Did you know that you can FAKE a super clean house? Find out how you can enjoy a tidy home without being a slave to the cleaning bucket.
As a busy mom of 4 young kids, I just don’t have time to deep clean every corner of my house each week. But I’ve learned that I can fake it by keeping it clean “looking”.
You can fake a super clean house?? Yes, please!
Now, I love a good deep cleaning session. I know, it’s weird. But give me a good audiobook and I actually find it cathartic. Plus, I love the results.
But now, those sessions are happening WAY less often. And that’s ok! There’s a time and a season for everything in life.
Although, that doesn’t mean that I’ve had to give up having a clean house altogether. I’ve just picked up a few tricks.
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IS CLEANING A WASTE OF TIME?
No! Not at all!
Having a clean house can have a bad rap. Some tease it’s a sign of a wasted life. Others love cutesy sayings, such as “Excuse the mess; children at play”.
But I’ve personally never resonated with that thinking. I know there’s a direct correlation between my mood and the state of my house. And I don’t feel like a relaxed and good mom just because I let things get messy.
Now sometimes (ok, a lot of times), life gets crazy and I’m exhausted. Then the house is basically a visual of the chaos I feel inside.
But I can’t let it stay that way for too long, because feeling that way affects my productivity, energy and happiness. And that, in turn, affects my family.
I used to think that was just my type A peeking through. But then I found this article that talks about the psychology behind cleanliness, backing it up with science. That’s when I realized, hey, maybe I’m not crazy for liking things picked up!
And with minimalism, decluttering and organizing techniques on the rise, it’s obviously something people of all personality types can benefit from.
I know having a clean house sometimes seems impossible. Especially when you have kids. It can be a never-ending cycle, and you might ask yourself, “what’s the point?”
But it’s worth the effort. I promise!
HOME IS A PLACE TO RECHARGE
I don’t consider a tidy house stiff and uninviting. In fact, I feel quite the opposite is true. I can relax more without stuff everywhere.
And note that I said “tidy”, not “museum quality”. My house isn’t immaculate. We just try our best to stay on top of clutter and keep things picked up.
I want my home to be a place for our family to relax and recharge. Between the demands on our schedules and noise and distraction everywhere, we need a place to catch our breath.
And that’s hard to do when you’re faced with an overly messy house.
But you don’t have to spend hours a week cleaning to stay on top of it all (thank goodness). You just have to know a few tricks and then you, too, can fake a super clean house.
HOW TO FAKE A SUPER CLEAN HOUSE
Before I had kids, I used to love having a “cleaning day” where I’d get everything done. Then it changed to a room a day. Then a task a day.
Currently I live in survival mode. So I do what I can when I can. (Life with 4 littles) That’s why I love speed cleaning sessions and my timer!
Sprinkle in a few of these a day (even if it’s just 5-10 minutes!) and you’ll be surprised at how much you can do!
Here are a few areas to focus on during your quick cleans:
SURFACES (Tables, counters, etc.)
The first things to address are the surfaces in your home. Anything flat is just asking for clutter. And no matter how much you deep clean, a house will always look messy with cluttered surfaces.
Paper can easily take over your life. But when you find a method that works for you, it can be life changing. My biggest source of paper comes from my kids.
Abby Lawson, from Just A Girl And Her Blog has a great post about dealing with school papers!
Also check your tables and counters for things such as books, magazines or anything else that needs a home (or a farewell).
In the kitchen and bathrooms, try to keep the counters clear of all but the most intentional. And check for items that could be put in cabinets or drawers instead.
Keep your floors clutter-free…ish.
This definitely isn’t perfect all day long in my house. But at the end of each day, and at least once during the day, I’ll do a quick pickup of anything that’s out of place on the ground.
The areas I focus most on are the front room, the kitchen and the hallway. My house feels so chaotic when these areas are filled with clothes, toys and anything else the kids carry around.
Besides a quick pick-up, sweep the kitchen and dining area at least once a day. And if you have extra time, vacuum a rug or carpeted area. A freshly vacuumed room always looks so clean!
