dirty dishes..ugh. Throw dishes in the dishwasher if empty. This is time consuming, so just throw them in there with no rhyme or reason if you wish. If you don't have a dishwasher or the dishwasher is full, then stack the dishes nicely in the sink. This usually makes it look like you have less dirty dishes than if they were all thrown in there nonchalantly. This also helps if you have one of those nice cutting boards that cut over the sink, then just place that on top of all your dishes and then you can't see them :) Or if you really want to, put them in the oven. I have had many dirty pots and pans in the oven at any given time...just don't forget about them lol
  • If you have mail or randomness on the counter, place them in a cute basket or box instead to contain it. Just be sure to sort through later :)
Fake a clean house in 20 minutes with these tips!
  • While we are on the kitchen, clean the fridge and make it free from magnets and mess. Throw them in the box on the counter if need be for the moment. Or put them all on the side of the fridge that no one will see.
How to fake a clean house in 20 minutes. Over 25 tips, some that you probably wouldn't think of
And yep, you never see my kitchen because I hate it. Well, don't hate it, but I would rather have white cabinets but am freaked to paint these since they really are so nice...
  • Hide things under the couch if need be. Yes, I do this. But not like with trash or anything, only my laptop and cords. I usually have them out somewhere and its just super quick to hide them under the couch than to take them back up to my office.

"Cleaning"
  • Pick up obvious clutter. Toys. Trash. Dishes. This will probably be like 50% of what you do and make a 90% difference.
  • Pick up the big pieces of lint/string/trash that you see on the carpet. Then you won't have to worry about vacuuming
  • Sweep and don't mop unless you have obvious dirty spots. Then just spot mop. Or...if you are like me...I rarely even sweep in these cases since I have wonderful tile that completely hides all dirt and dog hair.
  • Make sure the counters and tabletops are clutter free. Wipe them down quickly.
  • Dust. Someone can always spot dust especially on dark surfaces. It's quick to just get a duster or swiffer and go over tabletops.
  • Get rid of dead flowers. This is my thing I always stress about forgetting because really, it's super inviting going to sit down next to some dried ol' nasty flowers :) 
  • If you have a microfiber couch, do this simple trick to pretty much clean anything off of it...like dirty little finger prints, random food debris that has been stuck on. This won't do much for liquid spills but you might as well try while your at it and see what it ends up looking like. Just take a brush and scrub the heck out of the spots. 
How to fake a clean house in 20 minutes. Over 25 tips, some that you probably wouldn't think of
Then make the fiber go all in the same direction after you are done scrubbing, use your hand to do this or the brush.
How to fake a clean house in 20 minutes. Over 25 tips, some that you probably wouldn't think of
Hiding the Dirty
  • If it's day outside, open the curtains and let the sun shine in. Makes for a brighter, cleaner looking space.
How to fake a clean house in 20 minutes. Over 25 tips, some that you probably wouldn't think of
  • If you need to turn down the blinds, turn them up! The bottom side of the blinds don't attract as much dust and grime, so when you turn them up, the bottom sides show rather than the nasty top part.
How to fake a clean house in 20 minutes. Over 25 tips, some that you probably wouldn't think of

I had NO idea the tops of these were this bad lol. Shows how much I turned these up, I never ever see the tops at all. Maybe it's that time of year decade to clean them.

Straighten Up
  • Straighten the chairs in the dining room.
  • Straighten the pillows and throws.
  • Straighten the rug. Yes, I don't understand how my rug that is on carpet moves constantly. But it does. So this sadly is one thing I always have to do and it drives me mad.
  • Straighten up books and magazines.

Make Things Smell Good
  • Trick the senses by making it smell like your house is clean :)  Use febreeze. Use carpet deodorizer if you have time. Get a candle going. Plug in your Scentsy. Plug in your Airwick or Glade plugin. Spray some spray....and by all means, do not stink up the bathroom. I just have to say this because it seems inevitable at my house. And not because of me, but another certain someone :)

The Bathroom
  • I've noticed that for the most part, people don't use the bathroom when they come over for an hour or so, but you never ...ever...want to leave that to chance if your bathroom is a mess :) So, if it is, hide the mess in the cabinet. Throw away trash. Scrub the toilet quickly, not forgetting to pick up the lid and clean under there. Wipe down the sink, faucet and mirror. Pick up obvious debris left on the floor.
  • Be sure to straighten the bathroom towel also and flip it over -that side is always cleaner.
How to fake a clean house in 20 minutes. Over 25 tips, some that you probably wouldn't think of

And I think, for the most part, that's it! Once the people leave, it's always fun because my house returns to a mess in like 10 minutes lol. The toys get dragged out. The stroller returns to its resting spot. The mail gets back out so I can make sure I'm not hiding bills that will forever be lost otherwise. The babe tosses the pillows everywhere. The laundry returns to the corner...But! For that little moment in time, my house looked awesome ;)

112 comments:

  1. love this post! LOL! Thanks for telling us what it's really like-cause we all do this!

