How to Make a Great First Impression with Your Place

by Jeremy Anderberg on July 9, 2013 · 51 comments

in Dating, Relationships & Family

bachelorpad

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!

Pets

Be aware of pet sensitivities. It’s a good idea to have your pet corralled when a date first comes over, letting the critter out once you’ve given her the heads up. Ask ahead about pet allergies, and be sure to vacuum your furniture if you have a pet that likes to lounge with you on the couch.

Now let’s move on to specific rooms to pay special attention to.

Bathroom

“I asked him why he didn’t have toilet paper and he told me he only pooped at work so he wouldn’t have to buy any…I don’t even…”

Don’t be that guy.

Of any single room, the bathroom was mentioned as being the biggest offender in the first impression category. There are a lot of very simple considerations that men too often neglect. It often comes down to basic hygiene and common sense, so don’t get caught having not taken care of the following bathroom essentials:

  • Clean it. This is first and foremost. Wipe down every bathroom surface with a multi-purpose cleaner. Clean the toilet bowl so it’s sparkling white. Keep the vanity tidy.
  • As mentioned in the beginning, keep an air freshener in the loo. (Use one that’s subtly scented – not overpowering.)
  • Have toilet paper. Don’t let your date find an empty roll.
  • Have soap and a dry hand towel. Make sure the soap is fresh, and the hand towel laundered.
  • Have a trash can. This should be obvious. A woman might have a sanitary item she needs to throw away and if there’s no trash can, she’s really in a pickle.
  • Wash your hands. It’s obvious that you lack basic hygiene when you pop out of the bathroom immediately after the toilet flushes.

Kitchen

When I was a bachelor, I think I had one plastic cup, a few mismatched bowls, and a couple forks and spoons. I also had a nice collection of Pop Tarts, Chef Boyardee, and cheap coffee. How my then girlfriend married me is beyond me.

Have, at the very least, the essentials in your cupboards and pantry. Don’t know what the essentials are? Good thing AoM contributor Matt Moore has already helped us with that.

Have at least one set of matching dishes. That aren’t plastic.

Have more than just junk food. When you offer a snack to your date, you don’t want your only options to be Cheetos and instant mac and cheese. Have some fresh fruits and veggies on hand, pita chips and hummus, etc. Anything to class it up a little.

Offer a variety of beverages. One of the first things you should do when a date comes over is offer her a beverage. If your only options are water and beer, your gal won’t be too happy. Having juice, wine, mixed drinks, soda (bonus points for unique, craft varieties), etc. available conveys your thoughtfulness. As a bonus, you’ll be prepared for guests that drop by at other times as well.

Keep it clean. This has already been mentioned, but it’s worth mentioning again to keep the kitchen spick and span and smelling nice.

Bedroom

The bedroom is the most personal of all the rooms in our home. It can also be where we tend to let ourselves go a bit. An unkempt bed and clothes strewn about is a common find in men’s bedrooms. Don’t let that be you. If your most personal space is messy, it’s a good bet that’s closer to the real you than the rest of your place.

Make the bed. It’s good habit to do it every morning anyway, but it’s even more important when you’re giving your date a tour of your place. It shows that you care about the details.

Pick up your clothes. Have the laundry done so you don’t have an overflowing hamper, and have all your clothes folded and put away. Again, this is good practice anyway.

A bed frame and headboard helps. I never did this as a bachelor, but I found quite a few ladies who ran into fellas with mattresses simply on the floor. This is okay for a short period of time when you just move in, but head to Craigslist and get yourself a bed frame. It won’t be very expensive. If you want to splurge, get a headboard too. Both convey an impression of stability and put-togetherness that the mattress on the floor does not.

Many of these guidelines, if you’ll notice, are common sense. They force you to grow up and become an organized, disciplined man. Following these tips is good practice, period. You’ll impress not only a date, but your mom, your friends, and even that door-to-door salesperson (don’t buy a magazine subscription from him though – another lesson learned as a bachelor.)

What tips do you have to make a good impression for a lady coming to your place for the first time? Ladies, what tips do you have?

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andy July 9, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Presumably if your having a date come to your place, I expect you’ll be making something for tea. Make sure you know if she is a vegetarian or vegan! You don’t want to ruin your first impression by feeding a veggy, chicken or something. Many a story is told between my friends of things happening like this.

