Home & Garden

Fake a Clean House


As a celebrity interior designer and popular HGTV host, Monica Pedersen always has a few tricks for making your home look spotless — even if you’ve got to fake it.  No time to organize? No problem. Need a great hiding place for those dirty clothes? Don’t worry. We’ve brought in an expert for the dire situation who’s not holding back. Monica shares some of the wackiest, craziest, and downright funniest ways to fake a clean house.

Living Room

“First things first. You’ve got to vacuum.  Or if you have wood floors you have to quickly clean your wood floors.  And I’ll tell you there’s a great product you can buy from Restoration Hardware, Bona.  It’s a spray. It’s almost like all you have to do is spray and then wipe.

I personally have two decorative baskets. So if you have a lot of mail you can put it in there. Then throw it in the closet. It’s not like you’ll be pushing papers all over the place.  Instead everything is all together. If I’m looking at bills or a script, I just keep it all in the basket. Nothing gets lost in the process.

Under the sofa is a fabulous place to hide stuff.  No one is ever going to look under the sofa.  I don’t care what it is — a stack of papers or whatever it is.  These are things we had to do on several episodes of HGTV’s Designed to Sell. I’ve seen some of the craziest stuff.

If you have blinds, just close the binds. Natural light is great for photography and shooting. But in real life it shows all the dirt — everything.

I’ve also seen people take a bunch of stuff and put it in their car.  Grab your junk. Throw it in a laundry basket. Then put it in the car.  If you’ve got a pile of laundry hide it in the bath tub. It might be a little harder if you’re having an open house. But otherwise you should be OK if you’re just having guests over.

Woman Cleaning

© Stockphoto4u

Keep a room spray.  There are so many beautiful room sprays. You can go to Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma and Neiman Marcus.  Just give a couple of squirts.  If you were just cooking a steak or something horrible that stinks, that’ll help a whole lot.

And definitely fluff those pillows.

Another good hiding spot is the dryer.”


“If your dishwasher is full, put the dirty dishes in the oven. Just don’t forget to take them out.  But whatever you do, do not have dirty dishes in the sink.

Again, use the Bona spray. It’s awesome. Besides products for wood, they also have products for tile floors as well.  It’s fast.

Use a little warm water and a dab of soap and just quickly wipe down the counter top.

Light a candle. Get rid of those cooking smells. That’s important.

Tablecloths are great too. If you have a great one and just throw that over, it’ll give the kitchen a fresh look.”


“No one wants to walk in your bathroom and not feel clean.  Always just keep a spray in your vanity, even if it’s just Clorox wipes, just keep it in your bathroom so that it’s quick.  That way you can just wipe your sink off.  One thing done a lot on HGTV’s Open House is just keep new towels that you don’t use, guest towels and hand towels, in the basket nearby. That way if the doorbell rings you can just quickly put out some fresh towels.  Makes it easier than trying to hurry up and wash towels.  Just pull them out when guests come over.”

Home Office

“Again keep those baskets nearby to quickly get rid of stuff. Declutter as quickly as you can. Laundry baskets are great. Throw everything in it, and hide it in the closet.

Put your lamps on a lower setting to minimize any dirt or dust.”

Final Tip:

“If you don’t have a bunch of space to store everything, at least have containers so you can move everything around. Remember you can always look tidy, even if you don’t have time.”

Monica PedersonMonica Pedersen’s work as an interior designer can be seen on HGTV’s FrontDoor.com’s video series Ultimate Guide to Staging. Her work can also be seen on HGTV’s Designed to Sell, Bang for Your Buck, Showdown, and HGTV Dream Home.

She appears regularly on Live with Regis and Kelly, the Joy Behar Show, and NBC’s Today show.

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