My house is never clean.
There are days it looks like a tornado ripped through it after the kids have dragged every toy they own from their rooms.
The dishes from the day before are piled in the sink and the laundry is seeping into the next room, because I’ve been playing grocery store cashier and passenger on the airplane that is taking us to the beach.
When I finally find time to tackle the bathrooms, the kids decide to empty the kitchen cabinets, because they make a great hiding spot.
Then it happens, a neighbor or friend drops by a for a quick visit. Do you think they saw? Should I hide and pretend like we are not home?
There are a handful of times each year when we host a gathering or a party at our home and for the most party every room in the house is clean.
So, what do we do for the other 350+ days each year. Never have anyone over?!
We live in a small community and often welcome unexpected visitors. The kids often have friends over after school and the parents stop by to pick them up.
Luckily most of these visitors do not make it very far into our tornado strewn home.
What do we do? We fake a clean home by creating the perception of a clean home.
1.) Avoid open floor plans that open to the front door.
Avoid an open floor plan that is visible from the front door. For most part, I love open floor plans, but when you are trying to create an illusion of a clean home, there are too many rooms to keep cleaned. We spend the most time in our kitchen, dining room, and family room. These rooms are an open concept, but not visible from the front door. Open floor plans visible from the front door can be done; you just have more rooms that need to be your focus.
2.) Keep the room you enter clean.
This entry room needs to be your focus. For us, this is the living room. Whenever I walk into this room throughout the day I scan the room for spots that need attention: pillows that need straightening or toys that need to be put away. While toys do enter the room throughout the day, we do not store the kids’ toys in this room. We have lots of storage in this room: entry closet, lift up storage on bench, shelf on coffee table, and two cabinets to decrease any visible clutter and make the room organized.
3.) Keep the front of your house and front yard maintained.
Same is true for the front of your house. Keep the front of the house and yard cleaned, mowed, and pretty. Our privacy fenced in backyard at times may look like a jungle from neglected mowing and weeding or like a tornado went through with toys strewed everywhere, but we make sure to keep up on the front yard. We also have a front porch that we keep clean and decorated. Why worry so much about the front yard and neglect the back? This is the first impression others have when preparing to enter your home.
4.) Make those areas pretty.
Adding some nice accessories and prettying up a room, can also go along ways in tricking people into thinking that you have clean beautiful home awaiting them beyond the wall that separates the room they entered from the rest of the house. Make the room inviting with a rug, pillows, art, and/or artwork. Add a flower by the front door.
5.) Out with bad smells and in with the good smells.
Make sure your trash is not overflowing. If you don’t have time (or desire) to get the dishes done at least rinse them so you don’t have food sitting on them. Get rid of rotting foods. If you have pets, be mindful of the smell they can create in the house and minimize it. Keep pet areas and cages clean. Keep litter boxes in the garage or a room far from front of house.
Now that you have the bad smells under control, add some good smells. It is important to remember that not everyone likes the same scent, so keep it light and subtle. You don’t want an overpowering scent.
The next time someone stops by unexpectedly, open your blinds and let them into home.