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    1. Oh yes. I wish my house was perfect all the time but this is true life :)

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  2. Your post made me feel really good!! It's nice knowing I am not alone faking a clean house! And here too, in 10 minutes the mess is back! You just can't work at home, take care of the kids and have a Nice clean house for real, well at least I can't...So Thank you, now reading your post, I dont feel So guilty!

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    1. I don't think most people can so don't feel guilty :) At least we are in the same boat!

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  3. Loved this so much !!! I have gotten out of the habit of doing these things once my kids got older. But YOUNG ADULT CHILDREN are sometimes messier than they were as toddlers. So, this is a great reminder for myself and an article I can pass on to my girls and daughter-in-law.

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    1. I can imagine...I grew up with two older brothers who were the messiest people I knew! And I know how I was a teenager :) I could care less when it came down to certain things lol

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  4. In a pinch I've been known to put dirty dishes in the oven. However you have to remember they are in there before you cook anything. I've melted a few ice trays during preheating! Glad to know I'm not the only one.

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    1. that's funny! I've done the same thing a few times. It's usually dirty pots :) ...and I have also heated the oven and totally forgot about them too until I start seeing the smoke and smelling something burning

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  5. And THAT is why, despite hating the stairs, I still don't want a single-level house. It's so much easier to carry a couple of buckets of crap up there and leave it! I have zero places to hide crap downstairs anyway. No storage in the powder room, a hall closet crammed with a vacuum and carpet steamer and the pantry (where the garbage can lives). That's it.

    Another great trick I use all the time? Spray some Windex on a paper towel and wipe off all the door handles, including the front door. The house smells clean the moment someone steps in, and they won't even notice the dead leaves on the entry rug because they are so busy sniffing the freshness with their eyes closed! LOL

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    1. That's a great idea Julie! I too have absolutely no room or storage on my first floor. No closets even...not even a pantry. So it's fun trying to hide things :) And yes, I should probably truck a lot of it upstairs but it so so much quicker just throwing it in our first floor master

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    2. I agree. I no longer have an upstairs so I'm on a constant purge mission. I started using windex to quickly clean the whole bathroom years ago. The kitchen too! I'll start using your idea on the handles now. Thanks for all the tips from all of you!☺

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  6. So sweet to have posted this, and it makes me feel so much better. It's so hard to compare yourself to someone else's "highlight reel". What I mean is that I see all of these blogger homes who are spotless and beautifuly styled, and I can barely get my dishes done. Thanks for the back to reality post!

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    1. Most of my staged pictures look 'perfect' but you should only see what it looks like behind the camera lol

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  7. Thanks for being REAL! I love your home and your blog. By the way... I painted my kitchen cabinets last year (after spending about a year getting up my courage) and am SOOO happy with them. If you wish they were white, I am sure you'll love them once you paint them. You don't have to paint the insides - just the doors and the frames. It will look amazing!

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    1. Thank you Tina! I've been trying to get up the courage for 4 years now lol. I guess I never thought about it that way, I'll love them way more when they are white..which is obvious, but I guess my mind just works weird :) I guess my main concern is that since these cabinets are pretty nice, will it depreciate their value? I think that's my main hold up right now

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    2. Just do the island and see how it comes out!

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    3. White cabinets show dirt... just saying!

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    4. Especially over the stove!! Gotta wipe them down constantly!! But they do look nice and since my kitchen faces north, brightens it up a lot. :)

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    5. So true! I painted my white cabinets a soft cream colour for that very reason. Oh, and if you think a little one is messy just wait 'til she is a teenager! I call my daughter "Hurricane Julia" because she leaves a trail of mess behind her. I can tell exactly what she has done by following this trail - she had a snack (dishes), she did homework (paper) she watched tv (nail polish).