2 Phillip July 9, 2013 at 6:58 pm

My friend has a hyper clean home -it reminds me of a museum- and that always makes me feel somewhat ill at ease so I don’t visit too much anymore.

Joke:

My mother-in-law is a neat freak. She puts newspaper under the cukoo clock!

3 Pialbo July 9, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Making the bed “shows that you care about the details”? LOL
Women think we are smarter than that! :-D

4 Amanda July 9, 2013 at 8:37 pm

This would have been good to see before I went out the guy had NO furniture. Computer on the floor, TV on a stand, bed (not on the floor) and one torch lamp. He never offered me a glass of water and would even cook and eat in front of me without blinking. How I was okay with that for so long, I’ll never know . . . :/

5 Rachel July 9, 2013 at 8:50 pm

These are great tips! A couple more tips regarding the bathroom:
trash cash – empty it!
toilet seat – put it down! (girls really appreciate this)

6 Josh V July 9, 2013 at 9:05 pm

This isn’t something you can do easily, but if you move and you’re looking for a new place, investing a little extra for a place with character vs saving for a boring white box can do wonders. I paid a little extra for an odd shaped apartment with an amazing hearth and woodwork, and I got lots of compliments whenever I bring dates over.

7 andrew July 9, 2013 at 9:31 pm

This is an extension outside of the home, but I for one keep my car spotless, the interior at least. I do hand wash it every couple weeks though too. I’m a civil eng. so if im on a site I’ll be getting in typically with work boots on, covered in mud, cement dust, etc. But it takes 5 seconds to quickly vacuum that up when I get home. Same goes for if I drive people to my cottage for a weekend, a quick vacuum after the trip can maintain the interior looking brand new. I do a full go over of the interior about once a month, but more often than not people will ask how my car is so clean and I won’t have actually cleaned it for some time (in my vocab “some time” is a week).
Wiping the dash and surfaces down is super quick, i dont necessarily recommend the wipes (ex. ArmorAll), but whatever, it’s quick and makes a huge difference compared to a dust covered dash (which is extremely noticeable and gross).

Now back to the home. My year deck and patio are just as important to keep looking good as the kitchen and living room. Lawn cut, deck in good repair, patio is tidy and stones are level. Patio furniture is clean and nice looking (hell even Walmart has ok patio sets). BBQ is clean and cover not torn. Not only the grill, but the heat/flame diffuser isn’t coated in 3 years of drippings. The gate is balance so you dont have to lift it to open the latch. Things of that nature. I don’t however clean my fire pit often, a clean and spotless bottomed pit looks like you just took care of a body. Ok maybe not, but some ashes and a half charred log looks like you’ve entertained at least once.

8 Danyel J. Roberts July 9, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Great article. Helpful, and yet not patronizing. This could have easily had a naggy tone, but it didn’t. It was good to have the advice from someone who sympathized with the laziness that afflicts all gentlemen at some point in their lives. I mean, a lot of this article is common sense but, alas, a lot of people don’t have common sense, and we can all benefit from occasionally being reminded of the things we should be doing.

9 Jared July 9, 2013 at 10:11 pm

- Own/grow some indoor plants… and if that’s too difficult just buy plants that are super resistant to your laziness or pickup a few prior to her visit. It shows you can keep something other than yourself alive and protected.
- A good variety of items in the fridge and pantry are important as previously mentioned… think juices, fruits, and movie-type snacks (pretzels, popcorn, etc). Organize those food items in a glass bowl and put it on the table or bar. Put something like a drink or food in her hand upon arrival, especially if you’re boring and can’t maintain a conversation. Snacking or sipping a drink is always a good cover-up if you sense an uncomfortable silence approaching. Let her see you mix some drinks or cook… women like watching that for some reason *shrug*.
- Bedroom: Buy 2 sets of sheets and keep both extremely clean. Make the bed very presentable… no hairs, dust, or wrinkles. Beige seems to be an easy color to keep clean. Don’t pile junk under your bed. Have a nightstand with a lamp and something personal… keep rubbers in the nightstand (trash the box; she might not want to see that it’s previously opened). Having a flashlight and small pocketknife in the nightstand seems to make some girls more comfortable.
- Buy baking soda to absorb odor. Put some in your fridge and garbage cans (don’t forget the bathroom… and put a lid on that garbage can). Bonus: you can also use that baking soda to whiten your teeth.
- Update your lighting if you’re using those old gold-tone bulbs. It can make a huge difference. Natural lighting is also a plus.
- Buy oversized bath towels and keep ‘em clean/folded/available. Also stock up on a few extra toothbrushes, toilet paper, dental floss, shampoos, etc. Add in a bathrobe/slippers for yourself… women will want to stay again just so they can wear it eventually… joking, but they do love soft stuff like that!

