Here’s how to fake a clean home in minutes

For all my besties in their lazy girl era

Cat on purple bed with purple background
(Image credit: @ma_vie_lala)

OK, so your apartment is looking a li’l messy. You haven't decluttered your home in a hot minute. You’ve forgotten to do the dishes for a few days. Your clothes chair is overflowing. And then you get a text from a friend saying they’re going to stop by shortly. Cue the panic. Look, we’ve all been there. 

When you're living in your messy girl era, the idea of someone coming by and seeing the chaos is horrifying. But the good news is that there are lots of handy hacks that you can use to fake a clean and tidy home in minutes. Yep, really! 

To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together a guide to how you can fake a clean and mess-free home a little more easily. We’ve tried and tested all these hacks ourselves and JSYK they work.

Here’s how to fake a clean and tidy home

Storage furniture is your BFF

If, like me, you’re the OG clutter queen, then storage furniture is going to be your bestie. A seriously great hack for keeping your home clutter-free (or for getting rid of the messiness when you get a five-minute warning that someone is on the way over) is to dot storage furniture around your home. That way, should an unexpected guest show up, you can quickly scoop up any junk and get it into your storage ottoman (obvi, putting it all away once your guests leave).

Invest in lazy girl cleaning buys

Always keep your cleaning caddy stocked with quick, easy cleaning essentials, so you can whip around and give your home a spruce ahead of a surprise guest stopping by. Think: antibacterial wet wipes for fast surface cleaning, a speedy Swiffer-style mop for quick floor cleansing, no-wipe antibacterial aerosol sprays, and linen freshening spray for reviving your bed and blankets. Whether you're speed cleaning your dorm or freshening up your apartment, these buys will be a total godsend. 

Use the TikTok basket method

For hiding the clutter and keeping on top of daily messes, this one is a game-changer. I stumbled across this hack on #CleanTok and honestly, it’s changed my life. Wondering how it works? It’s simple: keep a storage basket in each room specifically for clutter. You can fill the basket with any mess that doesn’t belong in that room, and then when it’s full you take the time to put each item back where it belongs (it helps to keep the clutter at bay). Oh, and if your bestie shows up, you simply pop a folded blanket on top of the basket, keeping the clutter out of sight. 

Treat yourself to an automatic vac

This one isn't a cheat code, but it is a great hack to try. Always putting off vacuuming? Yep, us too. It's such a boring task. But the issue is if you fail to vacuum your floors regularly, they tend to get hella dirty super fast. Enter, a robotic vacuum cleaner. Invest in one of these li'l vacs that runs automatically and you'll never have to worry about it. 

Make the most of home fragrances

If there's one thing that says "grimy home," it's that gross, musty smell that can occur when you've failed to air out your space. Obviously opening the windows will help, but for a quick fix before a guest arrives, scented candles, room sprays, and essential oil diffusers work a treat. Oh, and running an air purifier is a smart move, too. 

Beth Mahoney
Freelance journalist

Hi! I’m Beth Mahoney and I’m a former staff writer at Real Homes. I’ve been a journalist for the national press for the past six years, specializing in commerce and trends-related lifestyle articles, from product reviews and listicles to guides and features. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy.