Are you ready to fake it? (a clean house, that is)
My in-laws have taken the kids for the weekend!!! Woo-hoo. I am excited to get some projects done, spend this evening with friends, and give the house the thorough cleaning it so desperately needs.
I should preface this by saying that I used to be a clean freak. The first year we got married Edie and I would spend about 3 hours every Sunday afternoon cleaning the house from top to bottom, even if it didn’t need it. Windows, baseboards, everything. Now that we are parents we do not have the luxury of time to do those types of cleanings. (Plus we realize they were a little overboard.) Sadly, I can no longer live up to my old standard of clean most of the time.
As I was cleaning the kitchen for real this morning I laughed to myself about all of the times I have had to “fake clean” my house. Every week since January Nicholas has had two Early Intervention appointments in our home. I would always do a quick fake-out before one of his teachers came over. I also usually do it if we are having a last-minute play date or if we decide to invite friends over to watch a movie or play board games after the kids go to sleep.
So here are my tips for achieving a “fake clean” house in about 10 minutes:
I am not endorsing any of these particular brands, they just happen to be brands we have in our home.
1. Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher, but don’t turn it on if someone is coming over soon- it’s noisy and having a clean sink and no running dishwasher gives the impression that you keep your sink clean (which I am totally guilty of not doing, like, AT ALL)
2. Wipe down the counters in the kitchen and main bathroom with baby wipes. Baby wipes are cheaper than disinfecting wipes like Lysol and Clorox and they don’t leave a chemical smell that says “I just cleaned up because you were coming over” (of course my house always smells like diapers anyway, so I doubt anyone would be able to tell the difference)
3. Squirt toothpaste in the toilet and swirl it around with the toilet brush. I know this sounds bizarre, but toothpaste is made for cleaning the enamel on your teeth and your porcelain toilet isn’t that much different. Plus, again it does not leave a chemical smell, just the impression that you keep your bathroom clean like that all the time. (which of course I totally do. um, not.)
4. Throw any other clutter that is in the bathroom (potty chair, step stool, bath toys, etc) into the tub and pull the shower curtain closed
5. Close all of the bedroom doors.
6. Throw the toys that have scattered all over the living room into a plastic bin.
7. Spray Febreze or Oust.
If I have time I also wipe down the bathroom mirror and the living room window. If I have time. I usually do not.
Mostly it just makes me feel better to give the impression that I am capable of keeping the house clean while two toddlers are living in it. I’m not. But at least by giving the illusion of a clean house my son’s teachers and therapists won’t be able to blame his issues on his environment (not that they would) and our friends don’t have to see the clutter and curdled milk in sippy cups that have become our reality.