8 Things People with Nice-Smelling Entryways Never Do

published Oct 14, 2023
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Credit: Minette Hand

Your entryway, whether it’s a full-on mudroom or just a few square feet around your front door, is an important component of your home. Most notably, your entry is the first space people first see — and smell — when they enter your space. The problem is your entryway may also be the land of muddy dog paw prints and dirty socks and footwear, which don’t exactly lend themselves to pleasant odors. 

A big part of keeping this area smelling top-notch, it turns out, is avoiding certain routines. Below are eight things people who pride themselves on their immaculate-smelling entryways never do.

Leave shoes out in the open 

If you’re committed to a nice-smelling entryway, mind your footwear. Rather than leaving his shoes out in the open, personal chef and food instructor Andrew Carter always stores footwear in a closed cabinet or brings them to a designated area in the house to prevent any unwanted odors from making their way into the space.

Keep floors bare

Mats or rugs can add character to an entryway, but they’re so much more than an aesthetic boost. “They also serve as protective barriers, capturing any dirt or debris that may otherwise track into the house along with unwanted smells,” says Carter.

Let shoes stink 

No dedicated shoe storage? Tabatha Farnel, founder of Aroma Authority, says she keeps unwanted odors at bay by preventing her shoes from smelling in the first place. Her go-to methods include antibacterial sprays designed for shoes, stuffing dryer sheets or sprinkling baking soda in them when not wearing them, and leaving shoes outside in the sun to air them out. 

Leave anything wet sitting out 

Moisture can quickly cause a musty smell. Ilia Mundut, founder of HeftyBerry, never leaves any wet or dirty items like muddy shoes or rain-soaked umbrellas in her entryway. “Set up a designated area outside for these items to dry before bringing them inside,” she says. 

Ignore seasonal maintenance 

Seasonal maintenance is vital for keeping your entryway scent fresh. In the winter, Rich Mullins, founder of H2O Plumbing, lays down protective mats to prevent salt and snow from being tracked indoors. And in the spring months, he always deep-cleans his rugs and carpets to remove any accumulated odors around the door (and beyond). 

Neglect fresh air

It goes without saying that stale air can quickly lead to unpleasant odors, especially in an area where you’ve been piling sweaty shoes. “I regularly open windows and use air purifiers to ensure the complete circulation of fresh air,” says Mullins. “This practice not only helps with odors but also promotes a healthier indoor environment.” 

Forget to clean up muddy prints

Cleanliness is a huge part of keeping any room from smelling bad, and that rule definitely applies to your entryway. Bob Thomas, interior decorator at Hearth and Petals, keeps a mat outside where people can wipe their feet before entering. “During rainy seasons, I’m vigilant about mopping up any mud or dirt that gets tracked in so it doesn’t stain the floors or stink up the entry,” he says.

Leave the space unscented

For Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love, keeping a good-smelling entryway also involves adding a nice scent to the area — perhaps a fragrant plant, essential oil diffuser, or a simple candle. “If you don’t have something that actively smells good, then the only smell that will take over the area is whatever you track in on your shoes,” he says.