How to cheat at housework

A stylist's guide to making it look like you're a domestic goddess
Martina Gemmola

Lets face it, life is too short to clean the house and have it perfect all the time. Instead, try these cheats and hacks to making it look like you’ve done the work and you can get back to doing the things you enjoy.

1. Always a quick sweep

Rather than getting out the vacuum cleaner, get yourself a small, soft-bristled broom to do a quick once over when it feels a little grotty underfoot, or ahead of impending guest arrival.

2. Skip to the loo

Keeping your toilet clean is important for hygiene as well as making a good impression. Have cleaning equipment handy so you can dash in and give it a quick swish in a jiffy. Use hand soap and loo paper in a pinch.

How to cheat at housework
(Credit: Martina Gemmola)

3. Use vignettes to trick the eye

A go-to solution for any stylist is to create a vignette arrangement with a collection of beautiful objects grouped together in a pleasing display.  

Having one at your front door kitchen island or dining table and on your coffee table will draw everyone’s eye to the good stuff and away from what hasn’t been addressed – like the pile of books or toys in the corner… see next tip!

How to cheat at housework
(Credit: Armelle Habib)

4. Fold everything

Sounds fussy but a neatly stacked pile of anything is better than a dumped load – be it washing, magazines (put pretty ones on top), school notes or newspapers. Stacking into a tidy pile and topping with an attractive bowl says “we live here” rather than “give me a break!”

5. Light a candle

If your smelly fruit bowl is giving away your lack of time to shop fresh, or the dog hasn’t been washed this week, light a candle and such tell-tale details will float away on a breath of jasmine, vanilla or your signature sandalwood. Simple!

How to cheat at housework
(Credit: Steve Back)

6. Add a Potted plant

Even if you can’t keep one alive for more than a fortnight, a potted plant looks fresh and decorative in any space.  Kitchen, dining or bathroom corner will all benefit from a pop of nature.

If all else fails, don’t look! Whatever you do, however, don’t let a less-than-perfect-looking house stop you from filling it with friends, family and frivolity all year round.

For more tips on making light work of cleaning, listen to The Daily Home Edit podcast below:

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