Well, first of all, if the house isn’t clean, I just keep the blinds closed….or post pictures of it on the internet.
If someone is coming over, and I don’t have much warning, here are my top quick fixes for each room of the house:
Living room – Straighten the cushions and slipcovers. Gather up any stray items and shove them in a drawer or closet, hopefully somewhere the guest will not go.
Kitchen – Wipe the counters quickly and scrape/rinse dishes and put them in the sink. I find the kitchen looks pretty clean if the counters are wiped and the dishes are below countertop level in the sink.
Bathroom — Take a piece of newspaper and buff the mirrors and faucets. Shiny faucets distract from whatever’s growing in the sink or behind the toilet. If you have a little extra time, a Clorox wipe on the counter and top of the toilet and a quick swish with the toilet brush are great too. Throw bath toys, etc. in the tub and close the shower curtain.
Bedroom — Make beds — even if you just sort of smooth the covers and throw the bedspread and pillows on top. Also, clear off the dresser tops (this can be done in a one-handed sweeping motion).
Den — Since this is where I throw all our junk in a quick cleanup situation, I won’t venture to offer hints there.
Solarium, Game Room, Mudroom, Bonus Room, Theatre, Conservatory, Music Room, Library, Pantry, Basement, Pool Room, Attic, Toy Room, Room for Warming Up Cheese (look at the second comment) — Sorry, I’ve got nothin’.
If all else fails (or they appear suddenly), just light a match…. and get a candle going. At least it will smell clean.
How do you trick people into thinking your house is clean when it’s not?
How do you clean it quickly and efficently when you have very little time?