Ever Wonder If Your House Smells?

So, I’m confident that someone out there has asked themselves if their house smells fresh or funky, or is it just me! I have pets, so for me the question begs asking from time to time. I happen to have two cats (Gaston and Gracie Dee), and a dog (Stella) and although I feel they are very clean animals, they can leave a trail of odors from time to time. So this alone, has me asking.

But what about other things that could be contributing to your ‘funky’ household smell. Lets dig in and explore some ideas other than the obvious such as; cooking smells, which is most likely the number one odor you automatically think of when asked this question. No, I want to explore a few other ways your house could be harboring odor that you may not take into consideration.


10 Ways To Keep Your House Smelling Fresh


1. Cat Litter Boxes

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As I already mentioned in my intro about my pets, one odor, that as a Property Stylist I encounter on a regular basis, is cat litter boxes!! Unless you have your cat toilet trained, I suggest that you keep your cat box in check! Now I know that we cannot possibly predict when our adorable fur baby will decide to use the facility, so this can be uncontrollable while your home is being visited but keep the bin clean (I mean actually emptying its contents and washing the bin) on a regular basis. In addition make sure the area around the bin is cleaned as well. Do this an hour before a viewing or open house or before entertaining since cleaning the bin actually creates smell until the dust settles. No one likes the smell OR stepping on those tiny litter pellets!


2. Door Mats

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Believe it or not your door mat is an odor magnet. Think about it, we step on it with our dirty shoes each and everyday, multiple times a day and so do our pets (we love them so much but they can be stinky from time to time). The solution is to either find one that is machine washable or replace it at least once or twice a year. If for the purpose of resale, I say ditch the old one and get a vibrant new entry mat. Both for outside and inside. Your entry is your first and last impression, so why wouldn’t you make this small investment to welcome your buyers in style?


3. Garbage and Recycle

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When was the last time you cleaned your garbage can or recycle bin? My guess; if you are a busy person and have a busy household, not all that often. When selling your home, it is so important to empty your bins on a regular basis and keep them clean, especially before a viewing or open house. This will also deter any potential insect infestations; ants in particular love a home with abundant food supply. Give your garbage/recycle bins a good ‘once over’ with some soap and water from time to time. If they look old and clunky, consider getting a new one! This will be perceived by your buyer as a well maintained home. Little things matter big time and when the little things are overlooked, your buyers will wonder if so are the big things. Doing this little chore is a win win from the way I see it.


4. Pet Beds

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I know back to the fur babies again! Sigh, sorry, but this stuff is important. I want you to take into consideration how this truly does add to a huge portion of your household odor issues. When I am in a consultation with my clients I make these suggestions: wash your pet beds on ‘heavy duty’ with a vinegar rinse, replace your old smelly pet bed and get them a new one (they will love you for it), or remove the pet bed from site all together during the time your buyers are touring your property.


5. Boots and Shoes

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Many of us may not stop to consider how our boots and shoes contribute to the odors in our home. However, our society has a fetish for footwear, and they pile up at the entry or in a closet. Have you ever opened your closet and found it smelled funky? I bet if you got your nose up close and personal with inside of your closet, you would agree. Your coats, hats, mitts etc… they can add to the musty smell too! I always wash my coats and outerwear when I take them out of storage as they often harbor that musty smell over the winter after being boxed up. This is also true for older footwear that has been worn over and over again…yup, it does smell!


6. Dirty Laundry

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Okay, so you have a cute laundry hamper, but never the less, the laundry in it will leave lingering odors, so make sure you stay on top of your laundry. Make please make sure that you do not have laundry spilling over the top when your buyer is in your home. Buyers investigate storage spaces and do look in closets, so don’t think it’s safe to hide laundry in your closet. Even if your laundry hamper has a lid, it won’t mask odor, so make sure the worst smelling loads are washed and put away. Having your laundry done on a regular basis is maintenance and this will serve you well when you are listing your property. Do not leave laundry piled in your laundry room! This is considered a task room, task equals chores, chores equal ‘to do list’ and this is all perceived most often a negative space from the perspective of your buyer. Piled laundry amplifies this mind set while your home is being toured.


7. Bed Linens

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Believe me when I tell you that I have staged properties that to my surprise, the bedding had not been freshly laundered, and I notice it by smell alone. Don’t be fooled that your bedding doesn’t smell funky after a week of sleeping in it, especially if your pets tend to enjoy your bed as well. So launder your bed lines on a regular basis. I am in the habit that every Friday, off come my sheets and into the wash they go. I typically wash my duvet cover and shams about once a month and depending on the time of year or if my pets shed a lot, I will wash them more frequently but be sure to wash your duvet and shams at the same time so they wear at the same rate.


8. Furniture

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I am sure that if you were to spend a day in the life of an upholstery cleaning company, you would be surprised to learn how much dirt lives in our furniture. If it is in your budget to get your furniture cleaned every so often you will not regret it. It will give your furniture a new lease on life by enhancing its’ colour, smell, and texture! If you are selling your home, this will sure to impress your buyers, as your clean furniture will help your room to show much better… and smell fresh!


9. Carpeting

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It stands to reason if we are prepared to get our furniture cleaned we would do well to get our carpeting cleaned as well. Wall to wall carpeting, stair runners, and area rugs all need a fresh boost of professional cleaning every once in a while! It’s true that all to often we wait until we are selling our house before we will get this done. Do yourself a favor and do it for you! Your worth it and, naturally, do this especially if you have pets!


10. Drapery

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Yup, even your curtains can be harboring odors. Between cooking smells, pet hair and dander, smoking, and dust, (and anything that makes its way into the air) your textiles and window treatments are not exempt from this. Even your blinds need cleaning. I highly recommend getting these cleaned from time to time to enhance your homes environmental freshness!


So there you have it, our top 10 list of things to do to remove household odors. Hope you enjoyed this article, and if you learned something, tell me what it was! I love getting your feedback.

Disclaimer; I am in no way receiving any commissions from linking these companies to this post. I just love to share valuable information when I can. Happy Cleaning!


Cindy Lutes
Property Stylist
Total Home

As always, helping you in caring for your Total Home!