How to fake-clean your home in 15 minutes

Set a timer, let's go!
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You’ve just found out you’re having unexpected visitors – and they’re arriving in 15 minutes. You can’t actually see the carpet and the kitchen smells like a three-day old stale cheeseburger. You’re feeling overwhelmed. Where to start?

This clever cleaning hack will transform your home in just 15 minutes. It’s not an in-depth clean by any means – you’ll still need to spend some time thoroughly cleaning it at a later time. This procedure simply gets your home guest-ready, creating the appearance of order, calm and cleanliness.

French doors open wide
Open the windows and doors and allow fresh air to circulate. (Credit: Photography: Suzi Appel / Styling: Michelle Hart/Bask Interiors)


Clean any clutter and shake out the door mat. Close the doors on any messy bedrooms. Now you’re ready to go!


Open the window. Now grab any dirty plates and put them in the dishwasher, or fill the sink with detergent and let them soak. At least you’ll have a clean disinfectant smell. Pop any clutter in a box or basket and hide it in a cupboard. Wipe down the benchtop and take out the bin (or leave it on the back step).

Timber kitchen
Wipe down the benches and tidy away any clutter in the kitchen. (Credit: Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Living room

Open the windows and light a scented candle, or spray some room fragrance around. Grab a basket and focus on collecting all of the stuff strewn across the floor, sofa and coffee table. Hide the basket in a cupboard in another room. Give your cleared coffee table a wipe-down with a dust cloth, then vacuum the area between the sofa and the coffee table, where your guests are most likely to sit.


Open the window, then pick up any clothes on the floor and stash them in the laundry hamper. Give your toilet a quick swirl with toilet cleaner, and wipe down the seat. Close the lid. Use an antiseptic spray to wipe down the vanity surface, and quickly polish the mirror with window cleaner. Pop any toiletries in your cupboard and flush the toilet before you leave.

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