Connie and Bill Dolloff's Blog
Household odors are impossible to avoid entirely. Things like cooking smells and pet odor are not what we want our home to smell like when visitors stop by. However, they can be difficult to subdue, especially in the cold months when we ted to keep our windows shut, and thus keep the odors contained within our homes.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common household odors and how to manage and eliminate them. We’ll also dispel a few myths about containing odors.
While the smell of food may seem delicious when you’re hungry, it can be nauseating if it is lingering in your house the next day. Certain smells seem to stick everywhere and are hard to get rid of. Fish, pork, and heavily seasoned dishes can taste great but have a tendency to outstay their welcome in the form of unpleasant smells.
Here are some tips for vanquishing those leftover odors from your kitchen:
Cook with the windows open. Open up the windows and use any ventilation systems that you might have over your home oven.
Have a cookout. For particularly stinky dishes like pork and frozen fish, cook them outside on the grill.
Grease management. If you must cook inside, use a splatter shield over frying pans to limit grease from getting all over your kitchen.
Thoroughly clean up. Wipe down your kitchen surfaces with a vinegar and citrus based cleaner and don’t leave any dishes in the sink.
Everyone loves their pets. The odors that come with them? Not so much. Here are some tips in eliminating pet odors.
Wash the pet’s bedding. If you have a dog or cat who sleeps in the same area every night, be sure to wash their bedding as regularly as your own.
Don’t mask smells, remove them. If a pet has an accident indoors, it’s important to disinfect and thoroughly clean the area. Air fresheners and candles will only mask the odor temporarily.
Carpet cleaning. Your carpets and hardwood floors cover a huge surface area of your home. Chances are your pet frequents those areas even more than you do. Regularly cleaning your carpets and mopping your hardwood floors is an important step to limiting pet odor.
We’ve all heard about the box of baking soda technique for eliminating refrigerator odors. However, unless you dump out the baking soda and scrub the interior of the refrigerator with it, it probably isn’t doing anything to limit odors. Baking soda companies may market their product as a way to reduce odors in the refrigerator, but the reality is that it would take a much larger surface area for it to affect the air in your refrigerator.
Instead, clean the interior of your refrigerator frequently with a vinegar and water-based solution, and make sure you throw out leftovers before the start to smell off.
Shoes and closet
If you’re looking for a new use for that baking soda that was sitting in your refrigerator doing nothing, this is the place for it. Sprinkle baking soda (or Gold Bond) into shoes and on the carpet of the floor before cleaning your closet.
Make sure to wash your seasonal clothes after the season. If you have unwashed sweaters, gloves, or scarves in your closet sitting there all summer they will begin to emit an odor.
Pets are family members. They accept you even when you're having a bad day. Own a pet and you may never lack for love and affection. You also might not run out of things to do in the morning, the time when you're mostly likely to be rushing around the house trying to get ready for the day.
Pets that may not do well at your house
The same applies during the evening when you own a pet. Unless you own a cat, you may have to walk your pet at the end of the day. It doesn't matter how tired you are. If you want your pet to stay healthy and happy, you'll have to let it exercise regularly.
Animals are also social creatures, some more than others. They need to be with and communicate with other animals. Then, there are animals that thrive as long as you spend time with them each day. It's these animals, pets that don't need a lot of interaction with other animals, that may do well at your house.
Turtles, fish, spiders and other reptile are pets that can thrive with a tank, special diet and water. There's no walking needed with these pets. If you're worried that you and your family will find it hard to connect with these small pets, let those concerns go.
Traditional pets don't always make the best house guests
Small pets that can live inside a tank are among the first pets that many people have. You can grow as attached to these small, indoor pets as you can to larger pets like cats and dogs.
Regarding larger pets like cats and dogs, it's important that you make sure that the type of cat or dog you get fits well with your personality and you schedule. Cats and dogs that you get from a shelter may have psychological or emotional problems that cause them to feel anxious whenever they are alone.
Other pets may be too aggressive to leave around young children. Dogs like Boston terriers, chow chows, sheepdogs and Akita dogs shed a lot of hair. No matter how often you vacuum and pick up after these pets, you might find hair balled or laying on furniture and the floor.
Size isn't the only way to tell if animals make great indoor pets
Large dogs like German Shepherds, Doberman pinchers and Rottweiler breeds need lots of room to run and expend their energy. Get a large dog for a pet and it's a good idea to have plenty of outdoor space. These large pets may actually prefer to be outdoors.
