β˜•πŸ’™ Get rid of 'stealth' sources of household odors

It takes some sleuthing

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Hello and welcome back to Declutter Fast

How can you get your kitchen to be a source of joy for you - a place where you will look forward to creating delicious meals for your family, not just at holiday time, but all the time?

I want my own kids to think of home as a place where they can get warm cookies right from the oven. That's important to me.

(Of course I do hear a LOT that there is "nothing to eat in here"!!)

One of the most vexing problems in a home can be getting rid of unwanted "mystery" odors.

I don't believe in spraying "cover-up" sprays!

They don't solve the root problem!

They are only a temporary fix, and they usually are not that effective.

Ashley tells us about the Broiler from the Black Lagoon:

"I was trying to figure out the source of an unpleasant house odor. I opened the broiling area of the oven and was shocked to see that it clearly had not been cleaned in about a year!

"I have a weekly housecleaner, who used to clean this religiously, so I never thought there'd be any need to look at the broiler! It was full of dust bunnies and grease and it was GROSS!"

When is the last time you checked the broiler?

Broiler alert!!

That's not the only source of a potential odor problem. How long have you had your TOASTER?

Many of us have toasters which are older than our children...

Toasters can last forever; they are terrific products, but they do tend to accumulate gunk over time.

I had to throw out my beloved toaster yesterday, even though it was a gift from my favorite cousin.

To clean the toaster, use caution.

Unplug the toaster and do not plug it back in for several hours.

After you unplug the toaster, take it to the sink. Do not turn on the water!!

Unhinge the panels at the bottom of the toaster and open them.

Get the crumbs out, using a dry paper towel. You may need to gently shake to get some crumbs loose. An old dry toothbrush can also help.

You may need to use a damp, strong paper towel.

However! Use water very sparingly. Dry every surface where any water or dampness remains.

And then be sure not to replug in the toaster until tomorrow!

Now that's all fine and good, but "can this toaster be saved??"

Sad to say, there comes a point when the old toaster has accumulated so much that it can no longer be cleaned! That's when you have a potential hygiene and odor issue!

If you find that you can't get ALL of the muck out of there, then it's time to break down and get a new one.

Your kitchen will be a LOT cleaner and it will remove both a potential odor source AND invitation for crawling pests.

Toasters don't cost a lot, so off you go to pick up a new one - I'll probably see you there!

And when you want to get serious about household mystery odors, don't forget the refrigerator!

You must pull out your frig from the wall twice a year, and clean around and under it!

The frig is notorious for stealth odor problems - so check and see.

And above all, be careful. Moving a refrigerator must be done slowly and with deliberation.

When in doubt, get someone to assist you!

To start getting your kitchen ready to dazzle anyone...

Take a look at my book "Declutter Fast"!

You'll find that the kitchen is one of the easiest areas to declutter and to keep decluttered!

Here's to the joy of order in your life!

With love,
Mimi Tanner
Author of Declutter Fast: How To Get Your Home In Order Almost Immediately

By the way: Did you know that I write a legendary email column for women? It's called "With Love" and it's all about your love life - it's especially for women who are single, but also a lot of married women and guys like to read it.

You can sign up for my sometimes sardonic and usually entertaining love tips at

With Love Mimi Tanner.

I hope to see you there.

P.S. From Readers (some of these were sent when a hurricane took place in my area):

Thank you, Mimi, for your wonderful decluttering advice. It has brought a sense of peace and calm into my life.

I'm with you all the way! Hope you 'weather' the hurricane and return to your home soon.

-- Susan

Dear Mimi,

I pray all is well with you and your pets. My heart goes out to all the hurricane victims.

Thanks for your dedication -- emailing from your hotel. I'm in the middle of a major decluttering project and using your hints to keep me sane.

Every drawer, cabinet, wall, pile and inch of floor are in for trimming down. It feels terrific and freeing.

I wish I had put a dumpster in the driveway, but filling my van is working well -- and the local thrift stores are loving the donations (I ask for a tax receipt, of course).

Everyone wins when you declutter!!!

Thanks so much.

-- Mandy

That is great! Love belonging to DeClutter. It is a real safety net.

-- Elizabeth

Declutter Fast is the original online book on how to declutter. Declutter Fast has helped and inspired tens of thousands of people to declutter their homes since 2006.

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Mimi Tanner
450 Lexington Ave. Floor 2
POB 4668 #34690
New York, NY 10163-4668

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