Are you a dude? Do you have your own place? Did you just move out of your parents' home or break up with your girlfriend? Maybe you just got divorced?
"Back off with the questions, dude."
The point is, if you're a dude and reading this, you're probably pretty gross. I mean, not any grosser than your dude friends, maybe not even grosser than your dear old dad before he got domesticated. But as a man, you're probably prone to not sweating some small details when it comes to the gentle art of nesting. Your apartment sucks, is what what I'm saying.
"Dude, you are really insulting, you know that?"
I know that sometimes having a nice place takes money, and I'm certainly not looking down on any who can't shell out the bucks for a nice pad. As a newly divorced man, I'm currently living in a discarded shipping container previously used for mailing faulty sex toys to Third World countries without product safety requirements. But that's precisely why I've learned some simple and cheap ways to keep your place from looking like a frat house, so if someone comes over -- a boss, a colleague, or perhaps someone you want to have sex with -- they won't step inside and go "gross."
#5. Manage Your Garbage
Okay, the very first thing a guest is going to notice about your apartment is the ornate 17th-century chandelier that reflects the light of its 100 lit candles, which you have meticulously maintained for their visit. Oh, you don't have one of those? Then I guess the first thing they'll notice is if your apartment smells. Don't be the guy with the stinky apartment. The fixes are simple.
You could buy this for 8.2 million dollars or follow my 89 cent fix.
What smells? Usually your garbage. Remember, you're living alone now, and your garbage doesn't fill up as fast. Your garbage may only be half full, but still completely vile, much like the brain of Cracked's own Felix Clay. So what can you do? Well, I guess you could throw away your garbage every day even though it's only one-fifths full. Another idea is save those stupid little bags they give you at the drug store or convenience shop and use those as your garbage. You'll fill them up daily and toss them daily. Or you can do what I do: keep smaller bags handy to toss the raw meat scraps, onions, garlic, and other stuff that rots and stinks, then tie those bags up and toss them into your larger garbage.
Also, another cheap way to keep your place from making guests vomit from stench is getting those cheap-ass Air Wicks. You can get them for literally 89 cents, and they last for months.
And they make a great conversation piece, too!
#4. Use Sneaky Furniture to Conceal Clutter
Y'know what else makes your apartment looks like a frat house?
Well yes, a keg, but that wasn't where I was going with this.
What I was going to say (before I repeatedly interrupted myself for limited comedic effect) was that nothing makes your grown man's apartment look more like a child's flophouse than just leaving crap everywhere. I get it -- life is busy and hectic, and you don't always have time or money to make sure everything has a place. But you should. Making things have places is important. If you don't pick a spot where things will live, then your apartment will actually never be clean. That hammer or pair of scissors or mail will just migrate from breakfast table to coffee table to a pile on the floor, and never find a home.
So how do you deal cheaply with all your shit everywhere? Your bills, your overdue library book notices, your papers from work, your application to partake in a clinical trial for a pharmaceutical to help with chronic masturbation? The answer, my friends, is an ottoman you can hide stuff in.
This is a thing that exists.
It's the most expensive suggestion on this list, but I've seen it for 30 bucks or less. And it's so worth it, because even if you're a total slob, you can hide all traces of it within minutes of finding out you'll have company.
#3. No Greasy Dishes
So I'm going to assume you don't have a dishwasher in you crappy apartment. Hey, me neither. There are no judgments here -- you're in a safe place. A safe clean place that doesn't smell like your shithole apartment. Anyway, there's a good chance that if your house guest hasn't been driven off by a foul odor or the sight of piles of crap everywhere, they will stay long enough to eat or drink something. This is another chance for you to look gross waiting to happen.
Don't hand your guest a greasy coffee mug with a ring in it. Don't hand them a glass with fingerprints on it. Don't hand them a flaming bag of poo.
"Yeah, I wasn't going to do that. Now you're just being insulting."
It's hard to get dishes really clean without a dishwasher. You're not going to sit in front of a sink filled with bubbly water wearing your apron and rubber clothes like a 1950's cartoon. It's just not realistic. I get it. And if you rinse your stuff with a dingy sponge (and sponges do get gross after about 4.8 seconds of hanging out on your counter) your stuff will never really be clean. What can you do?
You can get one those dish sponges with soap in the handle.
This thing. Does it have a name?
Its good because it puts your hand far away from the water, which means you can use really hot water, and hot water and soap are both needed to get dishes really clean.