That’s about all I can add for now, your article covered everything else. Cheers to being presentable.

10 I. M.M. July 9, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Ashtrays. Some women smoke and the first thing they want is an ashtray, like me.

11 Dane July 10, 2013 at 12:04 am

I laughed when I read “Offer a variety of beverages.” It reminds me of a youtube video that offers the exact same advice, titled “Keeping your refrigerator stocked will get you many women.” Haha!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBRL7D0wcXM

12 Joe July 10, 2013 at 1:07 am

I agree with Jared about the house plants. Spider plants and succulents look nice, are easy to care for, and can (in theory) help keep the air in your house fresh and clean.

I also agree about the lighting. Don’t use garish overhead lighting; get some subtle, nice, indirect lighting–it’ll make you look good (her, too)!

A bathroom tip: keep a small, unopened package of tampons or pads in a somewhat hidden location. This can be a life-saver to some poor girl who gets her monthly visitor at an unexpected and inopportune time. Should she find herself in this situation, she’ll almost certainly find and use your stash (though she almost certainly won’t say anything to you at the time), and this can go a long way toward letting her know that you’re an empathetic dude who is capable of considering the needs of others.

13 JJ July 10, 2013 at 4:28 am

Just like: “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.”

I had found the following decoration at my wive’s home (before we were married): “Clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy”

14 Atoms July 10, 2013 at 6:37 am

A few things I learned over the years:
1) Open all the windows and doors to get some fresh air inside. The longer the better.
2) Bake some cookies or something “homely” smelling before they arrive. When a guest walks in and it smells like chocolate chip cookies it can instantly make them feel at home.

15 Henry July 10, 2013 at 7:00 am

I definitely dig this article. Rolling along the lines of manliness, having a messy abode that looks and smells like armpits, unwashed bootyhole and Essence of Struggle compels a women to either a) be immediately turned off; and/or b) work towards reforming you. If the lady takes the posture of b), get ready to say good-bye to your Voltron posters, your Shaquille O’Neal or sports memorabilia, your throwback GI Joe action figures and your home will be turned into a lady cave. I have seen it happen and it killed my spirit as a man to see another man go through that. The good news is that it does not have to be that way! If you keep your place clean and smelling good, she will respect you as a man so if/when your lady becomes serious and she does move in, she’s not trying to flip the script on you, she’s negotiating with you. After all, you are your own grown man- not some lost child that needs some motherly attention. So I strongly agree with the need to have a clean apartment or living quarters. Bravo Jeremy!

For me, along with pictures, artwork does a lot of good talking in the pad. My family is from West Africa, so in my bachelor days, I had some nice paintings up, some cool picture books on the coffee table for the lady to check out, maybe some artifacts that my father gave me, that kind of thing. Stuff like that in your home says structure and values. What could possibly be more manly than that? So if your Irish, for instance, let your girl see it! Have some artwork, some landscape pictures and some books in plain view- they are good talking pieces.

16 Anthony July 10, 2013 at 7:31 am

Excellent tips, all. And even though it may be more important to *you* to have it clean when a lady is coming over, these are really just good home-maintenance tips. “Reasonably clean” is the standard I go for: too clean (that sterile look that the article mentions) and it looks like you scurried around cleaning before she got there, which suggests that clean is not the normal state. :) Boys that have matured into responsible men take care of their home: *that’s* the impression you want to make.

And guys don’t have a lock on messiness: a girl once gave me a tour of her house, but said I couldn’t see the bedroom because there was underwear on the floor. Both sexes suffer from laziness, and could benefit from these tips!

