Faking a clean house.  It sounds ridiculous, but when you get word that last minute guests will be dropping by your apartment in mere minutes, you don’t have time to do a thorough clean.  Luckily, Real Simple has your back with tips on making it look like you keep your place neat and tidy.

In the living room, keep one side of the couch cushions designated as for guests only.  When people are on their way, put that side up to show perfect fabric.  When they leave, flip it back.  Make stacks of magazines, books and other ephemera look neat by putting them in neat piles on the floor or table, or place them in a decorative basket.  Stain on the couch?  Hide it with a blanket or throw pillows.

Filthy kitchen plus a full dishwasher and sink?  Put your dirty dishes in a stockpot for the time being.  Take all the notes, drawings and magnets off the fridge and put them in a plastic bag you can sort through later.  Also, make sure to fold hand towels to hide stains by either hanging them clean side out on the oven handle or rolling them and stack them next to the sink.

Now it’s time for the scariest room in the house:  the bathroom.  Keep your bathroom from making guests scream by running a lint roller over the bathmat to pick up hair, placing a bathrobe over the wet towels hanging on the back of the door, and hanging clean guest towels.  Finally, light a candle and wait for your guests to arrive!  Real Simple has tips for the other rooms of your house, but really, why not just close the door?