There’s nothing worse than getting that dreaded phone call from a friend or relative saying they’re going to spring their presence on you in T-10 minutes. We’ve all been there. It’s not that your apartment is dirty, per se; it’s just that you haven’t done that really deep cleaning for a while. Real Simple magazine did a slideshow a few days ago about “How to Fake a Clean House,” and as I was clicking through the photos, I realized I have a few tricks of my own.
1. Replace the toilet paper rolls.
Bathrooms look better with brand new rolls of toilet paper, so before your guests come over, slip off that half-full roll and stash it under the counter. You can use the rest of it later, after they’re gone. Besides if you find cleaning really daunting that allows us to procrastinate. In those cases, a home cleaning service can help to complete the task without thinking twice.
2. Swiffer your surfaces.
Grab your handy Swiffer duster and swipe it over your end tables, coffee table, bookshelves, and other dust-prone items in your highly visible areas. You can leave out dusting whatever rooms you don’t think your guests will venture into, like bedrooms.
3. Use accent lighting.
Turn off those glaring overhead lights and turn on your table lamps. Light a few candles (bonus if they’re nicely scented!). Accent lighting is softer and not as harsh, and makes a room feel cozier.
4. Windex your mirrors.
This is especially key for bathroom mirrors, where toothpaste and hairspray and mascara all end up. If you have any decorative mirrors in your entertaining areas, clean those, too. This is where Windex Wipes come in handy! Having clean mirrors will make your room look brighter and fresher.
5. Close or open doors all the way.
Make sure the doors to other rooms in your home are either completely closed or completely open. It sounds strange, but it really makes everything look more put together. Closet doors generally always need to be closed. If you don’t want someone looking in a bedroom or den area, shut the door. If you want to leave the door open, make sure it’s pushed all the way back against the wall. Closed doors make people understand they are just visiting (good for that friend who always stays too long or if your SO’s parents are coming over), and open doors don’t invite that curiosity that a half-closed door does. It’s a win-win.
6. Empty your small wastebaskets.
If you have miniature wastebaskets in your bathrooms or entertaining areas, empty them into either a bigger garbage can (like in the kitchen) or another smaller garbage can in a room you’re not using. You can empty them all later, but for now, not showing your trash is a positive thing.
This is a great opportunity to decide what is out in plain sight in your home that you actually need. You’re on a deadline, so there’s not too much time to fret over whether you really need those six old magazines laying on your coffee table. If you haven’t touched it in a month and you don’t need it for your taxes, get rid of it!
If you have time, run a vacuum across high-traffic areas, and especially around entries from the outside. This is where the most dirt or crushed leaves or whatever gets tracked in and left in the carpet, and you’ll be surprised at just how much cleaner it makes your home look.
How do you make your home look cleaner? Tweet us @litdarling.
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