Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Newlywed Nuggets: Home Freshness

Authors are supposed to write about what interests them. Right?

Would I be too weird to admit that I LIKE homemaking? That I enjoy cleaning, cooking, organizing, and decorating? I figure some of you must enjoy it too. That's why you clicked on this post, right?

So today I'm delving into all I've learned about home freshness. I've only had my own place(s) for one year, but it's amazing how much you can learn in that amount of time.



Now, I currently live in an apartment. I LOVE our apartment. It's so pretty. But let's be honest - apartments mean older carpet, limited windows, and trapped odors due to location and lack of air flow. 


And here in TN, it's waaaaaaaay more difficult to keep the home smelling fresh than when I was in NM. Now, I LOVE TN. Just like I LOVE NM. But there are differences and it's okay to realize that different places require different techniques for freshness. Here, there is a lot of humidity, you have to keep your windows and doors shut if you want to keep the bugs out, and there aren't a whole lot of breezes. It's the price you pay for lots of rain, flowers, greenery, and water, right?! 

So here are some of the things I've learned as a newlywed about keeping our lovey little apartment smelling fresh!

Closet

Closets are hard. They're small, dark spaces full of shoes.

Lavender sachets didn't work for me. So I made hanging freshners to go in between every few layers of hang-up clothes!


I cut the sheets in half, taped them to coat hangers, and hung them between my clothes. Pretty cool, huh?

Also, for my t-shirt box and camisole basket, I folded tissue paper, spritzed it with my signature perfume, and slid it at the bottom of the piles. 

Laundry

I recently discovered wool balls. They are so fun! Not only do they cut down on expenses (you don't have to buy dryer sheets and the balls improve air circulation, which cuts down on drying time), but you can customize their scent!


I am currently scenting them with lavender oil. Mind you, I use the cheaper versions of EOs when it comes to things like laundry. I can't afford expensive stuff just for my wool balls. But I do love how I can scent the balls anyway I choose! I'm hoping to try cedarwood or other natural insect repellents on outdoor clothing when summer rolls around. 

Carpets

Please allow me just a moment to say that I despise carpet. We had a bug problem when we first moved here (fleas -- something I am NOT used to!) and it was then that I realize how hard carpet is to keep clean! When we go house-hunting, one with limited carpet is definitely high on the priority list!

I don't have time to carpet clean every week, but, around here, making sure bug eggs are killed and removed is so important. Lots of bugs, from bed bugs to fleas, have a vicious life cycle that make them very hard to get rid of. I went through about 6 weeks of misery when we went through our flea battle and I've vowed NEVER again if I can possibly prevent it!

 

So... I spread a mixture of baking soda and lavender oil on my floors and allow them to sit for about 30 minutes to an hour before I vacuum. When I'm striving to kill bugs, I add tea tree oil (if using, please be careful! Tea tree can be toxic if mishandled.) 

It was actually desperation that led me to the discovery that this works. We had just moved here and didn't have many cleaning supplies, or a carpet cleaner. But I had tea tree oil. And baking soda. Shortly after I used it on my carpets, we discovered dead bugs. Maybe it was coincidence, but I don't think so. I've since used it many times to help kill bugs. 

But, whether you use this to kill bugs or not, it definitely freshens up the room for a loooooong time! It lasts longer than store-bought room sprays.

Linen Spray

Again, I use lavender and water in a spray bottle. The scent lasts forever! It lasts much longer than store-bought linen spray. And it's natural and it helps you sleep really, really well!


I like to use scents that help with sleeping, obviously, but I may try another scent sometime. Maybe tangerine in the summer?

Wall Flowers

I love Bath and Body Works' wall flowers! If you catch their sales, you can usually get them for $3 each. When you walk into a room, you get hit by lovely waft of scented air. And you can change them out for each season or for whatever theme you want to give the room.

Right now, I have watermelon lemonade in my living room. I LOVE it. It's such a happy scent to walk in the door to.

Eliminating Bad Odors

Food smells tend to get stuck in an apartment -- especially ours, when we can't open windows too often 'cause of rain or bugs or heat. I've discovered that Pine Sol is the best way to disinfect and remove food smells. You DO get a pine scent that lasts for about half an hour, then is gone -- along with all offensive scents.



It's the best way to clean trash cans and mop, too. 

By the way, I do NOT recommend essential oils or vinegar for disinfection purposes in the kitchen or bathroom. Based on research, I do not believe vinegar actually kill germs and only some essential oils do. Do research carefully before using "all-natural" cleaners that may not actually kill harmful germs. 

In-the-kitchen

I like to do this around the holidays, but I'm not allowed to do it very often because *cough, cough* a certain hubby says it used too much electricity. But have y'all ever boiled cinnamon, orange peel, vanilla, and water on the stove? It's an amazing scent!!! My whole apartment smells good when I've done it. 


Too much work?

Does all of this sound like a lot? Guess that tells you how very finicky my little nose is! Hahah! Just ask my husband -- I can smell offensive or pleasing odors from a mile away. We clean a lot, y'all. 

What are your favorite freshness tips? Have you tried any of the above? Share in the comments!
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