The ‘relaxed’ mum's guide to making your home look clean.

Thanks to our brand partner, DAIRYLEA

“Hey darling, so, you know how you said you’d like to meet my colleague Stuart? Well, he and his wife are coming over for some drinks in half an hour, I’m leaving work in 40 – see you soon!”

As an exhausted parent, this is most probably the last text you’d like to receive come Friday afternoon. Tempting as it might be, to text your husband back a certain emoji, a bit more effort is required. For example, if, like me, by 4pm you’re already braless in your pyjamas, you’ll need to head back to that leaning tower of laundry, and find something unstained to wear (baby steps). Your next move is to see if you can rent a childless couple’s home (typically clean) for the evening. If this is not possible – text your husband that emoji – then rally the troops – you’re going to need their help…

(Before I begin, let me assure you that I’m a big subscriber to the belief that perception is more important than reality, and similarly, I’m a bigger fan of David Copperfield than Martha Stewart. As such, some of these cleanup strategies involve white sheets, the power of “illusion”, and “acting”. It’s all about fully committing to the role…)

lazy cleaning tips
“I’m a bigger fan of David Copperfield than Martha Stewart.” Image via iStock.

This is how to “clean” your house quickly and appear “together” before last-minute guests arrive:

1. Get on the front-foot when you become a parent, and paint the inside of your home “rainbow crayon”. Also, look into investing in “dust” coloured flooring.


2. Drape white sheets over any significant mess, passing it off as furniture, telling Stuart and his wife “the painters are coming tomorrow”. You’ll appear amazingly organised. Prevent them from sitting on the building blocks you’ve massaged into the shape of an ottoman.

3. Similarly, make the messiest rooms “out of bounds”, informing last-minute guests you’re doing your “quarterly preventative fumigating”. They will leave your home embarrassed for not knowing quarterly preventative fumigation is a “thing”.

lazy cleaning tips
“Look into investing in ‘dust’ coloured flooring.” Image via iStock.

4. Mould? “That’s our youngest’s science experiment – she grew it herself there in the sink – isn’t she clever!?” Who’s going to challenge you?

5. Likewise for piles of rubbish; “Art”, and if there is obvious cockroach movement; “Performance art”.

6. Dirty windows? Blinds down. “I’m very sensitive to the sunlight – allergic actually – yes even through the night.” Say it with confidence. Believe in it. Wear a rash-shirt to further emphasize the point (zinc might be too much).

7. If you do have some time to clean up beforehand – outsource, and by this I obviously mean use your children as mops – beach towels on the older ones (“Let’s make snow angels kids!”) and mop-onesies for the babies. You can actually buy the latter now; I’m not making this up.

lazy cleaning tips
“If you do have some time to clean up beforehand – outsource, and by this I obviously mean use your children as mops.” Image via iStock.

8. Introduce time trials for putting toys away with snack prizes such as DAIRYLEA FRIDGE STICKS cheese. What child doesn’t like to race and compete against their sibling? Channel competitive natures for good.

9. Buy shares in a scented perfume stick company; warehouse them all around your home, overwhelming your guests’ sense of smell so much that they can’t notice anything else.

10. If there is simply no time to spare, blame the neighbours’ kids. “Excuse the mess, our neighbours’ children just left!” Even if you live in the desert. Even if they’re 23.

Alternatively, you could just win a cleaner for a year and have the house always ready to go. Yep, that’s what I said – you can win a cleaner for a WHOLE YEAR, so you can do the things that really matter – spend time with your children; binge watch OITNB, sleep the length of Monday, etc. All you have to do is purchase two DAIRYLEA or KRAFT SINGLES products, enter the details here and you’ll go into the draw to win one of 10 cleaners/miracle workers for a whole year. Yes please.

How do you appear put together at the last minute?

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