17 CJ July 10, 2013 at 8:22 am

I’m not too good about a lot of this stuff (there is literally nothing on the walls of my house. NOTHING. Although I have a wall-mounted guitar stand I need to install soon). But I’m really good with the bookshelf; I’ve always carefully regulated what I leave on the shelf and what goes into boxes in the closet. I’ve got books on philosophy, great novels, my engineering textbooks…in other words, my bookshelf makes me look like a genius.

And yes, I do regularly read or use all of them. They’re not just there to paint a false portrait of CJ the Intellectual.

18 rax July 10, 2013 at 9:03 am

Fantastic article. I graduated college a couple years ago and it’s been a gradual switch for me, but now I can proudly say that I have almost all the boxes checked above, and before I host or have anyone over I always make sure to have all of them checked. Now I have this handy checklist all collected in one place! To all you gentlemen out there balking at the task of transforming your place, I was there once too, and it’s totally possible! It’s actually really fun to class up your joint :)

19 J July 10, 2013 at 9:28 am

If you can afford to, get a cleaner. Job done.

Women tend to be better cleaners than men anyway, not in some ‘sexist’ way, but because they tend to have more attention to detail, and I say the same about women I have worked with in business too. They are much more detail focussed than the men I work with.

20 Rob L July 10, 2013 at 11:13 am

Since this article is geared more towards men who don’t normally keep their living space clean, chances are there are bugs. Throw some roach motels around but keep them out of site. Maybe spray the base boards and hang some fly paper (remove before the date gets there). This isn’t a quick fix so do this well in advance.

21 Hilton Henderson July 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm

” A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

Cicero

22 Chris July 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm

One note about the trash can in the bathroom – it’s always good to have a trash can with a lid so your lady guests can throw away tampons/whatever and we don’t have to see it. It also makes them less embarrassed about the whole thing.

23 Steven P July 10, 2013 at 5:41 pm

What about decorative swords and axes on the walls? Dead serious. My room is currently littered with them everywhere.

24 Walt the Wicked July 10, 2013 at 7:08 pm

The girl will want a toothbrush later that night or the next morning. Just buy a bunch of cheap pink ones. It is too difficult to keep track of whos brush is whos. That way if you have a bit of a collection of lady friends, they always think the pink toothbrush by the sink is theirs. Learnt this the hard way.

25 Taz July 10, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Thanks AoM, a very timely article for me!

The bin and towel in the bathroom were two good tips I hadn’t thought of myself.

I agree with the commenter who said having plants makes a huge difference to the feel of a home – recommended!

To get rid of smells beforehand I open the windows, turn on a fan for air circulation, and light a scented candle for an hour or two.

26 M.T. Amerson July 11, 2013 at 5:03 am

Most of these tips do seem like common sense, but I guess not every man gets it. Plus it’s nice to sometimes be reminded of the basics.

I especially liked the tip about having art/photos around the house. I tend to be utilitarian, so I don’t often think about things like decorating. Photography has gone digital, so my generation doesn’t print lots of photos; we share them on the web. I like the idea of having photos as an easy way to begin conversation.

I think another important thing to have at home is at least one comfortable space to sit. If you want her to stay, then you should create an atmosphere that she wants to stay in. Right now I’m staying in a place that’s kind of temporary, so I didn’t bother buying much furniture. When I have guests over we end up pulling a couple of chairs up to my desk, which isn’t very comfortable for socializing and it tends to make the visit slightly awkward. I’m throwing a party at my place soon, so I will probably remove everything from the desk and move it to the center of the room with the chairs arranged around it to create a more social atmosphere.

In the bathroom, I always put both the seat and the lid down. Covering the toilet after using it helps keep the smell down and you won’t hear complaints about leaving the seat up.

I’m pretty sure the ONLY time I make the bed is when I’m expecting a guest!

27 CitznKate July 11, 2013 at 5:59 am

Nice article.
One commenter stated that if one could afford to, one should hire a cleaner and consider the job done.
This is “kicking the can down the road.”
Basic personal hygiene includes keeping a clean living space. To relegate the housecleaning to being someone else’s job is to cultivate the marriage-wrecking habit of expecting the new wife to simply take over the job of the (previously paid) cleaning crew, in her spare time, after she gets home from her paying job.
I would recommend that if this commenter marries, he should be prepared to continue paying for that hired help if he expects his spouse to continue working outside the home. If he does not think he will be able to afford to do this, then he obviously cannot afford to get married unless he changes his personal habits.

