Thursday, November 6, 2014

"It Stinks!"

Recently we had a birthday party for my youngest son.  He turned 14!  I was sad.  He is growing up WAY too fast.  He had a sports themed party with almost 20 boys attending.  They played basketball, flag football, and dodge ball. 

In the middle of the party we had everyone come into our garage to take a break before eating to warm up since it was cold out.  We cleared an open space for a circle of chairs so they could play a few indoor games while waiting.  

Once they were all gathered in and sitting down playing their game, 
it hit me like a sack of potatoes… “IT STINKS!”

I know they couldn’t help it… they were having fun playing games.  Even though it was cold outside, the sweat poured out leaving them helpless to the smell.  When you add that much sweat to a small room packed with almost 20 boys, it’s bound to stink, right? 

As I bounded in and out of the garage making food preparations the stench became a little unbearable at times.  I did what any other disturbed mom would do… I grabbed the Febreze and attacked the problem.  As each boy walked by to get their food I sprayed the floor secretly by them hoping some might get onto their clothes without them noticing.  Despite my efforts, the smell continued to linger.  I was SO tempted to just spray down each boy individually, but my husband restrained me assuring me “it’s okay…. just let them be...”

I surrendered to the smell and buried myself in the kitchen.  Later, as we continued the Birthday celebration in the house, I was surprised to find that their smell was actually neutralized.  How could it be?  Well, I must admit I do have some secret weapons I use to defuse the stink in my home on a regular basis.  I had no idea it would work on such a large group of boys.

Because inquiring minds want to know how I do it, I am sharing all of my secrets below.  Here goes…

“Tips for Managing a Stinky Home and Stinky Boys”

Stinky Home Help

General Clean-up: 
Just keeping things clean around the house helps a lot.  Some things to watch for would be:  dirty clothes lying around, dirty dishes in the sink, full bags of trash in the kitchen, and un-flushed toilets (using a toilet brush & cleaner helps a lot too!)

Room by Room:
Give each room a smell check.  Where does it smell the MOST?  Those are the rooms that will need the most help.  I focus specifically on bedrooms, bathrooms, and the high traffic areas.

Neutralize it:
Those extra stinky areas will need on-going extra help to neutralize the smell.  Some of my secret weapons are: 

Candles- for main living areas (kitchen, dining room, & living room areas).  I generally stick with scents like: vanilla, ginger bread, cinnamon, or butter cream… calming scents.  They are less offensive to people who might visit with allergies.  Floral scents stir up sneezing fits and can give headaches… believe me I know this from first-hand experience.

Wallflowers- from Bath & Body Works.  I put these outlet air fresheners everywhere around my house.  I use similar scents as listed above.  I try to put a Wallflower in each of my most stinkiest rooms and the high traffic areas.  Can I say that?  SO… for my house I have them in the hallway, living room, bathrooms, and my boys’ bedroom.  Their bedroom requires one Wallflower and a stand up air freshener to neutralize the smell (Both Vanilla scented).  In order to neutralize with this tool, you need to use a lot of the same scents throughout the house.  Using different scents in each room can work against your efforts causing a different kind of stink all together.

Over the Top:
If after doing all of this, the smell still lingers there is one last thing I try.  I get a room freshener spray or body spray (usually cinnamon, vanilla, or sweet pea) to use throughout the house.  I spray lightly all furniture, bedding, dirty laundry, rugs, and curtains.  This is not an every day thing.  I do it randomly maybe before visitors may come or if I notice that the house is starting smell bad.

Not only have I been asked about my house, but inquiring minds want to know 
how I deal with stinky boys too.  So here goes…

Stinky Boy Help

Ever since the boys were little we pushed the importance of good hygiene.  When they hit puberty we kicked it up a notch.  We enlightened them to the fact that they would soon begin to stink MORE.  It just happened naturally and is a part of growing up, but we needed to work extra hard to keep the stink under control.

I must admit as a mom I pushed everything to the extreme.  I encouraged showers so they wouldn’t get acne, brushing their teeth so they wouldn’t get cavities, changing underwear so they wouldn’t get fungus between their legs, and wearing deodorant and body spray so they wouldn’t be known as the stinky boy at school. 

Now that I vocalize this to the masses, it doesn’t sound so good.  I sound like a crazy mom.  Maybe I am.  My goal is to help these boys develop good habits that they will hopefully carry into their adult life.  Some day their wives will thank me for all of my hard work, right?  Hopefully my efforts to raise less stinky boys will inspire you in some way to do the same.  If not, I hope you enjoy a laugh or two on me as you read the list below.

“Tips for Managing Stinky Boys”…

Encourage Good Hygiene:

Start Out Clean-
Have your boy start his day by putting on clean clothes.  This includes changing undergarments daily too.  Buy enough so he doesn’t have a reason not wear clean ones.  This will help immediately with the smell.

Boy BO-
Have you ever had the privilege of being in a room full of stinky boys?  Its powerful bad!  Body odor rages out of control within these young men and it takes hard work to manage the smell.

Our weapons of choice are Men’s Deodorant & Men’s Body Spray.  We get the cheap kind and buy several to stock them up (Right Guard Sport Deodorant & Axe Body Spray).  We encourage them to put both on in the morning, deodorant after they play sports or have P.E., and both before they go anywhere special like church.  They keep some in their gym bags, I keep a spare in my purse, and we did keep one in each car until they melted with the summer heat. 

Bad Breath-
Another side effect of puberty is bad breath.  We encourage the boys to brush their teeth at least twice a day and I keep mints in my purse for smelly mouth emergencies.  Mouth wash is a good tool to keep close by too!

Stinky Feet-

Foot odor is inevitable for boys especially if they play sports.  They should start their day with clean socks and change later to new socks if they play any sports.  Special socks and inserts are available in stores to help with the smell if it’s over the top with stink.

Shower Power-
We encourage the boys to shower every other day normally.  But if its summer time or they are playing sports it’s an every day thing with no arguing about it.  The sooner they shower after sports, the better it will smell in your house.

Do you struggle with a stinky home or a stinky family?  Hopefully my crazy, yet creative ways of keeping my house and boys stink-free has been helpful for you.  If nothing else maybe it has brought a smile to your face.  Enjoy the giggles on me!

Living to leave a legacy,