How to Trick People Into Thinking Your House Is Clean

My mom and I had plans to go to dinner the other night. About an hour before we were supposed to meet, my mom called and said she was early so she was just going to come to my house. I said “Great, see you in 5 minutes.” I looked around at the pile of dishes in the sink, the overflowing laundry hamper, the cat hair floating lazily in the air and panic set in. When my mom arrived, I met her outside and said I was starving and we should just eat early.

This article from Apartment Therapy gives some tips for making your house presentable when you have last-minute visitors. They suggest quickly cleaning the three Ts: Toilet, Tabletops and Television. “Most living rooms are centered around your TV and the amount of dust that hangs on it, your Netflix stack and DVD box set pile that's off to one side could be telltale signs that the rest of your house isn't exactly spotless.”

The piece suggests stashing items efficiently so that once your company leaves you can find all your things later. By stashing items in that basket according to room, you can quickly put things where they belong once your company leaves.

My favorite suggestion is about those dirty dishes. Apartment Therapy suggest stashing them in the oven. You’d like your clean counters to make everything look tidy but no one is fooled by the giant pile of dishes in your sink. No one does dishes that way. “Instead, grab a baking sheet and stack like items together and slide them in the oven. They'll slide right back out, be prestacked and ready to be washed ,so you can recover from the guilt you just gave yourself for following through with this.”

Next time I’ll be prepared for a surprise drop-in.

Bonus info: One of the commenters on this article raises a good point. cbreynolds says: “The oven trick is funny. But, most New Yorkers keep their sweaters in the oven…What do they do? LOL.”