What to Do About Bad Smells in the House

When you’ve found the perfect new home and are counting down the days until you can move in, nothing can put a damper on your spirits quite like bad smells in the house that just doesn’t seem to go away. Musty or stale smells, odors from previous smokers or pet owners, or even smells from fresh paint can be less-than-welcome and hard to get rid of.

While it might take a little elbow grease, there are several plans you can put into place to get your new home smelling a little fresher.

1. Start with a top-to-bottom deep clean

cleaning

While one can hope that the previous owners, previous tenants or landlord have already done a thorough move-out clean, it doesn’t hurt to go through the process once more to ensure nothing was left behind in the turnover process.

Wipe down surfaces, sweep and mop the floors and use your go-to cleaning products, so the scents left behind will be familiar to you. Perhaps the most important task: open up the windows, turn on any ceiling fans and let fresh air circulate throughout your new home. This will help eliminate any bad smell in the house.

2. Try to identify the cause of the odor

dirty dog

If the bad smell in your home still seems to be lingering a day or two after you’ve cleaned and aired out your new space, it’s time to get to the bottom of the issue. Depending on the source, your cleaning techniques will be different.

Pet odors

Odors left behind by pets can be notoriously strong and difficult to get rid of — especially if your home has carpet. Try to identify specific areas where pet urine may have left stains — a blacklight can help you here as it will illuminate any areas containing urine.

You can try techniques like baking soda or an enzyme-based carpet cleaner to spot treat the area and neutralize lingering odors. Spot test any cleaning products first or your security deposit could be at risk if you cause further damage to the flooring.

Food odors

If strong food or spice smells are still present after your general cleaning, focus your attention on the kitchen and deep clean areas like vents, fans, oven, refrigerator, etc. Examine sinks and garbage disposals to see if they might be the source of bad smells. Consider asking your landlord to repaint any walls located close to the oven, refrigerator, sink or microwave.

Smoke odors

Cigarette smoke is one of the most potent odors and hardest to remove, which is why most landlords and property managers prohibit smoking of any kind indoors. Very strong remaining odors can even lead to thirdhand smoke damage to new occupants.

To truly tackle cigarette smoke odors, removable items like blinds, carpet and draperies will need replacing, which is something you should discuss with your landlord.

Mold odors

Odors from mold or moisture damage are not only unpleasant, but they can also impact your health. Mold typically grows in parts of the home that are prone to moisture or ventilation issues — like the bathroom or basement — but can grow almost anywhere including on wood, carpet, food and fabric.

For areas with light mold like the shower, use bleach to effectively remove the mold. For larger mold issues, contact your property manager as a few states have laws in place defining landlord responsibility regarding mold maintenance.

3. Consult with your property owner

man on the phone talking about bad smells in the home

If you’ve done your own deep cleaning, tried to address the issue at the source and still can’t seem to shake the bad smell in your home, it’s time to consult with your landlord to see how the two of you can address the situation together. In some cases, foul odors can be a sign of a larger issue that is beyond renter control.

Stubborn odors from a previous pet or smoke damage may require a cleaning crew or maintenance crew to replace items like blinds and filters. If your home contains a substantial amount of carpet, ask to have the carpets professionally cleaned if they weren’t already before you moved in.

You may run into issues concerning financial responsibility, as foul odors from food or unhygienic previous tenants are not typically a health risk (though odors from cigarette smoke or pets may be, depending on individual situations). Your landlord may ask you to split the costs or cover costs of additional cleaning if you are unhappy with the living situation, but it is always worth bringing it to their attention early on to see what the two of you can work out.

Eliminate bad smells in your house

Even though they are a pain to deal with, most unpleasant smells in the home can be handled if you are persistent and try various tried-and-true methods to eliminate them.

The post What to Do About Bad Smells in the House appeared first on Apartment Living Tips – Apartment Tips from ApartmentGuide.com.

Source: apartmentguide.com

Create a Productive Apartment Work-From-Home Space

Working from home has become more prominent than ever, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, when you’re living in an apartment, it can sometimes be challenging to create a productive remote workspace. 

Thankfully, there are things you can do to maximize your space (no matter how small it may be), arrange it in a way that inspires creativity and productivity, and take care of yourself so you stay motivated. 

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can make the most of your apartment while you’re working from home, so you can find a healthy work-life balance and stay focused on your job each day. 

Arranging Your Space

A productive apartment work-from-home space starts with actually creating a designated workspace. You don’t necessarily need to have a separate spare room to set up an office. As long as you have a specific location in mind that is dedicated to your work, you can get things done effectively. Some suggestions include: 

  • Fixing a folding shelf to a wall.
  • Using a large closet/wardrobe.
  • Utilizing a large hallway.
  • Pulling your sofa away from the wall in the living room and using it as a desk chair.

Having your own workspace can help you to stay focused and organized throughout the day. Remember, your environment can affect your mental health. It can either keep you motivated or bring you down. So, focus on things like using natural lighting, having live plants around to give you energy, and even controlling the temperature to keep things a bit cooler. 

