My kids will tell you that I like my house to be clean. But not just any clean. I like my house to be so clean that you can smell the clean. I have a super nose when it comes to stinky odors. I have been known to search the whole house to find a dirty sock that I could smell from two floors away. (My lovely dog, Mojito, steals and hides dirty socks if someone takes them off and doesn’t put them away immediately.)

With the kids back in school I have lots of time to make sure that my house is as sparkly clean as I want it to be during the day. My morning consists of a short list of things to tidy up so that I don’t have to worry about the smells that messes create.

  • Wipe down the bathrooms
  • Start a load of laundry
  • Wipe down kitchen counters
  • Tidy main living spaces

Back To School Means Back To Sports

With everyone heading back to school it means heading back to school sports as well. I have four kids, two tween girls and two teenage boys. Having the teenagers and a sport loving husband participating in cross county, hiking, basketball and weight lifting on a daily basis I have a lot of odors to battle. Between the muddy uniforms, sweaty socks, disgusting gym clothes and “teenage smells” I have a lot to contend with to keep my house smelling good. I can spend all day cleaning but if one running shoe is left out or one pair of socks isn’t taken to the laundry room right away I will know it. Since we can all be forgetful and leave socks by the stairs I have come up with some ways to keep the “smells” at bay.

Dryer Sheets


Every 3 months I place a fresh dryer sheet in each air vent in the house. I use a non perfumed sheet that just smells “clean” to me. Every time the air conditioning or heat pops on it blows a clean scent throughout the house. I have friends that will still comment to me that “it must be laundry day, it smells so good” whenever they come over. (Forget the fact that I have four kids and everyday is laundry day.)

Plug Ins


Oh I love plug-ins! In the basement (where it can smell musty) they are a life saver. They get rid of that touch of ‘I’m underground’ scent that you might otherwise dread. I also secretly placed them in all of my children’s rooms without them even knowing. I use my 14-year-old son’s room as an overflow to my guest room when people visit, and guests would never know it. Even my son says, “It is a good thing I keep my room smelling so good so when people come over so there isn’t any cleaning to do.” Sure Jason, you keep thinking that it is you.



We like to cook dinner and we experiment with lots of different foods. Burning candles keeps those smells at bay in the dining room or front hallway where the door is located. In all of my main living areas (we have a great room and a front room with offices) I like to have a candle lit to help with the ambiance when people are over. I have found some great seasonal scents the past few years. Some that are perfect for fall give off just the right amount of scent without overwhelming the room. They work great if the runner in your family leaves his cleats by the back door after cleaning them off or if the husband leaves his SWEATshirt on the back of his office chair.


What are some of your tricks to keeping back to school smells at bay?