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How to fake a clean house like a pro

Diana is an editor and writer of a wide variety of topics including interior design, home decor, crafting, upcyling, DIY tips, and general thriftiness. Diana's favorite place to learn more about all these topics is Hometalk.com.

When there's no time to clean, use these 7 tricks to fake the cleanest house on the block

Guests due to arrive any minute? Surprise arrival? Straighten up before they finish coming up the front walk with these speedy and easy cleaning tricks. Get in, get out and fake a clean house in just a few minutes.

1. Put dishes somewhere

Your whole kitchen will feel so much cleaner if you can just stash those dirty plates somewhere out of sight. Tuck them into the dishwasher (and turn it on while you’re at it) or even the oven. Don’t gasp! This is a last-minute trick, not a permanent solution.

Farmhouse Sink

Photo credit: Complete Home Renovation

No dishes here, folks, just some flowers. Farmhouse sink via AK Complete Home Renovation on Hometalk.

2. Clear those counters

Another tip for a total transformation — clear off your kitchen counters. Group utensils into jars, or dump your keys and mail into an attractive box or basket (more on the amazing "cleaning" powers of baskets next). This also applies to your tables: coffee tables, end tables, console tables and, of course, the kitchen table.

Clear those counters

Photo credit: The Dedicated House

This kitchen? It's clear! Excellent use of containers and baskets by The Dedicated House on Hometalk.

3. Baskets, baskets, baskets

This one-stop-shop solution will solve nearly all of your "mess" problems. Clothes on the floor? Toss them into a basket hamper. Magazines, books or other living room clutter? Vanished into a nice rattan basket. Odds and ends floating around the kitchen table, a desk or a counter? Place them into some nice baskets. Just about anything can be hidden in a nice looking wicker or rattan basket.

Basket storage

Photo credit: Wayfair

Basket storage in action via Wayfair on Hometalk.

4. Magician's trick: flowers

Made of fake or real flowers, a beautiful bouquet will distract the eye from quite a lot. Have at least one full bouquet in each room your guests may enter. Even you will be amazed by the classic magician tactic of misdirection.

Paper Flower Tutorial

Photo credit: Tips for Cleaner

These DIY flowers are actually paper. Paper flower tutorial via Tips for Cleaners on Hometalk.

5. Dust if your must

If you have to pick one or two chores to actually complete, dust is one problem that is immediately obvious to guests. So clean smarter, not harder, by dusting first and then vacuuming.

Don’t have time to dust all the blinds? Turn the blinds the other direction. Genius!

Dust shelves

Photo credit: Bliss at Home

With great beauty comes great dusting responsibility. Beautifully styled bookcase via Bliss at Home on Hometalk.

6. All in order with hors d'oeuvres

If you can whip out some chilled wine or finger foods (like those little individual Laughing Cow cheeses) on an attractive serving platter, you’ll seem much more prepared, and your guests will assume any remaining clutter is just a part of "the look" of your decor scheme.

DIY Bar Cart

Photo credit: Mad in Crafts

Food will always be the best way to their hearts. DIY bar cart via Mad in Crafts on Hometalk.

7. Bathroom basics

There is no getting around the bathroom. You will have to do a little cleaning here, but trust us, having a clean bathroom for your guests might be the most important hostess rule of all. You can get all the "cleaning" done quickly with these four super-quick techniques.

  1. Wipe faucet with dryer sheet.
  2. Straighten hand towels.
  3. Wipe dusty corners to make the rest of the room look clean.
  4. Febreze! A good-smelling bathroom seems like a clean one.

Lovely Bathroom

Photo credit: Beneath my Heart

The flower and basket tricks work in the bathroom, too. Lovely bathroom via Beneath my Heart on Hometalk.

Looking for even more clever cleaning hacks? Hometalkers are positively chock full of the best cleaning and organizing secrets.

More in home cleaning and organization

15 Genius life hacks to help organize your bathroom
Transform any room into your new mom cave
It sucks, but your mom was right about these cleaning tips

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