If you know you will have to participate in Zoom meetings or similar video chats, make sure that your office looks as professional as possible. Because you’re at home, it’s okay to make things personal. But, whatever is in your background should still suggest that you’re working. A professional background for a video call can include things like plants, pictures, and artwork, but probably shouldn’t include your Star Wars actions figures. 

Keeping Your Health in Mind

In addition to having the right space set up, it’s crucial to take care of yourself in order to stay productive. When working from home, it’s easy to feel distracted and unmotivated. Taking care of yourself, physically and mentally, can have a huge impact on how well you do your job. 

One of the potential drawbacks of working from home is having a harder time with a work-life balance. You can combat this by having a routine each day. Start work at the same time and end it at the same time. Having a separate office space in your apartment will make it easier to “walk away” from work at the end of the day. 

It’s also important to take breaks, and you may need to encourage yourself to do so. Your apartment might be small, but don’t be afraid to splurge on a few “self-care” items including, perhaps, a sofa that you can put in or near your workspace for whenever you need to take a break. 

Your breaks should also consist of movement, as much as possible. Stand up and stretch every hour. Or, take longer breaks throughout the day that allow you to get outside and go for a walk. Studies have shown that simply being out in nature can improve your mood, which may help with productivity, and it will give you a chance to get some space after being in a small apartment all day. 

It’s possible to create a productive apartment work-from-home space and to stay motivated each day. With a few simple changes, some organizational skills, and maybe a professional purchase or two, you can turn almost any area of your apartment into an effective workspace. 

Read Create a Productive Apartment Work-From-Home Space on Apartminty.

Source: blog.apartminty.com

10 Natural Ant Repellents to Keep Bugs Out

The ants go marching one by one hurrah, hurrah!

This is cute, animated children’s song but when you see ants marching through your own apartment, it’s suddenly not so much fun. If you notice that these pesky blank insects are a common occurrence in your apartment and are wondering how to get rid of ants, we’ve got some home remedies for ants ready for you to try.

Natural ant repellents to try at home

If you’re looking for a way to get rid of ants without using a pesticide or professional pest control services, here are 10 natural ant repellents and home remedies for ants that you can try.

You can make these natural ant repellents with things you have in your own home, so it’ll be an easy way for you to rid yourself of these pesky critters.

1. Mint

mint

Peppermint essential oil is a simple home remedy for ants that you can make yourself.

Get some peppermint essential oil or peppermint leaves, mix it with water and spray around baseboards, doors and windows to deter ants. However, if you have pets, keep in mind that this ant solution is toxic to animals.

2. White vinegar

white vinegar

White vinegar is truly an all-purpose household product. From cleaning and disinfecting to getting rid of ants, white vinegar is a must-have product.

Take a mixture of hot water and vinegar and scrub your floor and countertops with it as a way to get rid of ants. While the smell is strong for an hour or so, it’ll rid your home of ants.

3. Cinnamon

cinnamon

Cinnamon smells and tastes good, but did you know it can also be used as a natural ant repellent? You can use either cinnamon essential oil or cinnamon powder to repel ants.

Take a cotton ball or Q-tip and dab it with cinnamon oil and then place it where you’ve seen ants. Or, sprinkle cinnamon powder along windowsills, baseboards or door entries to stop ants from entering.

4. Pepper

pepper

Pepper is another kitchen staple that everyone has and uses to season food. However, it can also be used as a home remedy for ants.

Sprinkle pepper wherever you have an ant problem. The smell will irritate them and they’ll go away. You can use cayenne or black pepper as your natural ant repellent.

5. Chalk line

chalk line

This natural ant repellent is somewhat mysterious. Ants use scent as a way to navigate. By drawing a line of chalk where you noticed ants, it seems to disturb the trail of smell and confuse ants. They won’t cross the line anymore and will go away.

6. Water line

water

Like the chalk line trick, you can also get your finger wet and draw a water line where you noticed ants last. This will also deter ants, disrupt the smell and help get rid of your ant problem.

7. Hand soap

hand soap

Take a pump of hand or dish soap and mix it with some hot water and put it into a spray bottle. You can use this concoction to spray down countertops, entryways or other areas you’ve noticed ants marching about.

Use this natural ant repellent as a way to rid your home of the ant problem while cleaning at the same time.

8. Tea tree oil

tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is another home remedy for ants. Like the other essential oil remedies, you can use tea tree oil mixed with water as a spray to repel ants or you can saturate cotton balls in tea tree oil and place those cotton balls around the house in high-trafficked ant areas.

Both remedies will work, but be careful to keep this away from pets if you’re a pet owner.

9. Coffee grounds

coffee grounds

Who doesn’t have a morning cup of Joe? Well, instead of throwing away your coffee grounds, you can use them to repel ants.

Simply sprinkle the coffee grounds around countertops, windowsills, doors, the pantry or any other area you’ve seen ants crawling around. This hack will rid you of ants and you’ll get more use out of your coffee each day.