28 James July 11, 2013 at 7:08 am

One thing I’ve noticed makes a huge impact on the smell of my place is cooking. I like Italian food and bacon. Did the ladies say anything about cooking scents being bad or good?

29 Lee July 11, 2013 at 7:29 am

This observation may apply more to a house than an apartment, but I’m used to the annoying habit that many hosts have of requiring guests to remove their footwear when they enter.

The problem is that in winter and in damp or rainy weather, they’re unintentionally asking their guests to spend the evening in wet socks or stockings as the footwear-removing area is unavoidably damp or wet. Also, when guests leave and need to put their footwear back on, they’re often forced to kneel down awkwardly to tie their laces or to slip their footwear on.

I wouldn’t ask a lady or any guest to remove her/their footwear but I’d offer her/them the option and I’d provide clean pairs of slippers and a small bench.

30 Chris L. July 11, 2013 at 10:48 am

At a certain point men need to “grow up” and that means decorating. Your apartment or home shouldn’t look like a random collection of crap you’ve collected from the street. It should look like it was put together with some thought. I know guys in their 30′s that bought a house, but it looks like something out of an 80′s frat movie.

Buy some decorating magazines and figure out what your sensibilities are (IKEA is a stop-gap, not a design look for the long-term). Do you like classic, mid-century modern, French Renaissance…? (If you like French Renaissance, reconsider.)

Better yet, get a girl (or gay friend) with a sense of style and have them look at your place with a critical eye. Whenever I go to someone’s house, I make mental notes of ideas I like and steal them.

At a certain point your home should look put together, not thrown together. It does require some thought and planning, but doesn’t have to be implemented in one day. It took me 11 months to find a couch and almost two years to find a desk that worked. I had a number of friends that would call about couches and shelves–people will look out for you. It’s also amazing what one can find at garage sales that can be refurbished cheap.

And to James on the cooking comment: I think the ladies would love to know that you can cook. In fact, you should cook her a meal sometime.

31 Gwen July 11, 2013 at 11:01 am

I wouldn’t actually call making the bed a small thing. Not because I care about it that much, but because it’s a quick thing that makes a huge difference to how neat the room looks. Do it.

If you have pets, clean up after them.

And I recommend keeping a nice snuggly throw blanket on the couch. They make the place look more homey, and there are a huge variety of them available to suit your tastes and give the place a bit of personality. And maybe you can snuggle up to watch a movie. :)

32 Robert Bain July 11, 2013 at 11:03 am

I’d like to add the general advice that you buy some real art. Go to a gallery that shows local artists and buy something you like. Having worked for framers in the past I was constantly amazed at the number of people who spend large amounts of money framing posters and uninteresting reproductions that hold no special value, but are just decorative place-holders.
If you can afford to have something professionally framed, you can afford an original artwork by a young or local artist, and they need your support much more than McGraw Hill or any of the other reproduction publishers.
Hell, you probably know an artist who might be willing to give you a discounted price or even barter, just be diplomatic in asking- remember, they’ve dedicated their life and often have expensive advanced degrees in their field, so treat their work (and education/labor) with respect.

33 Dries July 12, 2013 at 6:49 am

Bedframe: ESSENTIAL, or you will get fungus under your mattress (also better for your back and sexy times)
Making the bed: fold the sheets in half so the mattress can ‘air’ out, preferably have some sunlight fall on the mattress to kill all bugs and bacteria inside. Even better is having a drying wire in your bedroom to air out your blanket every day while your bed stays uncovered. I know my current wife was surprised in a good way when she saw that in my dorm room (health and cleanliness show responsibility and long term thinking, women dig that!) (btw, she was less impressed with my Winny the Pooh sheets I still had since childhood, get some manly covers…)

34 Rob July 12, 2013 at 10:20 am

Ah to have a ‘bachelor pad’. I live in London – pretty much no-one (young, at least) can afford an apartment to themselves because rent is so high! But having said, it’s very nice enjoying the camaraderie of housemates, so pros and cons I suppose.

