11/03/2015 08:07 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Lazy Girl's Guide To Cleaning Your House

Your mother-in-law just called--she thought she'd surprise you with an unscheduled visit to catch up. How nice. You accept (as if you could say no), then panic because your house is a mess and you're supremely lazy about cleaning.

But fear not! Just crank up the Beyoncé and try these eight tricks.

Related: The Trick To Cleaning a Cast Iron Skillet Pan

Hide the clutter.
Grab a fancy department-store-quality bag and turn it into a makeshift receptacle for junk, catalogs, trinkets, etc. You're not throwing this stuff out--simply clearing surface area and stashing items out of sight to deal with later.


Dust surfaces with a sock.
Why bother with a Swiffer when you can slip a sock on your hand and hit those dusty bookshelves at warp speed? (The same approach works on your floor with a socked foot.)


Then clean lampshades (and pet hair) with a lint roller.
Scotch tape also works in a pinch.

Related: The Secret Way to Speed Clean a Lampshade


Fluff the pillows.
The world's quickest way to make a living room feel fancier.


Then stash dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
You'll run it later. But for now: hide those crusty cereal bowls.


Spiff up your tub (and toilet) with a magic eraser.
Skip the scouring and simply run this miracle sponge over discolored white surfaces. Then wipe the whole thing down with a paper towel.

Related: 36 Ways To Use a Magic Eraser


Put out fresh towels.
Little known fact: Crisply folded towels do wonders to camouflage a less-than-pristine bathroom. Simply fold them like this and hide any used ones in the tub.


Last but not least, dim the lights.
Because what your MIL can't see, won't hurt her.


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