Most people cringe at the mere sound of the word clean, but cleaning does not always have to be back breaking. When you are short on time, there are a number of ways to fake a clean house. Achieving the illusion of a clean house is simple and quick. Start with the kitchen, usually this is the first room people tend to see and if you are having company, it's the area guests seem to gravitate toward.
Clean up any lingering aromas by boiling some spices on the stove, or even light a spotted candle or two. Fold your dishtowels in a way that hides any stains or hand them from the oven clean side up. Take down any notes, magnets or drawings hanging on the fridge to get rid of clutter. As for those dreaded dishes overflowing in the sink, grab a large container and stick them away till your company is gone.
Next, move to the living room. If your windows are looking dirty, just close the curtains; It will look like you're showing off the window treatments. Grab any books, magazines or papers you have lying around and put them in a basket to the side. You can even take a few out and spread them on the coffee table for a centerpiece. If your sofa has some stains, use your throw pillows to cover them up or get a clean blanket and drape it over the couch. If you have pets, get some duct tape and run it over the furniture to pick up any hair that's been left behind.
The bathroom may seem overwhelming, but all you have to do is gather all your products and toss them under the sink for now. If the shower is dirty, just draw the curtain closed and it's as if it's not even there. Replace your hand towels with fresh ones to have a clean and crisp look for your guests. If you tend to shed, as most of us do, you can use a lint roller or tape to run over the carpets and pick up any mess that has landed there. Light a candle to make the room smell good and appear cleaner, and finally hang a nice robe over the back of the door to hide any used towels you may have piled up.
While most of us do not have guests lurking around the house, there are a few other quick fixes you may find handy. If you have any laundry piling up, toss it in the washer if your hampers are full. Stash any stray office supplies you have lying around like pencils or pens in a junk drawer; Take down calendars and notes from bulletin boards or arrange them neatly in rows to be hung up. If you have a library, fix any crooked books or back spines so things look tidy.
All of this can be done in under a few minutes and when your company arrives, they will never know you just faked it. So you do not have to panic next time you receive that last minute call of your parents dropping by or your friends surpring you to come hang out, because you are now a master of the clean house illusion.