How to Fake Clean Your House

In decades past the below excerpt from a 1950’s home-economics textbook was nothing to sneer at.  These days modern-day women are too busy running businesses from home, chasing after multiple children or juggling successful careers to be too concerned with being interesting, tying ribbons in their hair or removing that crusty bit of Weetbix off their lapel.  Heck, those of us with kids can often be heard proclaiming in sheer exhaustion “I NEVER SIGNED UP TO BE A MAID!!”

Clear away the clutter: Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.  Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too.

Prepare the children: Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces, comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so that you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.

With spoons and forks getting together for a cutlery party on the kitchen sink, a bottomless laundry basket, toys scattered around the house and a three year old with a highly refined palate, it’s entirely possibly the following words might materialise from your spouse’s mouth – “So, what did you do today?”

If you’ve had it with cleaning and want more time to indulge in social media, online retail therapy or perhaps a little lie-down here are my tips for fake-cleaning your house:

  • Dust busting your entire house is totally acceptable.
  • Some people suggest spraying your living room with air-freshener before guests arrive.  If you really want to make a fake cleaning impression a few sprays of Exit Mould ought to do the trick.
  • Throw the entire contents of the laundry basket inside the washing machine.  Close the lid.  It never existed.
  • Wipes.  Two for the baby and one to wipe down dust, fingerprints, remove stains from clothes, carpets or rugs (maybe don’t try that on your Akira Isogawa).
  • Drag your vacuum cleaner into the living room.  Leave it there.
  • Large clear containers on wheels are great for storing children’s toys under beds.  If you have children that can pack them away, great.  Unfortunately, if they’re anything like mine they will just stand inside the box and mock you.
  • My husband will happily stroke the hair on my head but the minute it falls to the ground he views it like a plague of locusts.  If yours also suffers from this affliction sweeping the visible ones under the cabinets with your foot might be necessary, but do not, I repeat DO NOT, remove the clump from the shower plug hole.  Worst. domestic. chore. ever.


Do you have any more tips for fake cleaning your house?  Share them here and lets avoid the housework together :)

 Linking up with Glowless for Flog Yo Blog Friday



  1. says

    I happily vacuum, dust, change sheets, make beds, iron, fold washing, bring in washing – I am happy to do it all.

    But there are two jobs I HATE – washing the dishes (and we have no dishwasher) and pegging out the washing. If I am really feeling lazy I’ll fill the sink with hot water just before Mr gets home. When he walks through the door I say “I was just about to wash the dishes but I want to have a quick shower before I start cooking dinner – do you mind washing up those few things?” or I’ll put the washing in the machine and leave it there until he comes home and while I vacuum or do a job I actually like doing I’ll say “oh the washing machine just finished, could you peg those few things out for me?’

    Works EVERY time!

    Great post


  2. says

    My husband is happy to hang up laundry and bring it back inside folded ready to be put away but anything that isn’t his gets left in baskets or on top of beds. Any kind of towels/sheets/tablecloths/facewashers (even though he’s already folded them and has to walk PAST the linen cupboard to get to his room) get dumped in the middle of the lounge room floor or put with my clothes so I put them away :S drives me mental. He said he never knew where in the linen cupboard to put them as I’d organised it…

    … so I labeled every shelf with paper and contact, instructing him where to put things and now he has no excuse… hehe that’ll f*ck him :D

    • Mrs.Savage says

      Hey I just picked up a cheap label maker – I think I’ve finally found a use for it since all the 3 year old does is peel off his name tags! Thanks for the tips :)

  3. says

    Faking cleaning is my favourite! I like to grab the washing basket and pile all the living room/kitchen/dining room clutter in it, shove it in the laundry and close the door ready to deal with ‘later’.

  4. says

    Loving these tips. I hate, HATE bringing in and folding the washing. For some reason I just can’t stand it. I (begrudgingly) fold the children’s clothes and have them put their pile away and for the moment, the clothes I haven’t folded are in the walk in robe, where I can close the door and my excuse is that we don’t have drawers yet, so there’s nowhere to put them…

  5. says

    Thanks for the chuckle! Sweeping stuff in the kitchen to the corner. Then not using the dustpan and brush to pick it up. ‘I’ll leave it for the vacuum cleaner – I’m sure I’ll vacuum tomorrow.’ Four days later… still not done.

  6. Jayne says

    I’ve been saying for ages I need to buy a dust buster. The perils of being a crazy cat lady…

    Sabco magic finger duster thing – quickest dusting ever. And I bleach my kitchen sink, that way you get the aroma of bleach which makes it smell as though you did the whole house plus you have a shiny sink if nothing else.

    I’m tempted to put a ribbon in my hair and be gay, just to see the reaction on hubby’s face tonight.

  7. says

    Cleaning? That’s where you open the nearest cupboard and stuff everything in, isn’t it?

    My secret weapon is McLintock’s Vanilla Fridge Wipe. Spray it on benches and give a quick wipe with the dishcloth, and the house smells like you’ve been baking all day.

    Of course, you’ll have to lie and say the kids ate all the cupcakes. Little monsters.

  8. says

    I love this post! I have used the spraying some cleaner around to make people think I’ve just scrubbed the bathroom. A few squirts of bleach and BAM! The Hubs think I am a domestic goddess.

    • Mrs.Savage says

      Definitely not exploitation. We housed those kids for nine months and put up with the sleep deprivation for how many years. Pick up the vacuum cleaner I say!

  9. Lucy says

    I hide my ironing mountain under the stairs!

    I always leave the vacuum in the living room and say oh I was just about to but since you’re here….
    Our stairs lead off the hall and a quick sweep of the stairs always makes it look nice when you come in!

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