How to Look Like You Have a Maid

Posted November 24, 2013 by Prairie Wife -


 Tis the season for both planned and unplanned visitors! We all know that feeling, guests are coming over in less than an hour and your house looks like…well it looks like a family with four children under 7 live there! That feeling of panic, the concern that they will think you live like a pig always (even if we kind of do), and the knowledge that they will tell everyone what they saw when they came over.Guest: “So I went over to the Prairie wife’s house yesterday for coffee and a play date.”

Other lady: “Oh really, how did that go?”

Guest: “Well I have to tell you, I couldn’t believe it! You could feed a small army with the crumbs under the table. The stench from the dishes in the sink was revolting…and don’t get me started on the bathroom!”

Other lady: “That IS awful! Do you think she started doing drugs? Did her husband leave her and she hasn’t told anyone yet? ”

Really we all know that this doesn’t usually happen. Now that I have four children I just can’t keep up the same level of cleanliness I used too. I laugh when I think how I used to mop the floors twice a week, and do the dishes after every meal. I don’t even try and clean when any of my close friends come over. I know that they are TRULY coming to see me and not my house (thanks to my friend Melissa who taught me that). And frankly, if someone doesn’t like me based on what they think of my housekeeping skills, they wouldn’t stick around after they got to know me anyway!

That being said; the following is a few tips and tricks for getting the house picked up before the late notice guests come over.


First quickly grab all the loose papers and junk (toys needing batteries or glue, rocks, and stray pens and pencils) and throw them in a plastic bag, then put the bag on the floor of the pantry and shut the door. Take all the dishes in the sink and shove them in the dishwasher and rinse out the sink. If the dishwasher is already full use the stove or a laundry basket. Put the laundry basket in the garage or somewhere else hidden. Spray a sponge with cleaner and run it over the counters and brush all the crumbs to the floor. Let the dogs in to clean the floor (multi task and run to clean the bathroom while they go to work). If you don’t have dogs skip that step and sweep quickly. Take a wet paper towel to wipe up any obvious sticky spots or spills. Kitchen done! If you really want to impress, put a pot of water on the stove, set it to simmer with some cinnamon and vanilla in it. Warning: If you forget about the pot on the stove it can backfire and make things worse than before!


Throw any wet or stinky towels in the dirty laundry. Hang up clean ones, especially a clean hand towel. Don’t bother picking up the toys and wet clothes in the tub, just close the shower curtain! Take out your Clorox bleach wipes (you need to keep a container under the sink in every bathroom) Quick wipe down the sink, counter, and toilet. Scrub the toilet and check to make sure there is toilet paper.



Living RoomNow this can get tricky depending on your set up. I have baskets or toy boxes in every room for easy clean up. So I simply throw the toys in there where they belong. If you don’t have this grab another laundry basket and load it up. Vacuum only if necessary! Make sure kids shoes and coats are out of the way and have them hang their backpacks up on their door if there isn’t a designated spot for them.


Don’t even worry about it! The kids don’t care and the parents aren’t going to go back there until the kids have been there awhile. Then you can simply say “Oh my, the kids have been busy playing!” and act like the mess is all new. For your room just shut the door, there is nothing they need to see in there.

Final Note

I am a mean mom and make my kids start learning to help clean as soon as they can crawl. While I am doing my picking up, I am barking commands at them to remove their stuff to their rooms, and to put away any other toys they see. Once they are really well trained you might find that you even have time to change out of sweats before your guests come!

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Categories: Life As It Happens

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