If you’re anything like me, with three kids underfoot, the house isn’t usually in tip-top shape. And if you’re anything like me, this can easily bother you on a daily basis… okay sometimes an hourly basis. I’ve learned when to fight my battles, meaning when I can expect a clean home, and when I can lay off the Type-A for a bit and enjoy life with the three beautiful children and husband I’m blessed with that can tend to leave said messes. While I’ve always worked with my children about picking up after themselves, and they do a decent job of it, living life just means messes will happen. So what do you do when you want a clean home but you’ve only got 20 minutes to get your house in shape? Or you get the call that someone is on their way over, and you’ve got 10 minutes to pick up? Here are a few tips to fake a clean home: Full disclosure, this is really less about faking it, and more about a few quick things you can do (that cleans up your home a bit) and makes a really big impact so you don’t notice the rest… making your house look even cleaner than it is.
Make the beds.
Yep, taking just a few minutes to straighten those sheets, blankets and pillows makes a huge difference in your room, probably since it’s actually the largest item and focal point of the room. To start the day off on a clean slate, it’s the first thing I tackle in my room and once that big hurdle is done, the rest of the room doesn’t look as messy. Even if the sheets aren’t straightened underneath, get the covers up and on the bed and straighten your throw pillows. Seriously, making this a habit for everyone in the family will make your house seem much cleaner!
Set a timer and run through the house (this is also a fun way to get kids to help and more hands means less work for everyone, win-win!) picking up items and objects that don’t belong. If you know you’re going to have a lot of stuff to pick up, grab a laundry basket to corral it all, but hopefully you won’t have that much stuff out of place. Then as you go through each room, drop off the items where they belong. Really, this doesn’t take that long to do and the majority of your home really will be cleaned up in a jiffy. If you’re having company over in the next few minutes, stash the basket of odds out of sight… but don’t forget to get back to it and put that stuff away. I usually set a timer for 10 minutes and with the help of my kids, we pretty much get everything back in order in that time.
Even when there are dishes in the sink, the house can still seem clean-ish when countertops are fairly cleaned off and wiped down. After you’ve had your run through your house grabbing up misplaced odds and ends, grab a wipe and get to shinin’. You can use pre-soaked cleaning wipes (you can also make your own natural version), a cleaning solution spray (2 cups water, 2 cups vinegar and 15 drops Lemon essential oil is a great one!) and paper towel, sponge or rag, and do a quick swipe of all of your countertops. Give one to each of the kids and send them to the bathrooms to wipe down the counters (and maybe the toilet seat as well), while you tackle the kitchen and dining room table. Voila, spick and span surfaces… and it didn’t take more than a few short minutes!
So this is something that I love to do anyway. To be completely honest and vulnerable, when I feel like I don’t have control or a handle on a situation, I like to vacuum. Maybe it’s because if I can’t control something else, at least I can control what my floors look like… or maybe it’s the white noise. (Random side note, when Aliyah had a bout with colic as an infant, I would run the vacuum to get her to sleep. Even if I didn’t move it, I would turn it on just to quiet her down sometimes!) No matter what the reason, doing a quick sweep through the house and getting the dirt off of those floors will make a difference in the overall look of the home!
Have you heard that tip realtors use when they need to sell a house? They bake cookies! I’m not saying you need to bake a batch of cookies, although that wouldn’t hurt… But make the house smell great with your favorite candle or diffuser. My all time favorite candle scent is the Capri Blue from Anthro (which also makes a gorgeous vase or container when used up and is not pictured below, ironically), and of course, I use my essential oil diffuser on a daily basis. The plus with diffusing essential oils, on top of making your home smell amazing, is that the properties of the oils actually purify the air and the aromatherapy benefits are great!! Happy (easier) homemaking friends! And side note, if you come to my home, please don’t look for the piles of junk hidden away 😉
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