If you try to envision a “bachelor pad”, you probably picture dim rooms littered with bottles and soda cans, and probably with carpets in need of a decent cleaning. Vice recently profiled a few of these rooms, before and after a man co-habitated with a woman. “Being a single male means not having expectations put on you by someone else. The living space of a single man often dramatically changes when he lives with a woman,” writer Michael Rababy said. “As a rule, the woman’s aesthetic wins, and that’s usually a good thing.”
First off – really? All women are clean, and all men are pigs? I guess you never took a look at my “bachelorette” pad when I was single, Michael. Spoiler Alert: It was disgusting. However, one thing is true: when you live with someone else, whether it be a romantic interest or a roommate, chances are that you’re more likely to consider the appearance of your shared living space. You’re not just keeping up appearances for yourself – you’re doing it for someone else, and the potential guests they might randomly bring over.
If you want to avoid the stereotype of being a messy bachelor or bachelorette, here are 7 solid tips that will help you prove them wrong.
1. Don’t Let Dishes Pile Up.
It seems simple, but sometimes it’s just so hard to do. The problem with a dish pile is that it’s kind of difficult not to add to the mess when it’s already created. Don’t use the excuse of “They’re soaking!” while letting them sit in the sink for a few days. If you have a dishwasher and can’t justify washing 3 dishes at a time, at least store them in there until you have a full load, so you can use your sink for other stuff. Dirty dishes can attract bugs, and without a doubt, are smelly. Plus, the melted cheese from your experimental microwave nacho project will be much tougher to clean if you don’t clean it immediately.
2. Clothes Belong In A Hamper, A Closet, Or A Drawer
Not the dryer, or all over your floor. That rhyme was super unintentional, by the way.
We all have moments where we don’t know what to wear, and the contenders end up crumpled up next to your bed instead of back in the closet. Clothing on the floor can make a living space look way more cluttered than it is, and it’s pretty easy to clean up unless you’re already in the habit. If you’re used to getting changed in the bathroom (or leaving clothes in there as you disrobe to hit the showers), make sure to pick them up and take them to the hamper immediately. Water and clothing don’t mix, unless it’s mixed with detergent and in the washing machine. (Or a bucket, if you hand-wash.)
3. Throw Out Junk Mail Immediately.
Great, some fliers to that store you don’t go to arrived today, addressed to “Resident”! Face it. You’re not going to use those coupons. You’ll say you will, and then remember them 4 months after they’ve expired. Unless you’re really interested in what those circulars have to say, trash them immediately. Otherwise they’ll get kicked under your couch, and make their grand re-appearance after you move.
4. Try To Vacuum. You Don’t Know What You’ll Find.
My Dad insisted that I get a vacuum for my bachelorette pad, and I couldn’t deny the fact that refusing this claim would lessen my “adult” percentage. Unfortunately, I chose a lightweight, bag version that just wasn’t my style, and promptly fell apart every time it was used. It became part of the comedy act that I performed by myself, for an audience of one (my cat). I refused to replace it, since better vacuums were just really expensive. Bad choice, young Karen. Bad choice indeed.
Think about carpets in general: You usually walk barefoot on them, you accidentally spill stuff on them, they are exposed to all elements, and if you have a pet (see: cat, above) they’re pretty much like a gigantic hairbrush for your furry companion. By vacuuming regularly makes a huge difference, and as a bonus, it’s a pretty good exercise.