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Stamp Out Home Odors and Smells

Did you know you can become immune to the smells in your own home. Visitors can instantly pick up on the odors of your home when you can't because you've become so accustomed to the "aroma". Home stagers need to be very aware of the smells in a home they are staging to help the owner get rid of them before putting the house on the market.

Here are some brief types of common house smells:

  • The Thrift-Shop Smell - Your fabrics and fibers in your pillows, bedspreads, carpets, mattress pads, sheets, towels and upholstery collect the odors present in the room. So do linens, drapes, vintage clothing. Launder everything at least once a year, whether you use it or not.
  • Vacuum your drapes every 3 months. Have them dry cleaned every three years.
  • Let your mattress air out for a while every time you change your sheets. Pull up pads and pillows and launder or dry clean once a year.
  • Buy a packet of soap in your favorite scent and place an unwrapped bar in each linen closet and chest of drawers.
  • Pet Smells - Whether you notice them or not, pet boxes stink. So do aquariums, cages, fish tanks, flowers in a vase too long.
  • Vacuum pet hair, launder animal beds, and yes, wash the animal.
  • Sour Smells - You get this from wet wood or old wood. Check the inside of closets and cupboards. Give them a fresh coat of paint.
  • Sulfer, Rotten-Egg Smells - Clogged drains and drain vents are the main culprit here. They can produce a metallic smell in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms.
  • Clean the drains with bleach, let soak for 20 minutes, then follow up with boiling water. Make sure your drains are clear and functioning properly.
  • Musty Smells - Get that earthy smell? Comes from infestations of pests like cockroaches, crickets, mold, mildew. How about from old, old books?
  • Inspect your home yearly. Treat pest areas by sprinkling borax in the area. Open your windows and doors often to let fresh air circulate inside.
  • The Gas Leak - If someone tells you they smell gas, take it as the truth. Find the leak and get it repaired immediately. If gas odor gets into walls, wash them down and paint them.
  • Cooking Smells - Make a habit of using your stove's exhaust fan, even if you're just boiling water. It will help keep food and moisture particles from settling on your home's fabrics.
  • The Old Book Smell - If you like a lot of books around, realize they will eventually begin to smell and there's not much you can do about it. I hate to visit my Mom's back room because it is filled from floor to ceiling with old, old books that belonged to my dad. They've been there for decades, unused. It's even worse when I've occasionally had to sleep in the room. I don't think my Mom even notices the smell any more, but I sure do.
  • My daughter returned from a rock band tour in France last week. Every where she went, people smoke. Everyone smokes, she says. So her clothing, suitcases and all contents wreaked of smoke. We set the luggage out and emptied the contents around the room, and plugged in my Room Sanitizer unit overnight. In the morning everything smelled fresh again. For more details, visit: Sanitizer.

Quick Links to May Issue

May, 2006 Tips Overview
Countertop Colors and Styles
No Demolition Countertops
Maintaining Natural Stone Countertops
Stamp Out House Smells
What Causes House Odors
Stop Luring Termites
New Tips That Will Floor You
Other Free Tips List

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Barbara Jennings is the West Coast Pioneer in Interior Redesign and has been in the redesign/home staging market since 1986. She is author of 9 books on interior decorating subjects and her most recent one, Home Staging for Profit, is a tutorial for those wanting to start their own home staging business. For more on that book, please visit:

 

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