Although you may not suspect it, certain cats like Bengal cats need space to expend what seems like boundless energy too. Bengals cats aren't that much bigger than atypical house cat. But, energy -- Bengal cats have an exorbitant amount of energy.
When choosing between indoor and outdoor pets, think about your children's ages.Also, consider how responsible your children are. Try to avoid getting pets simply because your children cry and beg you to bring the pets home because they look cute when you look at them through a pet store window. A pet is a responsibility that requires more than five minutes of care each day.
One aspect of house hunting that some prospective home buyers overlook is security. Perhaps it's because they're looking at homes in "nice neighborhoods, where you shouldn't have to worry about that sort of thing happening." Maybe another reason they're paying little or no attention to security issues is that they're more preoccupied with the layout of the kitchen, the size of the backyard, and the condition of the master bathroom.
Even though there are dozens of details to compare and think about when you're house hunting, security features are important enough to include in your checklist. By letting your real estate agent know that home security is a high priority for you, they'll hopefully point out security features that they notice and perhaps ask the listing agent for any additional information on things like installed alarms systems, deadbolt locks, or security lighting on the property.
As a side note, if the present owner has recently installed an extensive security system in the house, you can also use that as an opportunity (excuse) to inquire about crime in the neighborhood and whether there have been any recent incidents in the area. Additional research may need to be done to ferret out that information.
As you check out different houses that your buyers' agent shows you, here are a few security-related checkpoints to keep in mind:
- Do the doors look solid and are they secured by deadbolt locks?
- Do first-floor windows have functional and securely locking mechanisms?
- Are there any outside floodlights, lamp posts, and/or other forms of illumination around the house?
- Are there any overgrown bushes next to the house that could conceal a burglar's attempt to enter the house through a window?
- Are there any fences on the premises that might discourage a burglar from entering the property?
- Do the main entrances have locking storm doors that provide an extra layer of security?
- Are there any other security vulnerabilities that you or your real estate agent think need addressing, either now or in the immediate future?
When you do find the ultimate house for you and your family, it's always a good idea to change the locks on all external doors as soon as possible. You never know how many duplicate keys have been circulated over the years to contractors, neighbors, cleaning people, pet sitters, house sitters, and family members. One way to take control of your new home's security situation is to make sure there are no extra house keys floating around in the hands of people you don't know.
When it comes to selling a house, there is no reason to operate as a "basic" home seller. Instead, you can become a "responsive" home seller, i.e. someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty to get the best price for his or house.
Ultimately, becoming a responsive home seller may be easier than you think – here are three tips to ensure you can enter the real estate market as a responsive home seller.
1. Track Housing Market Patterns and Trends
As a responsive home seller, you'll want to monitor the real estate market closely. By doing so, you'll be better equipped than other property sellers to identify housing market trends and respond accordingly.
For example, if you notice a large collection of available houses and a shortage of property buyers, this likely indicates a buyer's market reigns supreme. In this market, you may face steep competition as you try to sell your house.
On the other hand, if you find that many high-quality residences are selling quickly, a seller's market may be in place. And in a seller's market, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a fast, seamless home selling process.
A responsive home seller will be able to differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market. Then, this home seller can map out his or her home selling journey accordingly.
2. Remain Open to New Ideas
Selling a home often requires plenty of persistence and hard work. For responsive home sellers, it also requires flexibility and patience.
Typically, a responsive home seller will be happy to listen and respond to past home sellers' advice. This home seller will be open to learning from past home sellers' successes and failures and using their insights to make informed home selling decisions.
For those who want to become responsive home sellers, feel free to reach out to family members and friends who have sold houses in the past. This will enable you to gain deep insights into the home selling process that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
With a real estate agent at his or her side, an ordinary home seller can become a responsive property seller in no time at all.
A real estate agent will communicate with a home seller throughout each stage of the home selling cycle. Meanwhile, a responsive home seller will listen to this housing market professional and work with him or her to achieve the optimal results.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will be available to respond to a home seller's concerns and queries. At the same time, a responsive home seller will be ready to collaborate with a real estate agent via phone calls, emails and texts.
Use the aforementioned tips to become a responsive home seller – you'll be happy you did. Responsive home sellers may be more likely than other property sellers to seamlessly navigate the home selling cycle and maximize the value of their residences.