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Tell me if this has ever happened to you
You get a call from someone you love dearly that lives out of town. You pick up the phone and are so happy to hear from them! They let you know that they just happen to be in the neighborhood and the GPS says they will be at your house in 15 minutes!
a) tell your friend not to come over, but that you will meet them at a neutral public location?
b) Frantically try to clean everything in your entire home in 15 minutes?
c) Tell your friend you moved and are no longer living in the state?
d) Pull out your emergency camouflage cleaning arsenal and get to work?
I am not sure about you, but some weeks, cleaning my house is not on the top of my priority list. Some weeks we are so busy or tired that the cleaning tasks we do just barely scrape the surface. We kind of maintain the kitchen, we maybe do a half a load of laundry, and we mostly have a clear place to sit on the couch. Let's just say, there is much left to be desired.
I love to have friends and family over!
Since I love having people over to my house, I have been able to perfect the art of Camouflage Cleaning. I have an open door policy of sorts when it comes to house cleaning. Most people are coming to see you not your house. At least that is what I tell myself when my house looks like a bomb went off.
At some level we all want people to like us and our things, right? At the heart of human interaction is the constant desire to be loved and respected. It is a very natural feeling to be concerned about how people perceive you and how they in turn, perceive your home.
Maybe you have a mother-in-law who is hypercritical. Maybe you have a perfect sister who keeps her perfect mansion clean while rearing her perfect children. Maybe you are just hard on yourself.
Ultimately, do it for yourself.
Camouflage Cleaning can actually be very helpful to your own mental state. Stick with me here...If I restore relative order to my house, I feel more comfortable in it. If I take five minutes to straighten up my kitchen, my mood can change.
So if you aren't camouflage cleaning for someone else, do it for yourself! Fool yourself into having a calm and orderly environment. Get the clutter and mess out of view. Spray your favorite air freshener or light a candle that calms you. Trick yourself into relaxing in your own home. Even the appearance of order can help you find your bearings and knock out your to do list.
When you DO have the time and want to get real into organizing and purging all of your old gross things, grab my free ultimate organization checklist here!
When you need to clean real fast here is what you do:
Tie up loose ends- this means, pick up all the random stuff that has accumulated in your common living space in the last two weeks. Dog toys shoved under the couch, sweaters draped over the love seat as if it was “intentional”, dirty dishes in the sink, you know, things like these. Bring them all out to a common location. I like to use my kitchen table.
Prioritize- so now that everything you own is on your kitchen table quickly scan and think- do I have a place for all of these items? If so, great! Separate them and quickly put them away! If not, don’t worry. We are about to get creative. Your main priority is getting the living space ready- no one (hopefully) will just walk into your master bedroom uninvited. Shut the bedroom doors- ain’t no body got time for that. So seriously, shove everything you own in your bedroom. Or into cute bins. Or a closet. Or a basement. Or into the shower. Yes, I’ve been there.
I found these bins on Amazon and they are positively adorable, get yours here!
Fake it til you make it- grab that air freshener, ladies! You have maybe 7 minutes left at this point. You do not have time to do any real cleaning. I mean it, just stop trying. What you are going to do instead is ACT like you have been cleaning. Go to your front door and spray a line of air freshener down the path where your guest will be walking. I’m serious. Congratulations! Your house no longer has the dirty gym sock smell, but the aroma of fresh linen. Very good, young Padawan.
Fluff the pillows- Get the space ready where your guest will sit. Make them feel like the area was prepared especially for them. Fluff the pillows, straighten the blankets, get the coasters out- we are having a party, y'all. Maybe light a few candles- I love walking into a home that has candles lit. it makes the whole place feel cozy and makes your guest believe you have it allll together.
Relax- Seriously. At this point you have things picked up from the floor, you have hidden the things that may make someone believe that you actually live in your house, and you have created a welcoming environment- you are done! Have a glass of wine, put your feet up, your guest will be here in 30 seconds.
So, the key is to work fast and get creative. Shut doors, hide things, make your home feel as if it is not a garbage heap.
What are your speedy cleaning techniques?