10. Corn starch

cornstarch

This last approach on how to get rid of ants is a bit messier, but it’s effective.

Do you notice a large cluster of ants or a hive instead of just one or two? If you see a hive of ants, cover it with corn starch and then dump water on it. This will kill the hive entirely.

Preventing ant infestations upfront

These 10 natural ant repellent suggestions are great if you already have an ant problem. However, there are ways to prevent ants from entering your house upfront.

  1. Check your pantry: Ants love food and crumbs and they will feast in your pantry or cupboards. Make sure you seal all of your dry food in plastic containers so ants can’t get into the boxes of food stored in your pantry. Also, make sure to sweep or vacuum your pantry regularly and get all of those tasty crumbs off the floor.
  2. Clean often: Make sure you’re sweeping and mopping your floor daily, if not weekly. This will ensure that there are no crumbs on the floor that ants can snack on.
  3. Pest control: If you want to control ants or any type of insect or pest problem, you can consider hiring a pest control expert to spray your home.

Keeping bugs out

No matter where you live, you’ll likely see a bug or two in your apartment at some point. However, there are easy ways to rid your home of ants using home remedies and ingredients you already have on hand.

The post 10 Natural Ant Repellents to Keep Bugs Out appeared first on Apartment Living Tips – Apartment Tips from ApartmentGuide.com.

Source: apartmentguide.com

How to Make Your Apartment More Eco-Friendly

Unsplash

There are a lot of perks to apartment living. They’re generally easier to maintain, can be more affordable than a house, and are great short-term commitments for those always on the go. However, one of the drawbacks to apartment-dwelling, particularly if you’re an environmentalist, is often the limited green actions available. Whether you rent or own your apartment, it can be difficult knowing how to get involved in sustainability efforts. However, eco-friendly changes can be applied everywhere, including apartments.

It’s important for the sake of our future here on Earth to begin taking green actions to help minimize the negative impacts on the environment. For those living in apartments, getting started on making your living space more eco-friendly is easier than you think:  

Construct with Mother Nature in Mind

The best place to start is at the beginning, right? If you’re an apartment owner or landlord, it’s important to prioritize constructing any new apartments with the right materials. Some of the best sustainable building materials to use include:

  • Reclaimed Wood: Reusing materials like reclaimed wood is a perfect way to cut down on waste and reduce production costs. Reclaimed wood also typically has a lot of character which only helps make each of your apartments more unique while also being sustainable.
  • Bamboo: The thing that makes bamboo a great sustainable material choice is its rapid growth rate. Bamboo is ready to be used in just six years and when it’s of high quality and sold by reputable dealers, it’s extremely durable and long-lasting. It’s also one of the more affordable options to pick from. 
  • Green Insulation: Unlike traditional insulation that’s made from synthetic materials, which can be damaging to the environment, green insulation is made from recycled materials. From old denim to sheep’s wool, green insulation is a great substitute for fiberglass insulation and more.

Making the initial decision to build with sustainable materials benefits the environment long-term by reducing the overall negative impacts. It also can help save future tenants money on utilities thanks to sustainable building materials like green insulation helping to reduce energy use. It may be more expensive at times to pick the sustainable option over the non-sustainable counterpart, but it’s worth the cost.  

Don’t Shy Away from Pre-Owned Appliances

Appliances breaking down or not working properly is a common issue for tenants and owners alike. Moreover, many apartments still have the same appliances they were built with decades ago. While certain types of appliances were definitely built to last regardless of age, for the most part, many are now inefficient and that can be costly. As pointed out by General Contractors License Guide, “Not only do inefficient appliances waste energy, but they can also cost you extra money. A 21-cubic foot refrigerator using 750 watts of power costs an average of $27 each month to run, which can add up fast when you factor in additional energy use each month.” With that being said though, don’t be temped quite yet to toss out your old appliances. 

While it may depend on where you live, there is likely a used appliance business you can and should utilize. Organizations such as Habitat for Humanity have numerous stores you can contact. They will not only replace broken appliances with functioning ones but will also take your old ones away and repurpose them. The appliances these types of businesses have are typically lightly used and worked on to be good as new. This reduces the overall impact on the environment by increasing better energy usage functions, minimizing waste, and providing more materials to be re-used.

Small Changes Have Big Impacts

Wanting to make some green changes to your apartment is understandable as we begin learning more and more about serious environmental threats and problems. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that it’s easy to overload yourself when taking on major eco-friendly projects and renovations. Furthermore, it’s not always possible to make those apartment-altering changes. While big green actions are certainly important, small, everyday green actions are just as essential in regards to the planet’s health. Try incorporating some of the simple green actions found in things like eco-friendly apartment guides if you’re unsure where to start. It may feel perhaps ineffectual, but changing your habits to be more conscious of the environment is a great way to make a difference, regardless of where you live. 

Read How to Make Your Apartment More Eco-Friendly on Apartminty.

Source: blog.apartminty.com