35 Carol July 12, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Just remember, if you do these things to impress, but they aren’t actually your regular habits, then:
1. eventually the truth will come out
2. I’ll be disappointed you aren’t actually clean/neat/a reader, and the fine opinion you tried to cultivate will dissipate
3. I’ll wonder what else you’re presenting to me as you is also a sham, or in what other ways are you not being very honest
So, as the article suggests multiple times, make these regular habits of your own, not just something you do the first few times a lady comes over.

36 J July 13, 2013 at 5:14 am

@ CitznKate

Thanks for your reply.

Just to clarify.

My point was that if you are in the fortunate position of being able to afford a cleaner (all depends on how you allocate your disposable income of course) then why not do this?

This does not mean that your house is dirty or un-hygienic until the cleaner comes, but I am big believer in paying ‘experts’ to do things in life, or things that you don’t enjoy doing, especially if you can afford to.

So yes, you still do your own basic vacuuming, after-cooking cleaning etc, but ultimately, let’s be honest, most guys are not going to get their house as clean as a cleaner will so let them do their thing and you get to live in a spotless house.

Again, if you are fortunate to earn enough for a weekly cleaner, why spend time doing stuff you doesn’t enjoy or is not an expert in?

I also have a gardener. I feel they have a better eye for gardening than me and know the tricks of the trade and how to get the best out of a garden and it’s something they enjoy doing, so why not pay an expert to do it, rather than me doing spending hours on something I don’t enjoy outside of running my own business.

Also, you are giving someone a job / extra cash, surely a good thing?

On another note, like the comments about finding a local artist, it’s something I am trying to do myself at the moment for some canvasses.

Cheers

37 Ken July 13, 2013 at 5:40 pm

I laughed at Amanda’s story. Joe makes a good point about tampons, I had a friend who got caught that way. I like the extra toothbrush idea too.

Odours. If you can, wash curtains. Some synthetic curtains can be machine washed in COLD water and can be re-hung as soon as dry if line dried (do not use a drier as this will crease them.).

Second, open a window or preferably two for some cross ventilation an hour or two before she’s due. Then close them up but leave gaps. OK, not if it’s 40 below with a blizzard raging or you live next to a piggery. Crack open the window of the bathroom if there is one.

Third, remove and clean air conditioner and heating system filters every now and then.

Wash the shower curtain if you have one. Otherwise clean the cubicle.

Tidy up your car. Old food wrappers and cups do not impress. I’ve seen a car with cockroaches living in it. Ewww

A note to ladies and gentleman both. Please do not clutter guest rooms with the closets full of your unused old clothing. Your guests will want to lay out a few items and hang up a change of clothing. And please don’t clutter the floor.

38 Dave July 13, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Building on what the article says about smells — definitely get rid of the offensive odors, but also consider what to replace them with. Smells can provide a huge positive subconscious trigger for your lady, when she arrives. What do you want her to smell?

For me, I’d go for some kind of food –the smell of bread baking in the oven, or freshly brewed coffee.

You could then hand her a bunch of flowers, you had adorning the hall table — more smells …

… then lean in to give her a peck on the cheek, she smells your manly aftershave … etc etc etc.

39 Matthew July 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Can tell you’ve never had sisters.

Put the toilet seat down!

40 Moeregaard July 16, 2013 at 10:01 am

Good impressions: no laundry piled up on the couch, no dirty dishes in the sink, clean bathrooms (no ring in the toilet bowl) with TP and a box of Kleenex. Even though my facial tissue comes on a roll, most gals don’t like to blow their noses in toilet paper. For a real treat, bake a cake or pie together. You’ll have to find something to do while it cools, if you get my drift.

Bad impressions: Piles of dirty laundry on the floor, with more piles of clean stuff on the couch. A big brown waterline in the toilet and no soap or clean towels in the bathroom. Dirty dishes in the sink–with Jaguar E-Type parts in the dishwasher (it really does work, but most gals don’t get it). Gun-cleaning stuff on the coffee table or–worse–your guns where she can see them. Nothing like going upstairs for some happy time, closing the door, and there’s the shotgun leaning against the wall. You’ll soon discover where she stands on that issue.

41 Manly Man July 16, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Here are some suggestions to others and for addition to any future article on the subject.

1. Get a cleaning lady. Have them come once a month. In most geographic areas this service costs around $50. If you are any kind of professional and a bachelor you can afford this. In between cleanings just wipe down counter tops and other surfaces once a week. It should take you less then an hour. This will leave your place clean and presentable all the time.

