Have you ever had this happen? Your holiday guests are due in mere minutes, and your husband walks in the door and exclaims, "WHAT is that SMELL?!"...
It's easy to become nose blind to odors in our own homes -- we basically become "immune" to lingering scents (good and bad). Scientists theorize that this is so that we notice new odors more quickly and can react to them if they are invasive or dangerous: rotting food, gas, smoke, mold, etc.
Of course we always want to address odors at their source, but I thought I'd share a few ways that we can quickly make our homes smell more welcoming -- you know, for when guests are due at any moment!
How To Make Your Home Smell Good
1. Light a scented candle.
This is kind of a no-brainer, but lighting scented candles is one of the quickest ways to get your home smelling guest ready. Keeping a variety of scents on hand is totally easy (and inexpensive!) thanks to the new line of American Home by Yankee Candle products at Walmart. I noticed that they've introduced a ton of new scents for the holiday season, including Sparkling Cinnamon Spice, Holiday Spice Cake, Santa's Treat, Sweet & Salty Caramel, Merry Cherry, just to name a few!
Lighting candles also creates a festive ambience, so you get a double impact with them. My favorite size is the small sleek and modern tumblers, like the Shade of Fall candle pictured above. Can you believe this tiny size boasts a 20-30 hour burn time? Priced at just $4.93 each, I'll be stocking up on a variety of scents.
Also, be sure to check out these tips on how to make candles last longer!
2. Open a window.
Fresh air is one of the best ways to keep your home smelling clean and tidy. Just throw open the windows, wide weather permitting, or just crack them for a few minutes in the cooler months, and you're sure to eliminate some of the stinkiest odors quickly.
3. Bake a batch of cookies.
I've never met a bad odor that was a match for the scent of freshly baking cookies. Make it easy to bake a batch on short notice with these tips on how to freeze cookie dough! Not only will your house smell ah-mazing, but your guests will be so impressed that you had time to bake for them...
4. Strategically place dryer sheets.
I've found that placing dryer sheets strategically in the stinkiest of places is a surefire way to eliminate odors fast. Tuck them into smelly shoes, the bottom of trash cans, in clothes hampers -- you name it! I've even been known to stash a few under the seat in my car after my kids forgot their soccer backpacks in the back for a few days after a tournament. Talk about STINKY!!!
5. Make a DIY stovetop potpourri.
It's super simple to throw together a quick stovetop potpourri from items that are already in your pantry. Just add some sweet smelling extracts, spices, or fruits (think cinnamon sticks, vanilla extract, almond extract, sliced oranges, etc.) to a cup or two of water in a medium saucepan and gently simmer your way to a deliciously scented home.
If you need a longer term solution to eliminate odors once your guests leave (rather than just covering them up temporarily), I'd advise you to look into using white vinegar or activated charcoal. Small bowls of either can be placed throughout your home to eradicate odors. Activated charcoal will continue working indefinitely, but you'll need to refresh and replenish white vinegar every few days as it evaporates.
American Home by Yankee Candle Quick Purchase Links:
Votive Candle Samplers, $1.43
Fragrance Beads, $3.43
Small Tumbler Candle, $4.93
Medium Apothecary Jar Candle, $10.93
Medium 2-Wick Tumbler Candle, $10.93
Large Apothecary Jar Candle, $14.93
Large 2-Wick Tumbler Candle, $14.93
What are your favorite tricks for making your home smell good in a hurry?