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Jodie
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Monday, May 30, 2011

How to Fake It: Tips for Housewives - The Last Minute Visitor

Firstly, I'm not actually certain I like the term, 'housewife'. The title of this post is rather an homage to Desperate Housewives. (I love that show.) 

These series of posts are for people who, like me, just never quite pull off the whole perfect home thing - but would secretly like to. You either a) run out of time to get everything done; b) have days where you just get too distracted from other things to get your to-do list completed (ie, blogging) or just can't be bothered. (Come on - admit it - we all have days like that, right?); or c) you have young children, gosh darn it - you're not an octopus!

So, like me, you can't quite have the perfect home. Take heart. I'm happy to say you can always fake it when required.

In this instalment of How to Fake it: Tips for Housewives, I'm going to tackle how to give the impression to a last minute visitor that your home is more Bree Van de Camp than Lynette Scavo.

I am not a fan of the 'drop-in' visitor. Why? Because I like to have things in place when people come calling. I'm not a fan of my guests discovering my knickers still lying on the bathroom floor after that morning's shower, or the washing piled up on the couch in the family room waiting for me to fold it. (Patiently waiting. It's probably been sitting there for five days hours.) Nor would I like them to see the Wheetbix from that morning's breakfast still clinging to the dining table for dear life.

Now, if someone knocks on the door without having been invited - you know...all very last minute ("Surprise!") and the house looks like a bomb's hit it, there is only one solution, I'm afraid: Do not answer the door.


However, if you receive a warning in advance, ie the old, "Hi! Oh, good - you're home. I'm going to pop by. I'll be there in 10 to 15 minutes. Byeeeee!" phone call, then don't panic. All is not lost. Here's what you do.

1. Grab a laundry basket - then run around your home and put everything in that basket that doesn't belong where you found it (eg - those knickers on the bathroom floor). Then put the laundry basket somewhere your guest won't find it.

2. Go to your kitchen - and clean up like crazy. Chances are, you'll offer your guest a cuppa and he/she will follow you in to the kitchen whilst you prepare it. Any dishes on the bench and/or dining table either get them in to the dishwasher, or at the very least, pile them in the sink and fill it with soapy water (bubbles always appear clean)! Give the floor a quick sweep if the breakfast crumbs are still all over it, and if you're like me and use your kitchen bench as an extension of your study, then grab all your papers and put them...well, in your study (if they're not already in your laundry basket). Tomato sauce stain on the floor from last night's dinner? Grab a paper towel, dampen it, wipe it off and throw the paper towel away.

3. Get out the lavender spray - I use a Bosisto's Lavender Spray that makes the house smell all fresh and lovely - but you can also use a spray bottle and fill it with water and a little lavender oil. That'll work. Spray it around - especially in your bathroom.

4. Speaking of the bathroom - Just in case your guest has already been out for hours, and might require the use of your water closet, you had better spruce up the bathroom. Put clothes in the laundry basket if you have one (and they're not already in the other laundry basket) and put a new hand towel out - using the old one to give the bathroom basin and/or mirror a quick wipe. Keep bathroom wipes handy - like Pino Clean wipes or the like - because you can give the toilet a quick clean with those. Wipe the toilet over then dry it with some toilet paper and don't forget to flush!

5. Close doors - your the kids' bedrooms are an absolute disgrace? Close the doors. No one needs to see that.

6. Breathe - To be honest, if it's a good friend that's visiting - they won't really mind. In fact, their house probably looks the same way most days too, and they'll just feel better to know they're not alone. ;)

I'll be back with more tips on How to Fake It - Tips for Housewives again sometime soon!

Are you a fan of the 'drop-in' visitor? Have you ever been caught out with a really messy home when someone came a callin'?



30 comments:

So Now What? said...

Excellent advice. I'm a big one for shutting the doors. And shoving stuff in cupboards. Funny Miss J. x

Jane said...

This is hilarious. Some great advice. Loving your throw-it-all-in-the-laundry-basket approach xxx

Shelley said...

If I have 10 mins notice I always put on my oil
burner with a Dusk melt in it. When the place smells good, it seems cleaner! Also, I do that collect everything and shove it in the cupboard. And I answer the door holding a teatowel like I've just been busy in the kitchen. :)

Beck said...

Loved the post. I quite often do the mad dash to tidy up. Cant wait to see you post of Faking it

Megan Blandford said...

I love drop-ins - my house usually isn't too bad, but I kind of figure they're not here to see the house. The only problem lately is that, following our renovation, people ARE actually coming by to see the house - so the pressure's on a bit more. Plus, we've renovated every room in the house so there's nowhere to hide anything, as they want to see the whole place!

A Dose of Dannie said...

