How I Save Hundreds of Dollars Every Year Making My House Smell Gorgeous

fresh home scents

Sometimes my house smells less than beautiful. Nothing bothers me more than that. Since November 16, 2007 I have been unable to tolerate unpleasant smells. It was the day before I found out I was pregnant with our first child, but I knew with certainty that I was pregnant that morning when I got into my car and nearly vomited from the overwhelming scent of my own perfume. I always wear it light, but it was so strong to me that morning that I knew that I was pregnant; I was right. It was still a day too early to take an early response test, so I had to wait a day and I was not even remotely surprised to see that it was positive.

My nose has not been the same since. My sense of smell was not temporarily heightened due to pregnancy; it was forever altered. Good smells assault me and bad smells make me want to cry. Fast forward 8 years and we now have four little ones, including 2-year-old twins. We have a 5-year-old who doesn’t think that wiping is all that important (because Taylor Swift told her to shake it off, and that’s what she does) and she never remembers to flush the potty. One of our twins loves blueberries more than life itself, but it doesn’t awful things to his diaper. Sometimes kids cannot find their cups freshly filled with milk anywhere (the babies like to hide things in the most bizarre places you’d never think to look). Sometimes they get sick and throw up.

We live in Florida. We keep our kitchen trash can in the garage just outside the door because I dislike the idea of trash in my home. It’s hot here, and the garage is not air conditioned and if the trash is not taken out quickly enough, sometimes the smell is overpowering. I keep a spotless house because I’m just anal like that; but sometimes the smell is too much.

I’ve probably spent thousands of dollars on things to keep the house smelling amazing at all times. I love Partylite candles. I love Bath & Body Works candles. I have an unnatural obsession with diptyque candles and have them all over the house. I buy powder to go into the carpet when I vacuum. I buy air freshener for all the bathrooms. I buy those things that you plug into the wall. I do it all. I waste so much money. I will never stop using my candles, but there are a few ways that I’ve learned I can make sure my house smells amazing without actually spending anything – and they work better than most anything else, to be quite honest.

Lemony Fresh

Do you have a garbage disposal? We do, and sometimes it doesn’t smell that great. I’ve learned that instead of deep cleaning it all the time and spending a ton of money on things that tout the distinct ability to make my disposal smell fresh, I can just freeze some fresh lemon slices in an ice tray with a little water. Every night when we straighten up the kitchen after dinner for the final time that night, we throw one lemon ice cube down the disposal and let it go. The smell is fabulous, and you can make something like 4 dozen of these with three lemons ($1.49 for 3 lemons at Publix).

Stovetop Fall Smells

My favorite time of year is fall and the holidays; from September 1 to December 25, I am the happiest. I am far happier during these months than any other time of year. The fact that we are less than four months from my favorite time of year is just ridiculously exciting to me. It’s during this time of year that I want my house to smell like fall (this is Florida, people; it’s never going to feel like fall so I do what I can). My favorite way to do this is to put a pot of water on the back burner of my stovetop that’s a warming burner. I put cinnamon sticks in it and the smell lasts all day long, and it’s amazing. It’s also like $2 and those cinnamon sticks last all year.

Coffee Bean Beauty

This is one of my favorite fresh scent hacks because it’s also pretty. Take some coffee beans and put them in a cute bowl. Now add a small vanilla tealight candle to the center and light it. Your house will smell like a vanilla latte all day long. It’s the most amazing smell any time of year. You can also make this happen for less than $5 – for the entire year.

Calming Scents

We all know that eucalyptus is a calming scent, so we like to put it in our showers and baths. I stop by my local florist every week and pay her $3 to have a few sprigs of fresh eucalyptus to bring home. I then put one in my shower on a shelf, one in the bathroom our older girls share in their hallway, and one in the upstairs bathroom. Anytime someone takes a hot shower or bath, the steam makes the eucalyptus scent go crazy and everything smells that much more amazing.

Photo by Getty Images


Leave a Reply