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  8. I wish I had read something like this 42 years ago. I married a man with 2 kids and we soon added an infant to the mess. My house was always messy and I thought I was the only one who couldn't keep up. To top it off, my in-laws lived next door and were always dropping in. Even if I had a 20 minute warning I wouldn't know where to start because I had the mind set that everything had to be perfectly clean. Now that the kids are gone and I'm retired, I finally have the house in the shape I always dreamed it should be--most of the time.

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  9. Love this! I have to admit I've done plenty of these when I know we'll have company over. It's nice to know I'm not the only one!! :) With 2 boys under 5 years, it's hard to keep the house under control. Toys are everywhere, alllll the time, no matter how often they are picked up and put away. My go-to is a quick vacuum (just the living room, if really pressed for time). I think it makes a huge impact! Just like a made bed does for the bedroom. Which doesn't always happen in our house;)

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  10. That's a lot to do in 20 mins! But I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who tries to do the 10min clean/pickup! :)

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  11. You said you wish you had white cabinets, but if you did white appliances and a light glass tile backsplash it would bring so much light into the kitchen! Just a suggestion :) loved this post!

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    1. oh I know!! I think you all are talking me into it :)

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    2. I have white cabinets, and five kids-there are always dirty fingerprints, smears, etc. on the doors? I long for wooden cabinets that would hide things better!!

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  12. Oh my goodness, I feel like I could've written this!! It is SO ME..... this is basically the only way my house ever gets "clean"! I'm glad I'm not the only one!! I picked up some new tips, too. Thank you SO much for sharing! I admire your courage in exposing your house.... I feel like mine gets so bad I don't know if I could ever do it! Thank you!! :)

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    1. I don't have much courage...this is at it's 'cleanest' messiest :) You should have seen the before of my bathroom lol

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  13. Paint your cabinets! Dont be scared:) we are building a house with white cabinets and i love how they turned out!! you can still see the wood grain through the paint bc they did a thin coat. They sprayed them so you may want to hire someone if the wood grain showing is important to you. Thanks for the post! Ive been doing similar things for years lol

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    1. I just may have too. I was thinking of painting the walls first, but I may just end up painting the cabinets...I've think I have been talked into it :)

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  14. These are such great tips! I also use my bed room as the catch all. It seems as though people always want to come over when I'm doing laundry so I just put it in a laundry basket and put it on my bed.

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    1. At least your doing laundry lol. It's either piled so high ready to get into the wash or piled so high ...for weeks..months...waiting to get folded

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  15. These are great tips. And it's "odds-n-ends" not "odds n ins." But all these ideas make up for one tiny grammar mistake. :)

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  16. Hi there! Where did you get your sectional, ottoman and the beautiful grey and white area rug in your living room? I would like all three :)

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    1. Here's the post to where I found most of my stuff: http://www.thriftyandchic.com/2014/02/shop-look-living-room-edition.html
      The rug is actually somewhat dark brown and cream, and it can be found in this post: http://www.thriftyandchic.com/2014/01/18-large-rugs-that-wont-break-budget.html

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  17. I enjoyed this very much. I had this happen more times than I can count in 20 years of kids and 25 years of marriage. I also used the laundry room and bedrooms as hiding. The easiest thing I have always done is run around with a laundry basket and just put every single thing in it that needs to be picked up. Then grab another! and another if need be. The times that I absolutely couldn't get the dishes loaded I would throw a pretty dishtowel over the top of them. It sort of looked like it was drying there even though there was a pile underneath. A decorator once told me, if you can make the floor look clean then the house will look clean. So.. pick up and sweep of vac.

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    1. Those are great tips! This would totally work for me if I liked to do laundry and my baskets were already completely full with dirty clothes lol

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  18. Alicia - For your carpet that you are always adjusting, use a caulking gun and put caulk in thin strips on the back of it. the rug will then be slip proof. Thanks for all the great tips

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    1. That's a great tip! Definitely will do just to save my sanity lol Thank you :)

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  19. Thanks for the tips!!! I like the idea of having a bin to throw things into and hide with a throw blanket!!

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  20. I've got to tell you about what happened to a friend of mine who hid the dirty dishes in the oven when her Mum was coming over. Mum was so impressed with how much better her daughter was keeping her house, she decided to bake her a cake as a reward. First thing she did was flip the oven on; the second was deal with all the plastic bowls that had melted. :D

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    1. lol. Oh dear. I guess that backfired :) I have also turned on the oven completely forgetting about the dishes in there. Luckily they were only pots and pans.

