14 Speed Cleaning Hacks to Make Your Home Look (Fake) Clean for Guests

sweeping the floor

Cleaning hacks to break out when unexpected guests are on their way.

This time of year is filled with surprise guests “popping by” or “stopping in” for “just ten minutes,” and if it’s been a while since you gave your place a thorough cleaning, hyperventilating into a paper bag is inevitable. The good news is there are plenty of ways to make sure your home looks clean for company – no matter how unexpected.

Here are 14 cleaning hacks that’ll transform your space into the fake cleanest home in history:

1. Toilets, tabletops and televisions

The condition of these surfaces are telltale signs that you’re living in a garbage heap. If you don’t get to anything else before your company shows up, make sure that these surfaces are spic and span. It will make it seem like the rest of your home is too.

2. Pet hair

As a pet owner, having 50 pounds of fur on everything you own is status quo – but not necessarily for your guests. Keep a rubber glove or go-to pet hair annihilator on hand to de-fuzz your furniture in no time flat.

3. Do the dishes

Even if you don’t have time to put them away, your kitchen will look much cleaner with dishes drying in a dish caddy than strewn about with a week’s worth of old food stuck to them. Ick.

4. Switch up the towels

Swap out kitchen, bath and hand towels for clean ones.

5. Straighten things up… literally

Straighten your welcome mat, pet beds, coffee table, and any other small pieces of furniture and accessories that have been moved around. Clean lines leave a clean impression.

6. Shine what’s supposed to be shiny

Wipe out your sinks, polish your faucets, and de-fingerprint any glass surfaces.

7. Check on your doorknobs and light switches

There’s usually a pile of grubby fingerprints around them. Wipe these areas clean, stat.

8. Close doors, drawers, and shower curtains

A simple move, yet surprisingly effective.

9. Stash clutter

But don’t just stuff it into a laundry hamper and hide it in your bedroom. Stash the clutter efficiently, hiding it in each room it belongs in so you’re not making hundreds of trips to put everything away afterward.

10. Freshen the air

Spritz your favorite air freshener, and open the doors and windows to get rid of any staleness in the air. A home that looks clean is irrelevant if it smells like feet.

11. Clear the seating

Make sure any blankets, pillows, magazines and so forth have been cleared off your seating areas.

12. Turn the lights on

Many people say one of the best speed cleaning hacks is to dim the lighting, but I believe the opposite to be true – especially this time of year, when it’s dark more often than not. Turn on your lights, open your curtains, and make your home as inviting and cheery as possible. Bonus: It’ll help detract from the fact that you can’t remember the last time you vacuumed.

13. Throw on some light music in the background

Atmosphere is everything.

14. Don’t forget to freshen yourself up

You don’t want to greet your guests and invite them into your (fake) spotless home looking like a “Girl, Interrupted” sequel. The whole point to speed cleaning hacks is to make it look like you have your shit together, after all.

What are your go-to cleaning hacks?

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Image: Kate Ter Haar

Krissy Brady

Krissy Brady is a women’s health + lifestyle writer who’s so out of shape, it’s like she has the innards of an 80-year-old. Instead of learning how to crochet, she decided to turn her emotional baggage into a writing career (genius, no?). You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (you know, if you want).