I am pissing my self as i read this cos OMG!!! It is so me I loathe drop in visits that are unanounced (and yes it's rude) so i tiptoe around hoping that they will rack off :-).

~ Stupid dog barks so loud i am doing sigh language to shut it up LOL...

Marissa Roberts said...

I am LOVING this How To Fake It post!

Toushka Lee said...

I hate unannounced visits. A bit of notice is better than nothing and I also pop a melt into an oil burner.
I used to grab a reusable shopping bag and chuck things in it instead of a basket. What happened after a while was I ran out of reusable bags and had a spare room full of bags of miscellaneous crap.

whatsinemmasbrain said...

I hate a dropper inner-er... I will print this and keep it near the phone...... :)

Kate said...

I love drop-ins.
My Mum has a friend who used to hide her mess in the boot of her car!

Christie said...

That is great advice, I have been known to do the "dash" myself! I don't mind "drop-ins" at all, maybe I just have no shame, though I was caught out once with a dirty house AND a great big Milo in my hand (I think I had gone past my 7 spoon quota)...there was nowhere to hide it!

Froggie said...

Loved it. I close the doors too. Thought it was talking about me! lol Had a giggle at "A Dose of Dannie"'s post. Thanx for that. I guess we can see a bit of ourselves in the post. By the way... don't you hate it when you have everything tidy to your standards and you see something you forgot and have to descretely take it away?

ClaireyH said...

Oh, this is my life, I am worried that this is all the cleaning that I ever do. I call it the "Spray and Wipe ad crazy lady clean".

Last week I was still pushing the vaccuum around and didn't hear the door bell they were here so quick.

Tania said...

A blooming revelation! I'm not the only one?

Miss Pink said...

I am NOT a fan of the drop in visitor. If i get the 10mins notice i am more accepting, but just dropping in unannounced? It's rude. (Unless you're my parents who live 8 doors away so it's inevitable, and at least they make their own cuppas and don't mind our mess).
I actually tweeted about this last week when a friend, who knew we were sick invited herself over on Friday.
You have some great tips in here! Now what do we do about the freshly baked goods? Throw a packet of bickies in the microwave? Lol.

Thea said...

Oh! So lovin' this!!
I only just discovered the laundry basket trick last week for Miss 3's toys all over the lounge floor when I had someone coming for a dress fitting. Why didn't I think of that earlier?? So easy!

Jodi Gibson said...

I too hate unexpected guests. And I LOVE number 5 - close the doors! Problem solved...sort of!

Kirsty said...

First thing I do is squirt bleach in the loo and let it sit while I do the mad dash. As I head to the door I flush the bleach away and the toilet is sparkling and the bathroom which is right near the front door smells bleachy fresh.

E. said...

Love this list.

It's great to know I'm not the only one with the lounge laundry.

Thanks!

River said...

I've done the dishes in soapy water thing, also swept everything on the floor along the hallway to the spare room then locked the door on it, anything made of fabric gets tossed in the machine, then the vacuum is dragged out and plugged in as if I was just about to use it.

sarsm said...

Brilliant. I am a faker too. ;-)I would love my house to be orderly. But it rarely is.
My daughter had an accident a few weeks ago and we had to call an ambulance. (She's fine). But I had to hold her hand up in the air until they came. It meant neighbours, emergency doctors and ambulance men were running in and out of my house. When I came home and saw what a mess it had been in I was truly mortified.;-)

Jacki said...

Not at all a fan of the surprise drop in! Ugh! But I love your tips and I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

Ms Styling You said...

I really need some more cupboard space - the cupboard shove is an essential part of the quick clean-up.

MomAgain@40 said...

Great how-to-fake-it tips! Thanks!!
A few strategically placed candles at night (without switching on the lights) also go a long way! Looking forward to the next installment! ;-)

Blaire James said...

This is why I both love and hate surprise visits. You really don't know what to expect. Thus, I always tell my friends or my husband's to let me know before going to our house.

Thanks for putting these together.

Hi I'm Rhonda. said...

I love the clothes basket trick, been using that one for years.

Michelle said...

That's so funny! You and I are very different! If someone drops in - even with 15 mins notice - they can take me as I am - and that's ok with me - and my messy house

Jodie Ansted said...

Thanks all!

Some great tips here. Loving Kirsty's idea of squirting the bleach in the toilet first!

Ami said...

Love it! We have lots of drop in visitors, not as many since we've had Sophie (smart friends), but mostly they can take the house as it is! I do however hate the drop in's between 1pm-3pm Sophie's sleep time when I try and get stuff done and sometimes have a Nanna Nap myself! Look forward to the next installment! xx

marble top dining table said...

I hate a dropper inner-er... I will print this and keep it near the phone...... :)