A Valentine's Day Cleaning Guide for Dudes

kitchen-2684972_960_720.jpg

So you’re a dude, and you’ve got a special someone coming over for Valentine’s Day dinner.

But, let’s face it—you’re a bachelor and your home is a bachelor pad. Your idea of cleaning is moving the empty pizza box from the floor to the lid of the trashcan. So how do you make sure your date won’t flee your apartment before cocktails? Here’s a handy home cleaning guide, paying special attention to areas that dudes often forget about.

  1. Odors. The thing about residential odors is that they are usually only perceptible to guests. This isn’t only true for dudes; it’s just a fact of life. We get accustomed to the smell of our homes to the point where we block it out, and it takes leaving for a week’s vacation and coming back to really notice there’s something off. So here’s what you do: the day before you have your lady friend over for dinner, ask a friend or neighbor to come over and do a sniff test for you. If you don’t have time for that, it’s okay. You can mask any stealthy odors, but whatever you do, DON’T use Lysol or any other chemical-heavy room spray. They actually don’t smell that great, and many people experience allergic reactions to them. Instead, throw some orange peels and cinnamon sticks in a pot with a little water, and set it to simmer for an hour or two before your date arrives. That will make your whole house smell amazing.
  2. Living Room. The main thing you’re going to want to do in the living room is pick up any clutter off the floor and furniture. Your sneakers, your gym bag, your stack of poker chips—put them in a closet. Empty beer cans and used paper plates, obviously, go in the trash, and don’t forget to take the trash out before your date comes over! Once the room is tidied up, sweep the floor or run the vacuum cleaner and clean any glass tabletops of all stains and smudges. It wouldn’t hurt to run a dust cloth over the TV screen, either.
  3. Kitchen. I’ve met a lot of bachelors who don’t have plates, silverware, or basic cooking stuff. If this is you—and I’m not saying it is—the first thing I want to know is what possessed you to invite your date over to your place for dinner? But, never mind, there’s no time for answering questions. Thrift shops often have good deals on gently used kitchen and dining accouterments. Once you’ve got all the necessary items, give your kitchen a once-over to ensure it won’t offend your date. The most important things are to make sure that the countertops, floor, and appliance surfaces are clean. If you have a bit of time after that’s done, give your sink and faucet a polish with a wet cloth. And finally, make sure there’s no rotting food in the fridge, just in case she opens it.
  4. Bathroom. Dirty towels into the hamper. Clean the toilet bowl (here’s an article on getting out hard water stains, if you need it). Arrange your toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream, etc. neatly on the counter, or better yet, put them in a drawer. And most importantly, clean all of the beard trimmings out of your sink and off of your mirror.
  5. Bedroom. There’s certainly no guarantee that your date will set foot in your bedroom, but giving it a quick cleaning might help the chances that if she does enter, she’ll stick around for awhile. First, you’ll need to wash your comforter and linens. It doesn’t matter if they look clean—if you haven’t washed them in a while, they’re not clean and she’ll be able to tell. Then make the bed neatly. Clear any clutter off the dresser and bedside table, and remove any piles of dirty clothes from the floor. Vacuum the carpet, dust the blinds, and replace any dead light bulbs.

That’s it! By following the tips in this guide, you can be confident that your bachelor pad will not only not turn off your date, but that it might actually leave a good impression! Happy Valentine’s Day, dudes!