How to (Fake) Clean Your Home in Two Days



It’s Saturday morning and you’re lying in bed, cherishing your deep slumber and the silence that is around you–just kidding. It’s 6am on a Saturday and your 5-year-old twins have decided it’s time for you to wake up. One is jumping on the bed singing the “la-la-la-la GRAPES!” song while the other has decided to apply some of your not-so-cheap Estée Lauder lipstick in preparation for her busy day of ransacking the house.

Amidst the chaos it hits you–you have company coming over in one week and your house is a certified disaster zone. You’re on the short list for the next season of Hoarders. There is no possible way to KonMari your house into perfection during your only two days off work before company comes.

Or is there? To my fellow perpetually messy mamas out there, this post is for you. You CAN make your home clean and presentable in two days or less by doing the following…

Set the Mood

I don’t know a soul whose cleaning isn’t improved by listening to their favorite jams. Turn on your favorite Pandora station or make your own cleaning playlist on Spotify. Positive, upbeat songs will help you keep up your speed-cleaning pace. 

Make a to-do list

Give it a good title, one that motivates you. List everything that you will accomplish today and be detailed. Before you start checking off your list, do two initial sweeps in all of the rooms your guests will be frequenting (living room, bathroom, dining room, etc.). In the first sweep you want to catch any items that need to be laundered. It’s easier if you get them all at once and throw a load in the wash. In the second sweep, gather up any dirty dishes and start your dishwasher. These are tasks that require a short time of effort and then allow you to tackle other things while the machines are running. After this, you can tackle each room one-by-one.

Donate, Trash, Put Away

Grab two trash bags, label one “DONATE.” Your first step in each room is to fill these bags.

Bag 1: Items to donate! Clothing, toys, and household items you no longer use should be donated. This is a hard task for many, myself included. If you can’t bring yourself to part with anything, see the last step on the list.

Bag 2: Items to trash. Things that are broken or just plain junky belong in the trash. Old happy meal toys, I’m looking at you.

Once you have gathered up all of these items, you will be shocked at how little time it takes to put your belongings away.

Enlist your Children

Or don’t. We all know that we should have our children clean their own messes basically from the time they can walk. If you are amongst the perpetually messy, as I am, one of your problems may be that you have not enforced this in your household. That’s another task for another time–you’ve got to clean your house in two days and in the end, if you have to park your kids in front of their tablets for a few hours so you can clean in peace, just do it. I won’t tell!

Break for Lunch

And ONLY for lunch! I’m serious. The moment you sit down to rest and “check Facebook for a minute” you will loose all momentum. You can rest at the end of your day while folding your freshly-laundered clothes and watching Grey’s Anatomy. With a glass of wine.

Get your clean on!

Sometime during day two of your cleaning frenzy you will look around and say–is that floor I see? Is this a cleared counter? Congratulations, my friend. You have reached the part where you actually clean something. When you are pressed for time, you really only need to do the following: wipe counters down and clean with your preferred cleaner–I love Clorox wipes for a quick fix, then vacuum the floors. Next, clean the mirrors, guest bathroom sink, and toilet.

If you are in crunch time and you still haven’t found your floors…

Hide stuff. This advice is not as horrible as it sounds. Throw your mess in boxes and hide them in the basement/garage/attic. Watch how long it stays there. Do you miss it? Did you look through it for something? No? Donate all of it without looking back.

What’s Next?

Congratulations!!! You may have a closet full of boxes and doors you dare not open whilst company is here, but by the end of your two-day cleaning frenzy, you will have a clean, presentable home. Enjoy your guests, but remember if you want to avoid two straight days of cleaning in the future, you will need a long term solution. For this, I really do recommend that ‘crazy Japanese book where you thank your clothes‘–the KonMari method. In order to avoid perpetual messiness, you have to reduce the amount of mess you own and get into the habit of putting everything back where it belongs.

Until then, keep on (fake) cleaning!