2. Get a few lightly scented candles. Light one in the bathroom and it will do wonders. However don’t deck out your apartment with so many candles so it looks like it is out of a cheesy soft core adult video.

3. Get a real nice book shelf and put books on it that reflect your personality. One of the greatest works of art a man can have is a beautiful bookshelf well stocked with well worn and read books.

4. Update your lighting. Get rid of the mismatched lamps and drop a few hundred dollars on some nice lamps. Cheap, but decent looking, lighting is available at most big box stores or online.

5. Get a set of matching dishes. They come in a giant heavy box and can be purchased at most big box stores for around $50 for service for 4-6. Do the same for glassware. A decent box of matching glasses should cost around $20. Update your barware too. Keep it simple but have a selection of appropriate glassware. No one, including your date, wants to drink wine from a coffee mug. Same rings true for basic cooking ware.

6. Throw some fresh sheets on the bed if you think she will be spending the night. After she leaves throw those sheets into the washing machine.

7. Any man older then 28, with stable professional employment, should have real furniture and not just a collection of mismatched furniture acquired in college. Go to a real furniture store, find a style that suits you, and buy some actual furniture. Yes, it is expensive, but most stores have zero percent financing for a few years. Just put it in your budget to pay off over the life of the loan and you will have furniture for the next twenty years. If you keep it in good condition you can generally sell it second hand for about half of what you paid for it. Not a huge return on the investment but at least it is something.

8. Whatever you do when decorating you place try to stay away from the stereotypes such as frat house, playboy pad, etc. No women wants to come into your apartment and see a round bed that rotates or your customized beer pong table.

9. When she does come over do not try too hard. Keep it cool and casual. Women view going to a guys apartment as both intriguing but also apprehensively because the first time is both exciting but she is also thinking about her safety. Think of it as entering foreign territory that may be hostile because that is what her mindset is like. Don’t cow toe to her like you are her vassal, but do offer basic hospitality like taking her coat, providing a glass of water and snack if dinner is far off, etc. Make your home feel warm and inviting to her. It’s a big deal for most women to feel at ease in their man’s home. It is one of those big checkboxes on her list.

10. Yeah (for most guys) having their date within a few steps of their bedroom gives them ideas. But, do not assume you are going to “seal the deal” merely because she came over for dinner, especially the first time. If, after dinner, it looks like she wants to make an exit let her. Don’t try to ply her with excessive amounts of alcohol or “put the moves” on her. This does not mean that you can’t or shouldn’t keep your game tight, just don’t try too hard. That is a big turnoff for women. And, yes, she really might have to get up early for a meeting or have some other legitimate reason where she might need to leave and not spend the night.

11. Unless you are in a long term relationship do not let women keep stuff at your place. Contrary to what most men would think, It will not make her want to come over more. Don’t ask me why. It is just how the mind of a woman works. Keep a spare toothbrush and some other basic hotel like amenities around, but that is it. If she is coming over for the night she can bring whatever she likes in her bag. Just do not let her things start piling up in your bathroom. And don’t go overboard with the amenities either. That just looks either plain creepy or like you are some sort of play boy.

12. A small but huge thing. Buy a travel sized hair dryer. Most guys have no use for one but most women require it if they shower and wash their hair. If she asks why you have one make up a story about how an an old flame left it or the time you decided to grow your hair long and follow around a rock band.

13. Have her bring something when she comes over, like a bottle of wine or a side dish. For whatever reason, when you do this a woman then has a mental stake in the dinner date at your place. It helps warm them up to the entire date idea.

14. Learn how to make five or so basic recipes and make them well. The apartment dinner date is a good one to keep in your rotation. It is a lot lighter on the wallet then constantly going to the new trendy restaurant or night spot and it usually ends with her spending the night and the “fun” associated with that activity.

42 Kristy July 18, 2013 at 12:30 am

in all your cleaning don’t forget to change the sheets, very important !!!!!

43 Kat July 19, 2013 at 3:23 am

This is a really important thing and I noticed it when dating guys and when living with them:

Make sure you clean under and behind the toilet bowl. Even if you’re being accurate when peeing, inevitably some will end up on the floor and this builds up over time. A toilet with streaks down the pedestal or a honky smell down the back is a major turn-off!