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  21. Thank you for these tips! I have containers everywhere as well but never considered one by the door for shoes! I will need to change that ASAP!
    http://growingpainsbykellydavis.blogspot.com/

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    1. It will change your life :) No more crazy shoes strewn about!

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  22. Perhaps you should just clean your damn house!

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    1. Perhaps you don't understand what it takes to run a house, have a life, have a job, have kids and not keep it clean 24/7

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    2. go Alicia! some people that don't have full time job, kids, dogs wouldn't understand a DAMN bit. Infact, I challenge anonymous to DO what WE DO!

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  23. What a great post! Yeah, I do many of the same things. We have a condo and a lot of stuff (no toys, but lots of other stuff). My friends think my house is always clean (and this is why I'm posting anonymously -- I don't want to give away my secret!)

    If you really hate your cabinets, by the way, how about whitewashing them with a transparent white? Sort of like pickling.

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    1. I know...now all my friends and family will be coming over and checking all my hiding spots lol.

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  24. The best tip I ever got from a professional cleaner is to wipe something like Lemon Pledge or PineSol on all of your door frames, including the front door. Then the whole house smells clean as they walk through it. :)

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    1. that's a wonderful idea! I also frebreeze the heck out of my curtains and faux plants by the entryway so they smell that when they come in too :)

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  25. My vacuum is always out and that is the first thing I do,vacuum quick(hardwood floors) clean off the table,counter,and I grab all the stuff and shove it in a box as well...bathrooms wait until the last,when the guest gets there..I "fake" gotta go pee and clean while I am in there...Love your ideas and sooo happy I am not the only one.
    Funny thing is I try to keep at least my table cleaned off and counter but everytime I didn't do it...my MIL stops in..never when it's clean...NEVER!!! lol Love your house BTW

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    1. ooo. I love the whole fake gotta go pee thing in case you don't have time to clean the bathroom before hand :) I'll have to keep that in mind. And I totally know how you feel, my house will actually be so nice and clean for like days (which is unheard of for the most part) and no one stops by. But the day it gets trashed is the day someone comes over. The universe must have a grudge against us lol

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  26. Great tips. I've stored my "clutter" in clothes baskets behind a closed shower curtain many a times. If it's evening turn the lights down and light and candles, sconces and maybe one main lamp. A couple of denture tablets in the toilet and a quick swish will do the trick, too. Only dust as far up as the tallest guest. I keep a basket in the corner of the living room (or behind my hubby's recliner) where I can throw books, magazines, papers and junk and cover it with a folded throw.

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    1. Great ideas! I would definitely do the behind the shower thing if I had a bathtub on the main floor...but I do gotta admit that I have been one to pry open the curtain when I was at someone else's house...and I saw their secret stash :) I guess when you do that sort of thing you have to be sure they aren't sneaky people. I wouldn't say I'm sneaky..but I just get urges lol

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  27. Great tips...I like to use makeup remover/face wash wipes in the morning and at bedtime...One time when we got about a 20 minute heads up that someone was coming over, I had just washed my face with a wipe and grabbed it to quickly run over the faucet in the bathroom and dang did it leave it sparking clean and shiny...I grabbed another and wiped down the sink, the counter and the toilet seat (under the lid too :) ) I now use these for the quick cleanups...and they dry spotless...

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    1. That's a great idea! To keep it quick, I also just use the disinfecting wipes :)

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  28. This is awesome. I am always feeling like crap cause I cannot keep up my home like so many do. Now I know that some actually have the time but others fake it. Love love love this. :)

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  29. I love this article because I am trying to sell my house and have 2 kids, 2 dogs (1 being a puppy) and a husband. GOD HELP ME!!! I totally am running out of places to "hide" things hence the move.....nice to know I am not crazy!

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  30. I have never been to your blog before but I FREAKING LOVE this post! Seriously best post ever!

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  31. Your house is my dream home :) every bit of it is dreamy !

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  32. I LOVE how you decorate , Love Love Love !

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  33. I love your living room and dining room! I love your sectional and ottoman. Where did you buy it?

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    1. I got them at RC Willey. I think they still have the sectional. Here's a link to a post that has the information in it:
      http://www.thriftyandchic.com/2014/02/shop-look-living-room-edition.html

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  34. You can also spray fFebreeze on cold light bulbs; when you turn the lamps on, everything smells great!
    Hiding stuff behind the shower curtain in the bathtub works great, too

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  35. Omg! I am so glad I'm not the only one that does this! It always makes me feel bad when I walk into people's houses and their sooo clean and organized and wonder what is wrong with me and my family! I can't keep my house clean for five minutes! So if I have someone coming over I pile all my clutter into my laundry room which is attached to my main floor,goes into the garage. I hide stuff on the side of my couch where no one can see it. Do the candle thing. And fake it. Ten of course after they leave I need to put things away so I can get to my garage! But it's just so nice to know that I'm not the only one! And yes, my husband springs people coming over at the last minute also! (Especially his parents coming to stay for a week). So your not alone there either kiddo!

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    1. lol. Oh my goodness I would freak if my husband sprang visitors on me that were going to stay more than like 2 hours. The guest room is where I had half my stuff!

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  36. Love your blog, it's so true that no one ever calls when you've just finished cleaning.
    Your house is lovely , look forward to reading more of your fab tips :-)

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  37. I have oversized HELP!!! boxes one for each room that the clutter from each room goes in. What is nice about that is that I can take each box out one at a time after company leaves and throw out what doesn't need to be saved and then put everything else away appropriately. Yes, I even have one for dirty dishes that there isn't time to wash or put in the dishwasher. We have a tiny house with an unfinished basement so those boxes all go downstairs and they are out of site until needed. (And Yes, I do the quick bathroom run once everyone arrives too)

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    1. I use my basement too. You should see the stairs! All the random boxes that I can't figure out where to put them yet go right on them. It drives my husband mad! The only problem is I usually don't ever end up moving them so it's half near impossible to get down the stairs :)

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  38. Even if it's chilly out, I open a couple windows to get rid of the stale air. Then everything with fabric gets spritzed with freshener. :) Lovely to know this stuff is normal!

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  39. I stack the dishwasher as we go through the day and put it on after dinner so that it is done when I get up in the morning. When I get up in the morning, I unstack it while waiting for the jug to boil and put the still damp plastics in the drainer, Everything else can usually go away. This empties it, ready for stacking throughout the day as the items are used. As I am cooking, I add what is finished with as I go. Then we eat, and stack straight after and on it goes. this means minimal dish problems. Just the occasional dish if it is created while running through the cycle. Even hubby and children are getting into the rhythm of it.

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  40. I learned how to "fake clean" 30 years ago - this is NOT a new concept! Good TRY though -

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    1. Where did you read that she said it was a 'new concept'? I didn't see that. Good try though....

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    2. Thank you Mary :) Not a new concept...just thought I would share some ideas.. old or not

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  41. Even "messy" I think your house is lovely!! Love your style!!

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  42. I don't see why people are attacking this post. I'm a student, 3 weeks away from my due date, have 2 cats (who constantly shed and drag out toys), a turtle (ok, he's low maintenance), and a husband with a rotating work schedule (he works nights one week, days the next). On weeks where my husband works nights, I tend to save loud cleaning (vacuuming, washing laundry/putting it away, dish washer, cleaning our bathroom) until after he leaves for work around 5:30p... which, by that time, I'm already tired enough just from being awake since 6:30a. During the day I do my "quiet cleaning" - dusting, picking up kitty toys, picking up other junk that gets left out, wiping counters, folding laundry, trying to keep the cats from disrupting a sleeping hubby, grocery shopping/running errands, hand-washing plates/bowls/silverware (I save containers and pots/pans for the dishwasher) - our kitchen is a daily cleaning target, no matter what I do. All of that on top of homework and squeezing in a 45 minute walk at some point, plus time to rest for a while before I collapse from back pain. I can only imagine how difficult it will be once the baby's here and I start working again. I commend those of you with children, full time jobs, pets, husbands (we all know they can be just as messy as kids, admit it!), and lives, and still manage to get dinner on the table and maintain a clean home (even if it is faked from time to time) without losing your sanity. I think these last-minute tips are great!

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  43. Love the information and tips! I've done similar for years but picked up some great tips from your article and from the comment section. I used to worry more about my house and what others think even though my house stays relatively clean but as each year passes by I care less and less about the importance of appearance and more about how the home makes me feel. When I walk into a home that is "lived in" I truly think nothing of it, just that a busy, thriving family lives there. Thank you again. :)

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  44. I love you for being a true-blue normal human being. Awesome post! Thanks.

