Being a Realtor, you can imagine how many times I’ve walked into a home and was overwhelmed by a bad smell or welcomed by a wonderful scent of “Buy me now!” Of course, there is always the house that has no smell, or scent. And that bugs me, too! Every home should have it’s own unique smell that is a combination of the cleaning products, the colognes and perfumes used by it’s occupants, the faint scent of the fabric softener, etc. It’s no surprise to me that many homes smell like their pets (that’s a no-no!), some like the breakfast that they just had, coffee and sometimes fresh flowers.
Many of my clients ask me how to get that warm, cozy feel good smell without leaving candles lit unattended or by resorting to plugin room deodorizers that can be overwhelming. I have a few tips that will keep your house smelling like a dream all year long.
Tip #1 – Take a cotton ball with pure vanilla extract and dab on the tops of all the lamp light bulbs in the house. Then, when they have scheduled showings, turn on those lamps throughout the house to create ambience as well as slightly heat the vanilla giving off a wonderfully subtle smell of vanilla cookies wafting throughout the house.
Tip #2 – Wipe your baseboards down with slightly damp, scented dryer sheets. It’s a dual purpose tip, in that the dryer sheet with not only leave your home smelling fresh and clean, this tip will also prevent dust from sticking to your baseboards!
Tip #3 – Change your HVAC air filters regularly. I highly recommend splurging for the HEPA filters. Changing your filters on a regular basis will help eliminate bad odors from frying foods, to pet hair and dander, and even the HVAC system that sometimes smells musty.
Tip #4 – Cut up a few lemons, limes or oranges and put down your garbage disposal with ice and cold water. The ice helps to sharpen the blades and the fruit rinds will clean and disinfect the disposal of any food that is caught up and may not smell so great. I personally put all lemons, limes and oranges that my home uses down the disposal to keep it consistently smelling fresh. Every now and then I use baking soda and vinegar to get a deep down clean, but since I can’t stand the smell of vinegar, I follow with a lemon to mask the pungent odor of the vinegar.
Tip #5 – If you have a house full of kids that play sports, you must monitor those germ filled, musty catch alls known as sports bags. We have a new rule at my home, don’t bring it in the house! I’ve made a hook station in the garage so that every one can hang their sports bag on and clean out as they enter the house. I also have a laundry basket in the same area that all their shoes, socks, shin guards, etc can be dropped in and I can wash and then replace in the bags. I also have a bottle of Febreeze nearby to neutralize the odors in their bags and on their shoes. It helps!!!
Tip #6 – Linen Spray!!!! This is a favorite of mine, because there is nothing like crawling into bed and it smelling fresh every single time. Lord knows I don’t have time to wash sheets everyday, so a homemade linen spray is a great way to create that freshness every single day. I use my homemade spray in my linen closets, in my clothes closet and as I make my bed each morning. Here’s my recipe:
- Mix the 2 tbs. of vodka and your choice of these oils in a spray bottle (like an old Windex bottle) as follows:
- 1 teaspoon jasmine oil and ½ teaspoon bergamot oil
- 1 teaspoon lavender oil and ½ teaspoon sandalwood oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla oil and 2 drops ginger oil
- Then, add distilled water to the bottle until it is almost full. (Distilled water is a must).
- Screw on the cap and shake the bottle to disperse the oils evenly throughout.
- Shake lightly before each use.
Tip #7 – Wood floors??? Skip Pinesol and Lysol and go straight to Murphy’s Oil! Not only does Murphy’s Oil clean wood floors like no other, but it also leaves a natural scent as opposed to a artificial citrus or chemical smell.
Tip #8 – Open your windows on days that the weather is nice and let the fresh air inside. We only have a few months here in Texas where its tolerable to have the windows open so I take full advantage of the fresh air every opportunity I get!
Tip #9 – Have a special occasion coming up where you expect to have house guests? Put on a pot of this special concoction that William Sonoma uses:
- Fill a stock pot about 2/3 full with water.
- Add a thinly sliced lemon or two.
- Add about 5 sprigs of Rosemary.
- Add 1-2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
- Bring to a rolling boil then turn down to simmer.
- Add water as needed.
Stick to these tips and your home will be smelling glorious in no time. Mine does 🙂 Happy Home Selling!
If you’re just in the beginning stages of considering selling your home, let’s chat, because I’m clearly the go-to source for how to present your home like a million bucks.