10 Easy Ways to Fake a Clean House for the Holidays (PHOTOS)

Emily Abbate | Nov 21, 2012 Home & Garden

living room holidays

Cleaning the house can be annoying. Arguably therapeutic, but super annoying. It's not that you don't want things to be spic 'n' span, but, well, it takes time. A lot of time. Time that during the holidays you don't always have, especially when your mom's begging you to make that one dessert you always make. You know, that one. 

Take my current predicament, for example. Saturday night I'll be having 20 of my closest and oldest friends over for a "Friendsgiving" dinner party. The issue? I have a whole SLEW of errands, things to cook, and hello -- BLACK FRIDAY -- between now and then. So what's an enthusiastic hostess to do? Fake it.

Yeah, you heard me. What if I told you there were a whole bunch of things you could do in less than one hour to make your house appear cleaner than it actually is. Thus I present you with 10 steps to faking a clean house. Don't worry, we won't tell anyone your secrets.

What are your fake-cleaning tips -- or do you go all the way every time?


Image via Pottery Barn

  • Eliminate Odors


    Image © iStock.com/lolaira

    Arguably the first thing that people notice when they walk into your home is the smell. If you're cooking a great meal, you're in luck. Just in case, though, light a few candles throughout different rooms in your home guests will be using -- including the bathroom.

  • Put Out Seasonal Decorations


    Image via Serena & Lily

    A few painted pumpkins or stockings, ornaments, and candles placed around the kitchen and living room can make it seem like you put a whole lot of thought into your decor. In actuality, you needed an activity to keep your kids occupied yesterday.

  • Spruce Up the Entryway


    Image © iStock.com/jrsower

    Make sure the floors are dusted where people first walk into the home. You want their first impression to be a good one.

  • Declutter


    Image © iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

    Ahh, the easiest way to clean up. Stack the toys in large bins. Then pile unopened mail, magazines, books, and whatever other gems are usually lying around the house in neat piles. If they're presentable (i.e., interesting books), use them to add to the decor. If they're just sloppy, put them in a crate in the closet and promise to go through them at another time.

  • Set Out Fresh Flowers


    Image © iStock.com/jonathansloane

    There is no easier way to make your home look bright and sunny that to put some fresh flowers in a vase. If you can find some in seasonal colors that's fun -- but even flowers from your garden are a special treat for your guests.

  • Dust Large Surfaces


    Image © iStock.com/cgering

    Are loads of people going to be hanging around the kitchen counter snacking or sitting in the living room around your coffee table? Make sure those are the surfaces that are dust-free. I think your guests will forgive the bunny or two near the Christmas card photo from five years ago in the corner.

  • Find Comfy Home Accents


    Image via Ikea

    Throw pillows and blankets can hide any imperfections in your couches, sofas, or dining room chairs. Plus, they're an easy way to accessorize depending on the time of year.

  • Empty the Sink


    Image © iStock.com/monap

    A totally easy fix. If you have extra time, emptying the dishwasher could also be a good idea. This way, you'll have somewhere to put some of the dirty dishes as they accumulate around the house.

  • Use Your Curtains Strategically


    Image via Crate & Barrel

    No time to wash all the windows? Make use of those drapes and blinds you splurged on oh-so-long-ago. Clean the windows that get the kind of light you want. Put another way, if you usually block out strong afternoon light from certain windows, leave those uncleaned and just keep the drapes closed to begin with.

  • Smile


    Image © iStock.com/LuckyBusiness

    Ahhh, the KEY! At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you are comfortable in your own space. Guests are coming to your home to enjoy your company and one another -- just remember that and relax.

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