THE FRONT ROOM
When someone comes over, what’s the first room they enter? It’s different for many people, but I’ll simplify it here by just calling it the “front room”.
The front room is my space. I’m not crazy strict with everything around the house except this one room. The kids often seem to rule the rest of the house, but I get one room to keep presentable most of the time.
I don’t store toys in there and only allow a few toys or books to be in there at a time. I keep it minimally stocked of necessary items so there isn’t even that much to get messy. I’ve also gone light on decorating to keep it feeling light and airy.
We recently remodeled this room. Check out the before and afters of our living room here!
I get teased about how my house always seems so clean. But my secret is that I just have that one room guaranteed. I can’t always speak for the rest of the house, but at least the front room is clean!
Side note: This is a huge help for quick guests or surprise visits.
Ok, I have to know…are you team “clear counters” or team “empty sink”?
There was a fun debate on social media a few months ago about what made a kitchen feel cleaner. Me? I’m definitely team “clear counters”.
To me, dishes are real life. Plus my kids seem to go through 42 dishes a day. Each.
But as long as my counters are cleared and wiped off, I’m ok with it until I find time to load the dishwasher.
So keeping the counters cleared is the biggest thing I try to keep on top of during the day. Then I load the dishes each night and give the floor a good sweep.
One other area I try to be mindful of is the trash can. I don’t have one hidden in the cabinets (someday), so our free-standing one can get pretty gross, even with bags.
I make sure to give the sides and lid a good wipe down every couple of days.
All you need is 10 minutes to do a quick bathroom cleanup. Grab some Clorox Wipes and do a wipedown of the counters, sink and exterior of the toilet.
These are my favorite version of these wipes. They’re great for the bathrooms!
Pay special attention to the area behind the toilet seat lid! This area collects dust and all kinds of gross. Your toilet won’t look clean if that area gets forgotten.
Next, clean the mirrors, pick items up from the floor and clear the counters of anything except the intentional.
And voila! The bathroom is good to go!
Of course, bathrooms still need a good cleaning often, but this quick once-over keeps things from getting out of control until you can find that time.
Bedrooms are pretty easy to fake clean.
Make your bed. Every day! It’s amazing what a difference it can make.
And teach your children to make theirs too. Even young children can learn to do it!
Also, picking up clothes and unnecessary items from the floor will keep the bedroom looking clean.
A FEW EXTRAS
There are a few other things that can make a house look and feel so much cleaner.
- Keep cabinet and closet doors closed
- Open the curtains and blinds first thing in the morning
- Find a good smell for your house (candles, diffusers, natural recipes, etc.)
YOU CAN HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO
Mom life gets pretty busy. Especially with young kids. You just don’t have the time to deep clean all the time. But that doesn’t mean you have to live in a constant mess.
Speed cleaning and picking up a couple of times a day will save your sanity and boost your mood. You won’t be a slave to the cleaning bucket AND you’ll have a home that feels tidy and relaxing.
Clean a little deeper when you need to, but this is enough to keep your home clean most of the time.
Need help finding the time to clean? Here are the things that have worked best for me:
- Try block scheduling to plan quick cleans into your day.
- Use Independent Playtime to clean with kids around (it’s amazing).
- Add a quick pick-up to your night routine.
- Use a notebook to keep track of what you’d like to get done (and the free printable at the bottom of the post!).
- Utilize the magic of a timer.
Even a fake super clean house will do wonders for your mood, energy, productivity and overall happiness. It’s true for me and I love that there’s even science to back it up!
Before I let you go, it’s important to note that there’s no magic level of “clean” to work toward. Clean and tidy is different for every person. As long as it’s your version of clean, you’ll reap the benefits.
You’ve got this momma!
Keeping on top of the house can seem impossible, but us moms are always more capable than we give ourselves credit for. Start small and keep it manageable. Then work up from there.
And don’t forget to give yourself grace for the real-life messes that happen to all of us!
What are your messy pain points? What is it that makes your house feel messy no matter how “clean” it might be? Mine are open cabinets (that’s always driven me crazy for some reason) and clothes on the hall floor!
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