Smell is a funny thing. All it takes is one whiff of something and your mind can be taken to a totally different place.
For many, fresh cut grass takes them back to summers playing baseball in the backyard. Popcorn is associated with movie theaters. That one perfume your best friend wears reminds you of high school prom. There are smells you don’t even know you’ve committed to memory until you encounter them again many years later – such as your grandparent’s house.
Whether you realize it or not, your house has a certain smell, too. For the most part, you’re oblivious to it. You spend so much time in your house, that you’ve grown accustomed to the way it smells. But every now and then, you’ll smell something that isn’t pleasant and you’ll start to worry: Does my house smell bad?
The truth is that your house has good days and bad days. However, it should be your goal to have more of the former than the latter. You want your house to smell good all the time – both for your sanity and for your guest’s sake.
Common Culprits of a Smelly House
In order to make your house smell good, you have to first understand what makes it smell bad. Some of the common culprits include:
- Food. From spoiled meat in the refrigerator to stale bread in the pantry, food has a way of stinking up your house if not disposed of within the right time frame.
- Clothes. Your teenage son’s pile of dirty clothes in his room is more than an eyesore – it actually stinks up the house and contributes to that musty smell that wafts from his room.
- Pets. We all love our fury little friends, but they have a way of stinking up your house. Dogs, cats, birds…it doesn’t matter. If you have pets in the house, they will contribute to your home’s smell.
- HVAC system. For homes with central air, the cleanliness of your air vents has an impact on the smell of your house. If they’re filled with dust and mold, all of the air released in your home will be contaminated on some level.
- Lack of cleaning. If you’re not a clean freak, your house probably has dust, dirt, and other buildup from months or years of activity. As you may suspect, this can have an impact on the smell of your house.
- Trash. You shouldn’t just take out the trash when it’s full. It also needs to be disposed of when particularly smelly items are thrown away.
6 Ways to make Your House Smell Good
When you’re cognizant of the different factors that influence your home’s scent, it becomes possible to eliminate stenches and make your house smell good around the clock. Let’s take a look at a few particularly effective strategies:
1. Keep Problem Areas Clean
Making your house smell good starts with maintaining a clean house. While you’re probably decent at keeping the main room of your home clean, don’t forget about those areas that don’t get as much use. This includes guest bedrooms, basements, and little study nooks.
By cleaning all rooms on a regular basis – not just when they’ve been used a lot – you can stay ahead of nasty smells and keep your house fresh.
2. Open Up the Windows
When you think about it, your house is essentially an enclosed capsule. While you have air blowing in through vents, you’re also trapping everything in between four walls, a floor, and a ceiling. If you want your house to smell better, you need to let in some fresh air every now and then.
Whenever the weather allows, open up some windows in the home – preferably on two sides, and let a breeze blow through. This forces bad air out and good air in.
3. Diffuse Essential Oils
By now, most people are catching on to the fact that burning candles releases toxins into the air. So while that Anthropologie candle may smell great, it might not be the best thing for air quality.
A healthier, safer solution is to diffuse essential oils. All you need is a diffuser, some of your favorite oils, and a little bit of water. Just a couple of drops will make your house smell good for hours.
4. Simmer Scents on the Stove
As you’ve probably noticed, whatever you’re cooking on the stove seems to affect the smell of your entire house. If you’re making something like cookies, this is great. If it’s broccoli, not so much. But who says you have to be making dinner to enjoy the benefits of pleasant cooking aromas?
A favorite trick of many homemakers is to simmer water in a small saucepan and add in things like cinnamon sticks, citrus slices, herbs, mint, or lavender.
5. Clean the Carpet
Carpet has a way of trapping smells – especially if you have pets. The problem is that you don’t always know unless you literally get on your hands and knees and smell it.
Before vacuuming your carpet, you may try sprinkling a combination of baking soda and ground cinnamon (depending on the color of your carpet) and letting it sit for a an hour. When you do vacuum, you’ll spread this around and leave a nice smell behind.
6. Use Air Fresheners in Vents
While there’s no substitute for having your air vents cleaned on a semi-regular basis, you can help the air in your home smell better by attaching little air fresheners (the kind you would put in your car) to the outsides of vents.
Success is in the Details
When it comes to selling a house, most people feel like it’s all about getting the big picture right. But when you really drill down and look at the sales process, it’s apparent that success is found in the details.
At Green Residential, we recognize the importance of balancing the big picture with the finer details and would love to help you sell your home. Contact us today and we’ll tell you more about how our flat fee rate could save you thousands of dollars at the closing table.