clean and tidy foyer and front door

Do you know how to fake clean your home? Fake cleaning is not deep cleaning or spring cleaning or weekly cleaning. It’s just what it says. It’s a “fake” way to have a clean looking home! This is a great, easy cleaning system to have in your cleaning arsenal!

Here’s the scenario…

Ring, ring!!!! That’s a call from your Aunt Laura. She and her friend want to pop by in about 20 minutes for a little visit! OH NO! Your home is a mess!

Don’t panic. Take a deep breath and fake clean your home! Company should be welcome even on your home’s worst days!  Sometimes we just don’t have time for a full deep home cleaning when we really need our home to LOOK spic and span.  Today, I’m going to show you how to fake a clean house when time is not on your side.

french door in the family room looking into a fake cleaned living room

We all get visitors that come on the worst day possible. We all have “those” days when we are not at our best. And our homes have those days too! So if you are having visitors on one of those days, get busy so you can welcome them in with open arms and a fake cleaned home!

Most of the visitors come to our front door and I welcome them into the front part of StoneGable! The foyer, living room and dining room plus the powder room get the fake clean business!

front door and foyer with sisal rug

Put on your fastest music and enlist any helpers if you have them and get busy!


First thing, get those fabulous home aromas going!

chair with black and white buffalo pillow in the foyer

You can fake out your guest’s noses and have them thinking you have a clean home by lighting a clean smelling candle or diffusing some great essential oils. For me, essential oils are the way to go! I love the combination of peppermint and tangerine. Set a clean and tidy “mood” with a clean smell.

You don’t need to fake a clean home to have a great smelling one!


two white spindle chairs and a large fiddle leaf fern in the living room that are  clean and tidy

Because time is of the essence, only fake clean the rooms you will be in or can be seen. No need to clean the master bedroom if you are not entertaining in it! Got it… I knew you did!


looking into the living room from the foyer.

Grab a large basket or laundry tote and toss anything into the basket that doesn’t belong in the room in question.  Tuck the basket away in a room that won’t be used and vow to deliver the items to their rightful place when you have some time. 

Remember if you don’t make time to put things away you have just created a new messy spot! 


large wall clock with lantern on a buffet

My feather duster is a workhorse in my home. As quickly as you can swipe it over your larger horizontal surfaces. Easy peasy! Your room is dust free and it’s acutally clean!


buffet in the dining room with gold mirror above it

Take a couple of minutes to do the bathroom swish and swipe! This is my favorite way to clean my bathroom daily!

Wipe down countertops and sinks.  Wipe down the toilet seat and quickly go over the bowl with a brush. This makes your bathroom look fully cleaned and your guests will never know!

I put a couple drops of essential oil on a cotton ball and hide it in the toilet paper roll.

Change out your hand towels. 

Clean the mirror only if it is bad! 


ONLY if you cannot keep your company out of the kitchen will this be necessary…

farmhouse kitchen sink in white kitchen

Throw all dirty dishes into the dishwasher unless there are clean dishes in it. And in that case, put all dishes in dishpans (my lifesavers) and stow them in the laundry room or garage or a closet until company is gone.

Anything else on the counters goes into the laundry basket spoken of above.

Wipe down countertops. Don’t worry about the stove, people usually give grace to a stove! A tidy kitchen looks like a clean kitchen! Really!

Add a couple drops of essential right down your sink. It will help your kitchen smell amazing!

Place a clean dish towel by the sink and you are good to go! 


wall hooks in the foyer with a basket and flowers hanging from it

Put on a little lipstick. Breathe and as you open the door give your visitors your best and most genuine I’m-so-happy-to-see-you smile! You did it! You faked clean your home! And whatever you do don’t say a word about a messy house! NEVER! LOL!

Because a visitor will remember how welcomed they felt longer than how clean your home was!

Here’s my everyday cleaning system that I swear by…


woman holding a bucket with cleaning products

And here are a few more great posts for a tidy home…

Get this fun ebook with almost 100 INSPIRATIONAL DECORATING IDEAS for you home!!!!




When you sign up for the book if you don’t see the link in your inbox check you junk mail. Depending on the way you have your email set up things like this might end up there.

front door and foyer

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  1. I noticed your rug at your entry, it doesn’t look like a regular rug.. What is it made of? And is this something you purchased or made? Did you share the info on here where I can go search? Thx:)

  2. This post just made me chuckle! I can’t believe that beautiful home of yours is ever not company ready but it must be true or you wouldn’t know these tips! A few years ago (I’m 64) my sister had a party and I bought $100 worth of rags, yep rags. Surprisingly, those rags did just what they were supposed to – clean without other products. So now I really can fake clean my house in 20 minutes!

  3. Yvonne, I love this post! The family rule in our home is that the front 3 rooms have to always remain clean….the living room, dining room and foyer. This way if we have unexpected guests I can receive them in the “clean” rooms. Since New Years, I have also been making a habit of keeping the kitchen clean~~washing dishes while cooking, putting things away on a daily basis. That way it doesn’t get too far into the messy/panic stage.
    Also, I am so happy that you have revised your format. I love your posts but always found it a bit difficult to navigate. Great job!

  4. Cecilia from Georgia says:

    What would I ever do without a laundry room to throw stuff in! However, I sometimes forget that I’ve stashed mail or papers in the cabinet and find them a week later!! I love the big basket at the door! I bet it can hold a world of my clutter. Where did you find it and I love how it is hanging like you just put it there as an afterthought!! Have a great weekend!XOXO

  5. Put a fresh towel in the powder room – just in case. Also, if you have fresh flowers, change their water. If not, snip some greenery from your yard and put it in a vase.

  6. Anna Marie says:

    My problem is when people drop by without even calling! Now that my kids are grown it’s not so bad because my house is usually never dirty but may be a bit cluttered. I make my beds every day in the morning and I do a lot of your 30 minute pick up/ clean every day which helps.

  7. Julie Briones says:

    You are such a smart lady! Thank you for sharing this with us AND at Homestyle Gathering. Always love when you link up (and when you guest host!) 😉

  8. First off, I love this blog on fake cleaning!
    Second, where did you find that wall-mounted coat rack. That is just what I have been searching for…

    1. Hi Kathy, Thanks! I found the coat rack at the Pottery Barn several years ago. Unfortunately, I’ve not seen it on their site lately. Sorry!

  9. Enjoyed reading through your post. Your swish and swipe is what my Mom called a lick and a promise. She would do a quick clean and promise to come back to do a more thorough cleaning later. Lol

  10. Could you please tell me what brand and color paint you used in your dining room. I looked all through past posts and did not see any reference to brand etc. Thank you.

  11. Hello Yvonne,
    What is your go-to peppermint tangerine essential oil product.?
    Love the cotton ball idea- so clever!
    Your blog is beautiful & inspiring?
    Thank you.

  12. Peggy Parsons says:

    Great ideas, you always pass along such fantastic knowledge…Thank you so much!! Can you tell me the finish on the round mirror shown in the entryway and if you have a resource? Take care : -)

  13. Great post, Yvonne! What would we do without a laundry room?! After cleaning well the other day for our lunch bunch on the porch, I still had to throw a couple of things in the laundry room!

  14. Great post! And yes, we have all had days that a quick clean was necessary!

  15. Pauline Morris says:

    My mother was a cleaning demon she never sat down till late at night after we were all in bed. she always said if your house dirty people will say you are lazy & a pig, but never a man.