As we un-deck the halls, pack up ornaments and tinsel, and throw away the last of the leftover fruitcake, I feel my home (and myself) screaming for simplicity. Now is the best time to clear off surfaces, organize areas that have built up with clutter, wash linens and take a look at my home with fresh eyes.
As a homeowner thinking about selling your home, take this same perspective to experience your home as a buyer. What stands out? What’s the first thing they see? What is their first impression? Is it a good one? There are so many things influencing buyers when they walk into the house that could potentially become their next home. Their senses are keenly intuned as they absorb the story your home is telling them. Sounds, smells, colors and textures are all at play and affecting their decisions.
Seller’s ask me all the time what they should do to offer an inviting smell in their home, and whether they should use an air freshener. My answer to that is always a resounding NO! Some air fresheners offer amazingly pleasant smells, but most do not. They are unnatural and too strong and often will either offend a potential buyer, or possibly lead them to believe you may be trying to cover something up.
One of my favorite ways to offer a light fresh scent during the winter months, (when homes tend to become a little stale from shut windows), is a simple simmer pot! A simmer pot is simply a stovetop potpourri.
+ One citrus fruit sliced (I recommend lemon and/or grapefruit)
+ 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
+ 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
+ 1 cinnamon stick (optional, if you want a spicier scent)
Simply add all ingredients to a pot, add water to cover, and bring to a low simmer on the stove. Keep an eye on the pot and add water as it begins to steam off. Get a pot of it going about an hour or so before you have buyers coming to view the home. Simply turn off the burner on your way out and the scent will linger for a few hours!
Keep in mind, this recipe is for stovetop potpourri, and not an eclectic wassail or cider-don’t be tempted to drink this mixture!
What do you do to freshen up your winter home? Leave me a comment or your suggestions!
P.S. I simply put a lid on my simmer pot, put in the fridge and get it back out the next morning. It tends to last 2-3 days this way.