6 Simple Tricks To Make Your Home Smell Amazing

I can make a pretty safe bet that if you are no longer a rebellious teenager living with your parents than you probably have no desire to sit around a messy room. Even though I am not always the tidiest person, I still strive to keep my home in a liveable condition. I also love to have scented candles and sprays to keep my house smelling good at all times. The only trouble with those is that they can be costly and contain chemicals that can be harsh for some people’s lungs.

According to Statista the average Canadian works 35-40 hours per week. On top of that a lot of people have some sort of side hustle going on to make ends meet, a family to take care of, or even extra classes in the evening.  Any of these situations could be yours and you may not have the time to keep the house as organized as you want.

Now we may not have the time to keep our house perfectly tidy, but there’s no excuse for having a stinky home. Nobody wants to come home after working all day to a place that smells awful.

Today I am going to share some simple tricks with you guys for keeping your house smelling good, ones so simple you’ll be able to keep up with them even during your busiest days.

Tip #1:

To keep things simple, I will start with the easiest tip that you won’t need to buy any supplies for. All the air fresheners and scented candles won’t do a bit of good if you do not allow a cross breeze in your home. Think about all the sweating and farting that goes on inside your home.

As natural as it is, let’s face it-it stinks. If you don’t air those rooms out the stench will just linger. Just cracking a window open will only help slightly. A cross breeze is the most effective way to air those smells out. So make sure you open up all of your windows and keep the doors to your bedrooms and spare rooms open. This makes it easier for air to flow through. Opening all the windows but then deciding to hang out in your bedroom with the door closed will defeat the whole purpose.

Tip #2:

For this next tip all you will need is a cotton ball and your favourite essential oil. Place a few drops (5 or 6) of oil onto the cotton ball and let it soak up. These are great because they are small enough to stay hidden. I usually place one in the bottom of my trash can to keep it smelling on the pleasant side.

These little beauties can be placed anywhere you’d like because they are very easy to keep out of sight. Put them inside drawers to keep your clothes smelling good, or even on top of the shelves in your closet.

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Tip #3:

Keeping with the essential oil theme, for this next one you will need a standing fan, scented oil of choice and a piece of tissue. All you need to do it put a few drops of oil on the tissue and tape the tissue to the front of your fan. The fan will blow the scent into your room. It’s a safer option than a candle as well.
Tip #4:

Fabric spray is a simple and amazing solution to get those hard to wash items smelling good. Most fabric sprays deodorize your items, doing a little more than just covering up a mess with a nice scent. 
This is the quickest and easiest way to trick people into thinking you’re an amazing housekeeper. Spray your curtains, cushions, rugs ect.

A few minutes of effort really goes a long way with this one.

Tip #5:

Having a bouquet of flowers in your home not only looks pretty, but also helps the room you put them in smell really good. During the summer months there are so many wild flowers growing around, so I like to make my own bouquets. To add a little oomph factor to my bouquets I will put a stem or two of fresh herbs in them. It makes a nice touch and smells fantastic.
My favourite herbs to use are lavender, sage and basil. They all have a strong aroma to them and mix really well with other scents.

Tip #6:

Do you ever notice that the entrance area to your home sometimes gets a bit of a funky smell to it? This could be coming from your shoe rack (or wherever you keep your shoes). Add some peppermint tea to your shopping list and place the teabags in your shoes overnight so they can smell minty fresh.

The peppermint teabag trick isn’t limited to just your shoes though. You can also keep them in your gym bag, sock drawer, or car to keep things smelling good. It is such an easy way to freshen up some of your not so fresh smelling gear.  

Don’t you love it when you’re able to find an easy (and hella affordable) solution to work with. Save these tips for next time you’re cleaning up and keep your living space smelling amazing at all times.

Do you have a favourite blend of essential oils? Let me know in the comments below.

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Everything I Learned My First Year Growing Vegetables

Last year my boyfriend and I started the year off by moving out of a small apartment into our first home. We were faced with so many projects to make this place our own, and once spring arrived the one I was most excited about was making my own vegetable garden. The idea of growing my own food fascinated me. At that point in my life the only food I had ever grown was a propagated tomato plant, and I only ended up with 3 tomatoes on that plant! I wouldn’t say that counts, even though it was better than nothing.

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I wanted to start my plants from seed so I could learn as much as possible about the whole process. Planting from seed is a lot more affordable than buying pre-started plants from a garden center. I don’t discourage checking out what your local garden center has though. They often sell pre-started plants which you may not have found seeds for.
 I had a lot of success during my first year, but also a few flops. I learned a lot from those flops so hopefully this information will help you out so you don’t make those mistakes.

