Fake a Clean House in 30 Minutes? You Bet! Here’s How

How to make your house LOOK clean – when it’s not? Girl, you gotta FAKE clean… and here’s how to fake clean your house in 30 minutes or less.

Even if your your house is SO neglected and SO messy, I have a simple and FAST way to get in there and FAKE a clean house in 30 minutes.

Just follow my simple routine, and your house will look, and SMELL, like you’ve been cleaning all day.

Fake a clean house in 30 minutes?  Yes! Here's how to fake clean your house in 30 minutes or less

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It never fails – your house is a DISASTER and you suddenly find you have company coming over in 30 minutes!

It’s the worst, right?

Now is NOT the time to stress about it – now is the time to get busy speed cleaning so you can at least FAKE a clean house.

When You SHOULD Fake a Clean House

Here are some real life examples from THIS busy mom of times and situations where I absolutely do a 30 minute quick clean to at least FAKE a clean house:

Example #1

The other day our hot water heater went out.

I called the plumber and he said, “No problem! I’ll be there in 30 minutes!

My first thought was, “WOW, that’s awesome that we’ll get it fixed so quickly!”

and then I looked around my house….

Oh my – it was a mess!

I had 30 minutes to do a speedy fake clean.

Example #2

Last month I got a call from my Aunt. She and her husband (my Uncle) were driving through our area and wanted to “pop in” to see the kids real quick.


Yep, you guessed it…

They’d be there in about 30 minutes!

Again, this is when I perform my miracle 30 minute fake clean magic.

Example #3

It’s the end of the day and you are flat-out EXHAUSTED – but your house is a mess… and it’s really stressing you out.

I used to put off cleaning “until tomorrow”, but learned I woke UP stressed and overwhelmed – and totally NOT in the right mindset to do any cleaning at all.

That’s another time I will perform my 30 minute fake clean.

Even though I am way too tired, I force myself to do it so I will wake up to a house that at least looks clean (well, clean enough to not totally start my day stressed out)

When You Should NOT Fake a Clean House

Those 2 examples above are probably situations YOU can relate to – and they totally warrant a fake clean of your house.

Now, there are times when you just gotta get in there and really clean – you just can’t fake it.

Do NOT Fake a Clean House When…

  • Your guests are staying overnight
  • Your house is for sale and someone is coming to look at it
  • Your guests have kids (you KNOW kids will be everywhere and opening every closet, etc)
  • You’re having a party or get-together at your house
  • Your house is being appraised
  • Your mother-in-law is coming (kidding… well, not really)

How I Fake a Clean House

I can fake a clean house in 30 minutes… or LESS.

Yep, I’m THAT good at it now (we can chalk that up to LOTS of experience with unexpected guests ha!)

Alrighty, here go.

Fake Clean In 10 Steps

When you need to fake a clean house and only have 30 MINUTES to get it done, here are the 2 main things you should focus on:

– Sight, and

– Smell

  1. Start with the entryway your guests will be using.
  2. First impressions absolutely set the tone for how a guest perceives your home over-all.

    If the FIRST thing they see is clutter and a mess, that will be how they remember your home.

    Walk the exact way your unexpected company will be walking – starting OUTSIDE.

    Get whatever clutter and junk is there and get it out of sight.

  3. Walk IN the door your guests will be using.
  4. What do you SMELL?

    What do you SEE?

    Get all the crap off the floor and do a quick dust with something that smells good.

    (we LOVE this DIY furniture polish – it smells AMAZING!)

    Throw that random stuff in a closet, in a bag, in a guest room, etc – just get it out of sight.

  5. Walk into your living room
  6. Again, get everything off the floor and anything that does not TRULY belong in there, gone from sight.

    Again, a quick wipe down with something pleasant smelling goes a long way (and don’t be afraid to light a scented candle – not only does it improve the overall smell of your home, it also adds to the aesthetic)

    I take an extra minute to vacuum – there’s something about fresh vacuum lines that really make a home looked clean.

  7. Next, the KITCHEN
  8. No matter what you expect your unexpected guests to do – everyone ALWAYS ends up in the kitchen.

