Cheat Your Way Through a House Inspection

If, like me, you rent (and the media lead me to believe you probably do, we’re the ‘generation of renters’, after all) then you too have been exposed to the annoyance that is known as the house inspection.

Although I regularly clean up and do general housework-like tasks, my house never really looks like I do. For those of you who have me on Instagram, you know what I mean (or perhaps not, I’ve recently learned to blur backgrounds, thus eliminating the need for tidying up).

The estate agency we rent from comes round every three months, so we’re forever having to prepare for them, but over time I have developed some cheats that save a lot of time and energy.

I will always go out of my way to ensure I don’t do any proper work.

First up is the garden:

This is the ‘before’ picture, as you can see, the borders need digging and there’s rogue sprigs sprouting from the bushes.

I really didn’t want to have to dig the garden or get the hedge trimmer fixed, so I cheated.

Instead I bought some compost for £3.50 and dumped it on the borders, on top of the weeds. Yes it’ll probably help the weeds grow, but I’m all about the ‘right now’, and right now it looks good.

Look! It looks like I’ve dug the garden, and I didn’t even touch a shovel!

The sprigs on the bushes were handled in a similar manner:

Any exceptionally long bits of rogue foliage can just be snapped off with your hands.

Then you just need to make some sort of comment about how fast the bushes grow in this weather and claim to have only cut them within the last week.

Another great tip for pretending your house is usually much tidier is pretending you had forgotten you were due a house inspection. Comments like “Excuse the mess, I forgot it was today!” should suffice!

Also, house inspection day is a brilliant day to change your bedding. Not because fresh bedding always looks neat, but because washed bedding does wonders for a garden.

“What does washed bedding do for a garden?” you might ask. Well, it hides it, of course! (Wow, you really are a novice!)

It’s probably worth noting that my garden isn’t that bad:

Inside can easily be sorted by putting all of your clutter in those massive storage boxes and hiding it in the garage. They’re about £9 each, but it’s cheaper than a maid!

I’ve saved my best tip to share until last because it’s actually helpful: cleaning everything in the bathroom with white vinegar is amazing!

Soak a load of kitchen roll in white vinegar and drape it on anything covered in limescale then leave it for a few hours (I recommend that you nap). Then when you return just wipe everything down and polish with dry kitchen roll.

Everything will stink of vinegar but I bath with salts anyway so may as well have the full chippie experience!

I forgot to take a before pic of my bath taps so I’ve mixed and matched this before and after.

I sincerely hope I’ve helped someone out there avoid real hard work.

Originally published at on July 11, 2016.