One of the first things you should do when planning your vegetable garden is to figure out how much space you have available. Once you have this figured out it will be easier for you to make your desicion on which plants you want to grow. When you decide which plants you want make sure you do your research and find out how much space each individual plant needs to grow. A huge mistake I made from the beginning was not taking into consideration how much space my plants needed so my garden was crowded in certain areas. The plants in that area were not able to grow to their full potential and I ended up losing out on some crops that could have been.

Each plant you choose will have different requirements to grow properly so it’s really important you do some research on each one before you begin. Be prepared for how tall and wide the plant is expected to grow, how much sun and water it needs, how long it takes to grow, ect. I went out of pure excitement last summer and ended up planting a tomato plant in front of a cucumber plant. I had tons of tomatoes on my tall plant but only grew 2 cucumbers on the short vine. If I had reversed where I planted them then they both would have gotten the proper amount of sun and I would have gotten more cucumbers. The photo below shows a tall tomato plant I grew and that little vine behind it was my cucumber. What was I thinking?

Some plants (such as my zucchinis and tomatoes) grew best when I started them indoors and transplanted them outside, others (lettuce and leeks) grew better when I planted the seeds directly in the ground. When you do your plant research you’ll notice that it is recommended to start certain plants indoors before planting them outside. You may be wondering how do I know when it’s time to plant outdoors? Check out the Old Farmer’s Almanac for the area you live in to find out when the expected last frost will be and the dates it recommends planting each plant outdoors. https://www.almanac.com

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When it gets close to the expected date of last frost make sure to check the upcoming weather forecasts to make sure there aren’t any days coming up that could drop in temperature. Last year I transplanted my seedlings outside after the expected last frost date and sure enough there were a few evenings where the temperature dropped below freezing and killed some of the plants. This is one of the many reasons it’s a good idea to have extra seedlings started as back up. 
You may also have some animals from your area steal your plants so it’s a good idea to have back up. One little critter kept stealing my cucumber plants. I was only able to grow one cucumber plant even though I had started off with 8 seedlings.

I read that marigolds release a scent that repels small animals, such as rabbits and squirrels, and will keep them away from your crops. I don’t think this holds up too well (unless I didn’t plant enough) but i will try it again this year because the puffy little orange and yellow flowers were cute as hell! 

If you really want to keep animals away from your crops it’s best to invest in some plant cages. If you plant a lot and don’t want to spend a lot on cages, you can always make your own with chicken wire. 
Knowing that it’s almost time to start planning out this season’s garden I have started cutting the tops off of 2 liter pop bottles (and other clear plastic bottles of a similar size) and setting them aside. I use these to cover any seed that I plant directly in the ground. This will help keep the soil warm while the seeds germinate. I also had an issue with a critter eating my kale plants as they started to fill out. I put the pop bottle over them and was able to save my kale plants. 
Don’t start all your seeds at the same time. Before I started, this was a piece of advice my father gave me. If i started all the seeds at the same time then I would have all my crops ready at the same time. Not only would that be overwhelming, but it would also result in a lot of waste since I wouldn’t be able to eat everything. So for each type of plant I wanted I planted the seeds on different dates. This gave me a steady flow of crops come harvest time.
Give your garden a good clean out before planting anything. Loosen that soil and dig out any rocks or weeds that could get in the way. Your plants need space for their roots to grow strong. This is also a good time to mix in any compost you would like to add to your soil. Items such as coffee grounds, egg shells and banana peels provide a lot of nutrients to grow healthy plants. Also make sure you have picked a stable area for your plants that gets a good amount of sunlight and is not likely to flood. If you plant anything in bins or containers make sure they are able to drain properly.
Always check your plant’s information on how long it takes to grow crops. You don’t want to harvest anything too early or too late. They won’t taste right. I had left a couple vegetables out too long and they ended up having a very bitter taste to them, not to mention the texture was just awful. 
If you’re wondering what vegetables are the best options for new gardeners, most people always have success with the following plants if they take care of them: 
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini 
  • Cabbage
  • Beans (green/yellow)
  • Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Kale
If it’s your first year gardening always start small. You may be excited to grow your own food and want to go big, but there is a lot to learn and you don’t want to end up with one big overwhelming mess. It’s better to start small and learn as you go. Your plants will be more successful and you can add more the following year with more experience.

I can not wrap this post up with out suggesting you also add an herb plant or two to your garden. They smell amazing and add more flavor to your meals. (They’re also very easy to grow) 
What do you plan on planting this year? Let me know in the comments below. 
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