15 Ways to Fake a Clean House

Don’t let lingering dust, dirt, and clutter set your last minute entertaining plans awash. Use these 15 cleaning shortcuts to turn the grimiest estate into a prime estate in minutes.

  1. Inviting Space

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    Storage baskets

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    Stop fumbling in the foyer with a mess of shoes, umbrellas, and magazines. Instead, tuck them into cloth baskets or wicker bins placed behind the front door. Use a handheld vacuum to usher away dust and other uninvited guests from the entryway.


    Related: 7 Things Every Entryway Needs

  2. Hamper Scamper

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    Laundry hamper

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    No time to tidy up? Convert an off-duty laundry hamper into a receptacle for stashing loose personal effects, books, and supplies. When the party’s over, give the stowaways a lift back to their respective cabinets, shelves, and desks.


    Related: 8 Laundry Room Storage Hacks

  3. Couch Potatoes

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    Clean microfiber couch

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    You don’t have to do the time for the crime of snacking on a microfiber couch and leaving behind dry food debris and fingerprints. Use a handheld brush to gently massage away offending grit.


    Related: Couch Surfing—Top 10 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Sofa

  4. Blind Item

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    Turn the blinds

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    Visitors will be blind to the dirt on the topside of your blinds if you simply turn them up to display the tidier underside. Then, pull soiled curtain panels closed to instantly revitalize aging windows.


    Related: 13 DIY Window Treatments to Dress Up Your Space

  5. Chaise Down

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    Basket couch

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    Give your sofas stylish arm candy with decorative baskets that hold wandering books, magazines, and toys. Place the storage containers at the far end of the sofa to bring focus to the conversation, not the clutter.


    Related: 10 "Zero Dollar" Storage Hacks

  6. Fluffed Up

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    Pillows on couch

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    Transform homely sofas into decorative focal points by fluffing up flattened pillows and arranging them over any visible upholstery stains. Alternatively, flip battered couch cushions to reveal their good side.


    Related: 12 "Zero Dollar" Decorating Hacks

  7. Dust Buster

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    Dusting coffee table

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    A microfiber cloth works wonders in the dusty microcosm of the living room. Run the cloth over the television screen, coffee table, and end tables to achieve pristine surfaces untouched by time.


    Related: 15 Remarkably Easy Ways to Create a Dust-Free Home

  8. Disappearing Dishes

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    Load dishwasher

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    It takes just minutes and elbow grease to rid your kitchen of grease and grime. Give soiled dishes a quick bath in soapy water before hiding them in the dishwasher or unused stock pots. Wipe down counter surfaces and close cupboards for a gleaming galley. Then, leave the rest of the cleaning until the guests leave.


    Related: Over a Dozen Things You Didn't Know You Could Clean in the Dishwasher

  9. Vanity Sanity

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    Wire basket toilet paper

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    Counter clutter on the bathroom counter by organizing it in underlying cabinets outfitted with toiletry holders. Put a Lazy Susan to work to hold makeup and shampoo bottles, and stack towels and toilet rolls in winsome wire baskets.


    Related: Survive a Small Bath with 10 Space-Saving Organizers

  10. Well-groomed Workroom

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    Clean desktop

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    Transform a haphazard home office into a study on cleanliness by scrapping expired post-it notes and to-do lists. Shelter homeless supplies and trinkets in attractive stationary containers placed atop your desk or beneath the keyboard.


    Related: 11 Ways to Keep Your REAL Desktop Organized

  11. Toy Ploy

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    Cleaning up toys

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    Between scattered stuffed animals, blocks, and puzzle pieces, cleaning the kid’s room can be a puzzle. Corral loose game pieces in drawers and bag toys in unused pillowcases. Lastly, give unruly books and board games a timeout in a neat pile in the corner.


    Related: 15 DIY Storage Ideas to Help Corral Your Kids' Clutter

  12. Dirty Secret

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    Clothes in the washing machine

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    Lighten the load of cleaning the laundry room by temporarily gathering dirty garments in the washing machine, where your cleaning secret will be kept safe. Then, put away any clean, lingering linens in the bedroom to sort later.


    Related: 8 (Nearly) Invisible Laundry Rooms

  13. Clean Sweep

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    Sweeping dry floor

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    Sweep—don’t mop—dry mud, debris, and pet hair off the floor, out of the door, and out of mind. Reserve your hardworking mop for spot-cleaning wet mud or visible food stains on hard floors.


    Related: Floor Care Guide—11 Ways to Care for Your Wood Floors

  14. Smelt Dealt

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    Fireplace ashes

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    Notify your fireplace that the guests have arrived by sprinkling tea leaves or coffee grounds inside. This will keep rising dust at bay and diffuse the scent of stale embers so that visitors will want to warm their hands around the hearth all winter.


    Related: 7 Mistakes Not to Make with Your Fireplace

  15. Aromatic Accents

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    Scented candle

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    Banish everyday odors and make a fresh start by lighting a candle in your favorite scent. Candles naturally eradicate unsavory scents without help from harsh chemical cleaners.


    Related: Clear the Air—10 Natural Ways to Cure Household Odors

  16. See the House of the Week

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    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!