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  45. Wonderful and honest post! Thank you! I was cracking up about the bathroom comment. Very true! Why in the world do certain members get the urge just before people are about to walk in the door? lol - Here (finally) everyone now knows NOT to use the main bathroom and go use another one where no guest will be. :) All natural vanilla or peppermint room spray or does seem to help get rid of poo smell fast. ;)

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  46. Hi. Great post. My husband and I do this ALL the time. Glad he helps. It's a wonder how we make the mess disappear in a tiny condo (at least momentarily). Aren't we all masters of illusion? ;)

    www.drivingmsdesi.com

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  47. I call this the Trash Stash Dash. Trash: no brainer how can a house even look clean with garbage around? Stash: get those embarrassing items out of sight first-- all underwear must be away--in the drawers or in the dirty laundry bin. I hand wash my "undermentionables" and hang them to dry. I always put them away for the T S D, even though they are not hung where guests go--strange things happen & people have ended up off the beaten path at our house--but they have never seen these items. Then stash the rest of the stuff. Dash: go as quick as you can! Speed wipe, dust, sweep & vacuum the most needed things first.
    Love the post! When my house still needs work and the door bell has rung--I smile, let them in & tell them that we live here and nothing in life is perfect. I can honestly say that I then enjoy the visit and forget the mess (mostly because I know the "undermentionables" are away).

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  48. PS
    I forgot to say how I love that your dog calmly sleeps with all this going on.

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  49. Maybe women should stop "freaking out" because someone is coming over in 20 minutes and see the truth. The TRUTH is, people, INCLUDING WOMEN, have no idea what scale to place your house. So if you clean it? A overly concerned "friend" STILL will find fault if the couches are not as they like, or the colors are off, or if the walls need painting, or if you have more dust than they do, or if you have cats and they like dogs or you have dogs and they keep theirs locked away from company, or they hate pets all together....IN OTHER WORDS, A PERSON COMING TO YOUR HOUSE IS THERE FORE YOU, not your house..I know that is next to impossible for women to see through, but ESPECIALLY A MAN, we may have jobs that take us into other people's homes...so we see things that make us feel OUR homes are GREAT. And we see other homes that are squeeky clean COMPARED TO OURS (and that is the catch). Listen...BE HAPPY.HAPPY you have friends that like YOU and want to come over to see YOU..As far as YOU know, their houses are far worse than yours and they could NEVER be as clean as you, and now youre making them feel very very uncomfortable. ( I certainly have felt uncomfortable in some people SUPER CLEAN homes. I feel I have to sit gently on their couch and not wiggle much. I feel I have to tip toe on their carpet so as not to leave foot prints, I feel that I have to have Perfectly white sox now, because they have a house where they have made everyone take off their shows because they went out and got white carpet! If you are a woman in sandles, but need a pedi, NOW you feel funny. OR we relax and enjoy one anothers company. Stop freaking out. How about that?

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  50. I like your post and I have to say its just me working full time with 2 large dogs and a cat inside and my place stays messy so I'm glad you are showing some quick tips. I think you need to remind people if they don't have something nice to say then to not say anything. Also I worried about painting my cabinets but the more I saw pics of painted cabinets the more I wanted it. I went with light gray (secret passage) but my mom thought I should go white but I knew with 2 dogs white would be impossible for me to keep clean and I love my gray cabinets now.

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  51. Honestly I don't fake anything. We all have messy homes. (As a landlord I've seen a lot of people's homes without them feeling obligated to impress... That gave me more perspective) If you relax so will your friends. We're all better off for it. Now I do find a clean toilet important and no dirty underwear and bras visible in the bathroom. And my bedroom is a no dumping ground. It's scared to me. I've had friends say why is your only clean room your bedroom. Lol. And I say why is your bedroom stacked to the ceiling. No judgement and you have a beautiful home. We just have a difference in opinion on this.

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  52. Thanks for sharing it with us with so much humor. The post is very good and make me laugh so much when I see my self in that situation. You discribe me so truly! (M. from Greece)

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  53. And .. I forgot to say - I like your home very much - especially the color palette of the living and dining room. (M. from Greece)

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  54. You should get Ruggies from Bed Bath and Beyond! That way your rug won't move around. Apparently they don't leave a mess after you take them off either, and they are reusable. I loved the post! I thought just I did this....