    Get all clutter and crap off the counters, all dirty dishes out of the sink (hide ’em in your dishwasher if you need to), wipe down your counters with something that smells good, do a quick sweep and empty the trash.

    Quick Tip: start a pot of coffee – just the smell of brewing coffee can make your kitchen feel cozy and welcoming. Plus you’ll have fresh coffee to offer your guests.

  9. Now, your guest bathroom
  10. Bathrooms are where most homes get judged, don’t you agree?

    I think it’s human nature, but if we use the bathroom in someone’s house and it’s GROSS, we remember.

    Everything off the counters, wipe the counters down, clean the toilet, empty the trash can do a quick sweep of the floor, make sure there’s a really good germ fighting hand soap and a nice guest towel – and light a candle.

    Fake Clean Hack: a little hack I use when I need to fake a clean house in 30 minutes or less is to cheat a little. It’s odd how well this works, but it really helps with the sight AND smell part.

    I pour a little Pine Sol in the toilet after I clean it – and leave it there.

    Not only will your bathroom (or whole house) smell DEEP cleaned, it will also give your guest a visual that you care enough to sanitize and clean for their presence.

    Also (and not that *I’VE* ever done this…. BUT… ) this little fake clean hack has really worked to fake out my husband many times. He smells that PineSol and thinks I’ve been cleaning… when perhaps, maybe I’ve been watching NetFlix all day ha!

  11. Your hallway TO your guest bathroom
  12. As you’re walking out of the bathroom, stop and LOOK.

    Get all the crap and toys out of the hallway. Close ALL the doors to ALL the other rooms (but leave the bathroom door open so no one has to open random doors to FIND the bathroom)

  13. Quick Clean other “Uh Oh” Rooms or Areas.
  14. We all have “Uh Oh” rooms or spaces in our home. These are the rooms/areas that people always tend to end up in no matter how you try to guide their stay…. and when you see them headed to that space you think, “Uh Oh!” (or sometimes you might think, “Oh Sh*t!” hahahaha!)

    For my house, my main “Uh Oh” room is our screened porch.

    I don’t care WHO or WHY someone comes to my home, everyone gravitates to our big screened porch.

    And I’ll admit, it’s really great space and perfect for entertaining…

    EXCEPT, when it looks horrible.

    Whenever I am doing a 30 minute Fake Clean, I ALWAYS do a quick speed clean of that screened porch area.

  15. Do a Quick “Re-Walk”
  16. Go back outside and dump your kitchen trash and bathroom trash (and whatever trash you’ve accumulated – getting RID of stuff is the BEST!)

    Now, go back to the door your guest will enter and take the path your company will be taking.

    Looks a TON better, right?

    You can also make some more minor touch-ups IF you have time.

  17. Fix YOU
  18. Go change your clothes, brush your hair, slap on some makeup… whatever you need so you don’t look SO flustered over having unexpected company.

  19. Fix the Kids
  20. If your kids are home, you’re gonna have to “fake clean” them too. Wipe the crap off their faces, put a clean shirt on them, etc – just “spit shine” a bit haha!

    Just be sure you do this LAST – we all know kids will be dirty again in 30 seconds!

  21. Pour yourself a cup of coffee
  22. Go pour yourself a nice hot cup of coffee and have a seat… act as if your house ALWAYS looks – and SMELLS – this way.

    You have now completed faking a clean house in 30 minutes – or less.

30 Minutes… or LESS

When you’re “fake cleaning”, you only HAVE 30 minutes (at most) so do NOT waste time.

This is NOT the time to sort your mail (throw it all in a basket or drawer… or another room)

This is NOT the time to clean out your junk drawer.

This is NOT the time to do laundry or organize your linen closet.

This IS the time to set a timer and GO.

30 Minute Speed Cleaning

If you want some more tips to speed clean your house in 30 minutes for whatever your reason is… check out these tips & tricks:

Decluttering Club Members

How To Turn Your Clutter Into CASH

More Cleaning Hacks


How to fake clean your house in 30 minutes - ultimate speed cleaning!