It’s date night. You and a gal have been out a few times and tonight you’ve invited her over your place for the first time for a dinner you’re whipping up yourself. The chicken’s in the oven, you look dapper, and you’ve applied a manly aftershave. When you hear her knock, you open the door to your apartment, your date steps inside, and she looks…kind of turned off. What went wrong?! With clear eyes for the first time, you see that your bachelor pad is the culprit. It’s messy, it’s smelly, and it’s uninviting to anyone of the opposite sex.
You can have everything go right on a date, only to ruin it with an unpresentable living space. Making a good first impression with what you call home shows your main squeeze that you care, but it also shows what kind of man you are. It will give her a sense of your personality, and also your personal responsibility. Don’t blow the golden opportunity to impress your date the second she crosses the threshold into your place.
In researching this article, we got information from the ladies themselves via Reddit (fair warning, as with anything on Reddit, it can get fairly vulgar) and Facebook about what makes a good first impression.
We’ll look at a few general guidelines, and then delve into some room-to-room pointers.
Get Rid of the Man-Funk
Smell is probably the most cited infraction for men’s bachelor pads. It has the potential to offend the nose as soon as your gal steps into your home. Follow these tips and you’ll be okay in the olfactory realm.
Start a couple days early. If you know you’re having a lady over to your place in advance, even if it’s just a chance, start right away. If there’s some lingering or deep-seated scent, it won’t go away in the hour before her arrival. Perhaps even bring in an objective party to let you know what/where smells the worst. You’ve been living in it, so you won’t necessarily know.
Eliminate the most obvious smell offenders. If it’s not some mystery banana peel behind the couch, the smell in your place is likely the result of multiple offenses. Do your dirty laundry (including bed sheets). It doesn’t take long for those sweaty gym clothes to reek. Take out the trash. Those fresh vegetables you chopped two weeks ago have gone rotten. We’ll cover the bathroom more in-depth later, but get an air freshener in there ASAP. Do the dirty dishes and run the disposal in the sink if you have one — those are two big contributors to smelly spaces that you wouldn’t necessarily think of.
Go easy on the Axe. Many a well-intentioned man, realizing his place smells funky, will decide to give everything an Axe (or other scent) spray down. Mixing this smell with any other kind of odor is a recipe for disaster. A very light spray after you’ve cleaned is fine, but don’t be tempted to think that a thick coating will cover up the smells of your apartment.
Be Clean, Not Sterile
“All I care about is that it’s relatively clean, but not sterile looking. I do actually want to be in your apartment — not a furniture showroom.”
General cleanliness seemed to be the second biggest offender in a fella’s bachelor pad. A quick look on Reddit will show that ladies have far too often dealt with beer bottles strewn about, unmade beds, used dishes on every surface, etc.
Now, hopefully you know what general cleanliness looks like. But if you don’t, bring in a lady-friend of yours to give some pointers on what she’s seeing.
A few items to definitely take care of:
- Vacuum. No bachelor in the world vacuums his place enough. It really does wonders for how clean a place feels.
- Mop/dust any wood or tile floors. Even baseboards; apparently this is noticeable and makes a difference.
- Dust other surfaces — counters, shelves, wood furniture, etc. Pick up some Pledge and go all around the house. This is an easy job, and contributes greatly to overall cleanliness.
- Have the dishes done and away. All of them. This was perhaps my biggest offense as a bachelor. I would leave dishes out, all over my place, for days, and on rare occasions, for weeks (in which case it was easier to throw the dish away than try to clean it). Don’t do that.
- Make the bed. More on this later.
- Pick up your stuff. Be organized. Have a place for everything, and have everything in its place.
- It’s okay to have some quirk. The quote at the beginning of this section is a good indicator as to most women’s feeling on cleanliness based on the comments we saw. Not every surface has to be totally sterile, just organized. Have a small stack of books on the side table. Feel free to leave some work papers out on your desk. Most gals want a home to look lived in, not like a showroom.
Hint: This job will be easier if you have a weekly cleaning plan in place.
Display Your Personality
“Have something unique that reveals something about your personality: artwork on the wall, books, a modest set-up for their computer/TV/etc, a musical instrument, and so forth.”
You can be sure that once a woman enters your abode for the first time, she’ll be looking around for those things that display your hobbies and interests. She’ll take a look at your bookshelf, your DVD collection, the art/photos on your wall, and anything else she can find that shows your personality.
Get your hands on some manly art for your walls. Lose the posters of the babes. That’s for high school boys. Lose the never-ending sports memorabilia. Having a few pieces is fine, but having your pad draped in your team’s colors will be a turn-off. Don’t leave your walls blank, either. That would contribute to that feeling of sterileness mentioned above. Honestly, a trip to your local Goodwill for some cheap, framed art is one of your best bets. Landscapes are always a manly winner.
Put up some photos. In addition to hanging up some manly art, display some photos on your shelves or wall. Pick photos that say something about your life — you and your family, you in a different country, you at the finish line of a marathon. Pictures are some of the easiest conversation starters — your date will be sure to look them over and ask you questions about them.
Don’t hide things. Unless it’s a large photo of yourself above your bed (yes, one woman mentioned that), it’s probably okay to keep your nerdy collection/hobby out. Don’t feel the need to hide yourself. If there is something you enjoy, you’ll want your date to be okay with the things you care about and like to do. One woman mentioned she knew her boyfriend was the one when she got a look at his stash of board games; you never know what’s going to turn someone on. Just don’t go overboard. If you’re questioning whether it’s too much, it probably is.
Be prepared for some snooping. I don’t mean she’ll look through your closets or drawers. But you can bet that she’ll have a gander at your bookshelf or vinyl collection when you aren’t looking. Heck, maybe even when you are looking. One of the first things I do, almost by instinct, when I’m in a new place is check out their books. Don’t have anything in eyeshot that you’d be embarrassed of. Many ladies mentioned how impressed they were with a manly collection of books, so if you’re lacking, consider a trip to your used bookstore. It may even inspire you to actually read them!