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  55. I know how you feel about getting up the courage to paint your cabinets, but try to look at it this way...How "Nice" are your cabinets if YOU'RE not enjoying them. I can tell that you would love and enjoy your kitchen so much more if it were more in line with your style...isn't that what your home is all about?! Go for it!

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  56. Love the tips!! :) I'm home schooled at home and my mom works all day and dad doesn't live here. I have 2 older brothers only one at home still which is VERY messy! lol, and I have to do all the cleaning and cooking! I can't imagine keeping a perfect home and working too! Its easier for me because I am home all the time but you'll that work and keep a "clean" house are so amazing!:) I can't wait till I graduate and I'll have more time to keep up with everything!:) lol and maybe get a job..!?! lol I babysit at home but other then that I don't work yet!:) Btw I love ur style! -Rose

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  57. When my kids were little, I had a little sign in my kitchen "My house was clean yesterday, sorry you missed it!" For years we lived in a mobile home. Everyone entered right into the living room and kitchen. So we started a 10 minute clean-up. My youngest was probably 2 when we started this. The timer got set for 10 minutes and for that time everyone moved things to the proper room...shoes, toys, dishes, books, craft items, clean laundry, etc. Just couldn't block the door of the room where it was taken :) Hubby would usually do a quick clean of the bathroom. It was fun to see how many dishes could be washed (no dishwasher) and counters cleaned in 5 minutes :) There was never any grumbling as everyone knew when the timer buzzed we were done! But the living room, kitchen and bathroom could look pretty impressive after those 10 minutes! :) ~~anna~~

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  58. Loved to read this article.... everything you described I have done myself. Especially when we were selling our home.... 2 young kids, both of us working full time and the realtor calls.... can I show your house in 30 min! YIKES

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  59. Isso foi muito engraçado e útil!

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  60. I love this post!!
    I greatly appreciate any wife and mother that doesn't pretend her house is perfect 24/7.
    Then there are the ones that clean their home constantly.
    Sorry..no can do. I live with 5 kids, two cats and a hubby. All who are messy beyond and despite what I taught them..lol.
    Life is challenging and we're all so busy these days. I'm hugging 50 and having a perfect looking home isn't as important to me as it was in my twenties. Being present with my family takes priority.
    I will say though, that in a pinch, I have 6 other people that pitch in so it gets done pretty fast around here!
    We live in the real world, so glad to hear you do too! You're home is darling by the way. ;) God Bless~

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  61. Another tip: I've been known to shove dirty pots, pans, and baking sheets into the oven to save time. My friend's mom actually put her dirty dishes in the trunk of her car once. She drove around with them there for a month!!!

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  62. Wow....I'd just tell him to quit doing that whole "inviting people over without advance notice" thing or agree on no less than an hour's notice. He's grown so he should understand that. *shrugs*

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  63. Love that I'm not the only one who tries deceiving people into believing I'm more productive than I really am or could dream of being. My almost 2yr old has been nicknamed "Tornado Girl." The totally randomness of where she puts things when she wrecks the house is like finding a bike in a tree. Lol. I've honestly given up trying to keep up with her mess all day long. If I clean a room she's in another room causing havoc. I've tried having her help clean with me & that becomes so stressful for both of us its not worth it yet. Here is a trick I use for the fast clean ups that helps me go even faster without the exhausting back & forth trips. Since we toss stuff into a room to clean later why not have a catch all basket/box/tote to throw things that are out of place into, to take everything all at once. I drag the basket & a trash bag along with me & gather everything up. Sometimes if I don't feel like dragging the basket I'll have a trash bag & throw all the odd things into a pile in the middle of the room. If I have a random towel or blanket in the room that doesn't belong I'll throw my pile on top & carry the whole pile out inside the towel/blanket. I honestly use this method to clean even when I'm not in a rush because its easier to take a basket & drop the dishes that my daughter played with in the kitchen & the clothes in the laundry room, the toys to the playroom (that never seems to be played in), blankets to bedrooms, etc. My trash is bagged & ready to go into the dumpster outside or in the trashcan in the kitchen if its not much or I want to send both trash bags out at the same time. One more trick that helps save time is keep a basket in the rooms that get messed up most to toss random things in during the day to be put away when the basket gets full, at the end of the day, or when surprise guests are coming. I hope these tricks help speed up the "speed" clean, "fake" clean, & "everyday" clean.