44 Brian July 22, 2013 at 10:44 am

Well I would not call myself a clean freak but at least I am not a slob. Most of the things mentioned in this article I do or have, such as, trash can in the bathroom, vacuum, dust, good collection of books, put the toilet seat down, matching furniture. Everything in place just in case, (just bought new bed sheets) but I am still single. It still baffles me as to why, and the only conclusion I can come up with is I am not cute, hot or tall.

45 Jakub July 25, 2013 at 2:29 am

“I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.”

46 Esther September 18, 2013 at 7:58 pm

A few more pointers:

1- don’t overscent the place
2- use a mattress cover between the mattress and the sheets. Easily purchased on Amazon, specify 100% cotton, deep sides, to fit. Guys, putting sheets on a filthy spotted mattress, that’s gross!
3- YES on the bi-weekly housekeeper. will keep floors, furniture, bathroom and kitchen clean. Have first dates the weekend after houskeeping day. Makes for good discipline, you have to put things away the night before the housekeeper comes.

47 Alex November 3, 2013 at 1:49 pm

This is actually a very good advice about inviting a date home. But to my story;
I do not recommend this to anybody at all!
I am an average messy guy, and if I knew I was bringing someone with me at home this very evening, I would of course cleaned my apartment before. This happened on a school day, I got into a group project with a cute girl. We talked a bit, and she said she would like to come over to my place to get this project finished since it was due tomorrow, and me without a second thought agreed to this. So she came home with me, saw my messy apartment, and I thought she would turn around at the door, but no. She said it was a bit messy for her taste, but it could work. We finished the project, watched a movie (scary of course), and started making out. When the evening was over, she got picked up and said she would like to come over in the weekend. And since I got a heads up, I obviously cleaned my whole apartment.
So long story, short; My first impression at school was apparently so good that she would like to see me again.

And again, I do NOT recommend this to anybody. Just wanted to share my date-cleaning story with you.
By the way, the weekend’s dinner was: Tenderloin from deer, aspargus wrapped in bacon, a very light gravy and a glass of Merlot at the side.

48 K November 4, 2013 at 6:33 am

Another vote for putting the toilet seat down!

49 Aaron November 19, 2013 at 11:06 am

I wanted to toss in my .02 worth. I’m 50, been divorced for a while and live in a large house in the countryside of Arkansas. In reply to the one poster’s comment about guns in the corner..well, if your girl is of the anti-gun variety, it’s best that you know it early. I have most of mine locked away in the gun safe, but I do keep my .45 in it’s shoulder holster hanging from my dresser mirror when I’m not wearing it. My girlfriend seems more comforted by it than off-put.

I have the luxury of a fairly nice house and mostly new, matching furniture, but my house comes off as a bit sterile. I like it clean. I have some guitars out in the living room, that I often play (a big hit with girls), but as far as plants or art, boys, I’m lost with that. I would welcome some advice on giving my place a little more style.

This winter, I’m thinking of riding my Harley into the living room, parking it on a mat and detaining it while the weather’s bad. Any thoughts as to what women might think about this? I have a huge living room, so there’s room for it. Just wondering.

Peace, y’all…

50 H. M. December 12, 2013 at 1:11 am

Guys, if you use a razor, body/nose trimmer of any kind or nail clippers of any kind, DO NOT…. I’m begging you… DO… NOT… leave the hair/nail trimmings for your girl to find all over the faucet – in the sink – on the faucet handles – around the vanity. That’s nasty. That’s one of the things that really annoyed me about my first boyfriend, and I will never forget. My dad and brother do this too, they leave fingernail clippings laying about in the sink. It does NOT take that much time to take your old towel and wipe your sink down, and then replace your old towel with a fresh one right before she comes over.

51 kt February 10, 2014 at 12:59 am

Years ago I visited my brother while he was in college. Their place looked pretty good, but it just stank…

I picked up a fantastic candle at Williams-Sonoma for them that had a great masculine smell: Spiced Chestnut. I believe it’s seasonal around the holidays, only, but the spicy smell was perfect for a men’s apartment.

Great article. Wish more of the guys I had dated in college would have followed this, although none were as gross as my own brothers ;-)

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