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If you've ever come home and been greeted with an odor you weren't expecting, you know what it's like to try to find and get rid of an unwanted smell. The most despised household smells include:

  • Garbage.
  • Pet odors.
  • Mold.
  • Sweat.
  • Tobacco.

That is not a pleasant list! The question is: how do you get rid of those smells? It's probably easier than you think.

Keeping the house clean goes a long way in keeping odors out of the house, so if you don't have time to clean, hire a maid service. If you've still got a lingering smell, read on for a couple of tips!

Everyone has a little bit of clutter in a few places, but if you're feeling overwhelmed by clutter, it's time to take it on and get it out. Once it starts to affect the way you feel about your house or family, it's time to give yourself some relief!

Give yourself this goal: If you declutter everything, you'll call a maid service for yourself to do the cleaning. It's a reward and motivator worth working for! 

Of course, to get decluttered, you have to start somewhere, and here is a system that works effectively:

Chances are, you don't give your floors too much thought as a design element. You have your carpet or your hard floor and maybe a rug or two, but it might not be something you've thought much about.

There are some interesting ways to make your floors look new and much more dynamic. If you're looking for something fresh for your home and can't seem to find exactly what you're looking for, changing the floor might be just what you need!

Entryway

The entryway sets the tone for any guests first impression, so you want it to say something about the rest of the house. Whether you do this with a rug or you paint the floor, think of a way to make a statement from the very beginning.

This could be a bold pattern or bright color on a rug, or something you've painted on the floor itself: bold colors, stencils, designs. However you choose to do it, setting up the entryway floor will help make others feel welcome and bring attention to itself in the right way.

Paper has a unique way of ending up everywhere. Your desk, dresser, kitchen table, bar or buffet—whatever the papers may be, there they are. If you're tired of papers everywhere, hunting for one you lost, or just sick of how much more difficult house cleaning has become, these great ideas from Better Homes and Gardens will help get your clutter under control!

Hang it Up

Do you hold onto invitations, birthday cards, or postcards? Whether it's the design or the sentiment that gets your attention, there's a great way to show off both. Using a cork board, ribbon photo board, or other photo holder, display your favorite cards to warm everyone's heart.

Thrift stores and yard sales are great places to get secondhand items, but how do you know what things are worth getting and what things you should pass on? Getting quality pieces is great, but adding more clutter for your housekeeping chores isn't! If you want to get into your local thrift store but aren't sure where to start, here are our five favorite tips:

Take a look at lamps. Choose the base of the lamp that you love. Lampshades are easy and affordable to change, so you can create the lamp you want starting with a thrift store base. Don't be afraid to mix and match the lamps you use, either—different bases can complement each other and bring character to a room.

If you hear “pastels,” you might think “boring,” but that doesn't necessarily have to be true. As evidenced by this design featured by Ideas to Steal, when done with a good eye and smart hand, pastels can be modern and beautiful.

If you want to add pastels to a room in your home (or carry it through the house like in the picture!), here are a few tips for using pastels in your own home:

Sure, any unclean surface in your home can harbor germs, but have you ever thought of how easy it is for germs to grow in a kitchen? There's plenty of food and moisture and heat available to make bacteria feel right at home.

You might clean your kitchen every week or have housekeeping services tackle it, but it's safest to clean every time you use the kitchen. Here are three of the areas where germs tend to grow most easily:

When it comes to cleaning, of course you'd rather use products that are better for the environment and safer for your children. Good maid services use tough but environmentally-responsible products, and you can too.

Sometimes, though; you don't want to pay for them or maybe you just don't have time to run to the store. Here's some good news: there are three ingredients that can be used to make cleaning solutions that you probably already have on hand: baking soda, vinegar, and lemons. Here are three ways to use these natural ingredients:

Is your clutter all over your house, or do you keep it hidden in closed off rooms and closets? Organizational expert Peter Walsh looked at the different ways and reasons people collect clutter for O Magazine, and the very first type he covered is probably one of the most common: the perfectionist.

The Signs

According to Walsh, the signs of perfectionist-inspired clutter are:

  • A beautiful-looking home.
  • Pristine housekeeping in public areas.
  • Clutter hidden away in closets, spare rooms, basements, and/or garages.

If this sounds familiar, read on to find out how to tackle your clutter problems!

Do you want a quiet place to read? Maybe you want to try to encourage your kids to read more, but you’re out of ideas. A reading nook is great for both of these things, and you don’t have to add an extra room to do it!

In this clever design from a Martha Stewart home tour, the family turned a pass-through area into a reading nook, but you can do the same thing with any small section of a room or even a closet!

How-To

Keep in mind the size of your reading nook area as you gather things to go in it—it doesn’t take much to make a nice nook.

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