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  64. I love your home style and thanks for the great info! As for the bathroom smells, check out poopourri.com-it truly works. Thanks again!

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  65. Really really love this post. i just wonder how the bloggers have clean and beautiful homes while my home is in a mess since I have 1 toddler and a baby. and, this is a true life. Thanks for the post and I really admire your home style. Love it :-)

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  66. I love this! One of the pieces of advice my aunt gave me at my bridal shower, all those years ago was to keep a box or laundry basket handy to throw things in in case of unexpected guests. I have used that many times! My big problem is forgetting to bring everythjng back out once company leaves. So I end up with boxes of mystery junk. Lol

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  67. Your cabinets would look awesome in white!! DO IT!! You will love it. It's only wood!

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  68. What a fun post! Glad to know I am not alone! And..paint your cabinets! Our's went from brown to white the first week we moved in, and I won't ever regret it, even if it is more work to keep them clean. They look so much better!

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  69. It's so good to know I'm not the only one! I meet to many neat freaks and sometimes allow it to make me feel ashamed. I like to enjoy life and spend time with my family. I really like having time by myself doing what I want to do. Because of some medical conditions I have chronic pain. Living with that doesn't always allow you to get things done. I have felt alone in my mess at times. I'm so blessed to have read your post and all your readers post. Thank you for sharing! :-)

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  70. I do this too! My husband calls it a tornado clean and ha no clue how I really do it, as he can't focus enough to really get it all done. I don't think he's ever figured out that I am mostly just hiding things in weird places. Which does mean we lose stuff every time I clean. However, now since I am pregnant and nesting, it is time for a purge!!

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  71. What a great post! My Mom taught me how to do this years ago, when my Grandmother would randomly call and let us know she'd be coming by in 20 minutes. We knew what pieces of furniture were tall enough to hide our books under (Gram hated anything non-fiction & that was almost all we enjoyed), we hid dishes in the oven or microwave (after a melting incident in the oven), and once, my Mom put a couple of handfuls of silverware into a pillowcase, tied the end closed, and hid it in the washing machine (we didn't have a dishwasher)! The next day, we ran a load of whites, forgetting the silverware was in there. One fork came out kinda mangled and a knife was a little dented before we caught on to the noise, but other than that, they were fine. We no longer let things get THAT out of control, but I still like to tease my Mother about her crazy 'cleaning' methods.

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  72. Don't ruin your beautiful cabinets by painting them white please, you have more than enough white in your house. I can't believe you have so much white in your house while having a baby actually! Your house looks like it is right out of a magazine when clean actually, even if it is fake clean ;)
    There is no way you could do everything you outlined in twenty minutes. Not possible.
    Oh and there is NOTHING wrong with tidying before people come over. I view it as a sign of respect to your guest.

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  73. I love your post, just like you, NO ONE visits when my house is actually clean. I have a toddler and a nine year old at home, i think my nine year old is messier than my little one with her "crafts". I use to keep a pretty nice house but i can't seem to keep it in order these days for some reason. Like so many people on here i have a throw-all room, the spare bedroom. I was so fed up with the shoes and coats laying around, i built in my front porch as a sun room/mudroom....ha...its a clutter collector now. My tip for homemade fabreeze is downy and water in a spray bottle...spray on the curtains, rugs and furniture, even the dirty laundry basket in the bathroom...lasts for hours. I painted my kitchen cabinets white a couple years ago, previously wood, I must say that was the best thing i have done. I painted all my wood trim white and my walls medium grey, my kitchen is so much brighter. the wood just made everything dim. As far as white showing dirt, yes it does but at least you see it now and your not surprised and grossed out when you go clean your wood cabinets and realize how dirty they really are. With white cabinets you can see the spots, so therefore they will get cleaned. My living room is mostly brown; floor, furniture, trim and wainscoting...getting up the nerve to go white in there too. after seeing your living room...i have to go brighter. I can't take the depressing colors any longer..lol

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  74. I hope you didn't move the dog! He has priority (to me). Your home is wonderful. My son & daughter-in-law have 3 children, aged 6 and under; their home is topsy-turvy all the time, even if they have company...so big congrats to you on this home-improvement done your way.

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  75. I don't have a dishwasher, so I have hidden dishes in the oven. Also, my grandmother told me to leave the vacuum out. And when guests surprise you, you say.. "Oh my, I was just going to vacuum." A few times, I have tossed any and all into a trash bag and left it outside. lol!

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