5 Life Hacks to Class Up Your Single Guy Apartment
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."
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!
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.
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.
Related: Don't Eat Seasonal 'Cannibal Sandwich' With Raw Ground Beef, Warns Wisconsin Dept. of Health
Avoid Clothes Piles and Make Laundry Easier
So we talked about the ottoman with the hiding spot for your junk, but what about your clothes? Clothes left everywhere is another way to tell your house guest you wish your mom still laid out your outfits in the morning. Is that the message you want to send? Is it? Is it, really?
"Again with the questions. Seriously, you have a problem."
No, of course it's not. I'm not saying be a good boy and do your laundry weekly. Of course you're not going to do that. You read Cracked.com for advice on how to keep a nice apartment, so clearly you're not into doing laundry responsibly. But can I make one small request? At least get a laundry bag. No, not a pillow case you throw your clothes in, not a garbage bag, and not a pile of clothes on the floor. Hell, I don't even want you to get a real plastic hamper for your clothes. Why? Because while a real hamper will hide your clothes, you'll probably do laundry even less frequently if you have to take your clothes out of a hamper and put them into something else to transport them to the laundry.
For literally one dollar, you can buy a laundry bag. Hang the bag on a hook, or keep it in the corner of your closet and just throw your disgusting man-clothes in it. At the very least, you'll have a place besides under your bed to keep your stuff if someone does come over. But more importantly, when your bag is full, you will want to do laundry, and it will be easy to do so. Carry your clothes to the laundry. They're already in a bag, y'know.
No More Musty Towels
If you have a crappy apartment, then odds are decent you might not have a window in your bathroom. I'm not going where you think. I'm not talking about airing the place out after a bathroom visit. Instead, this entry is about about musty towels. Without a dryer to dry them daily, or at least a window to air them out, your bath towels will smell like a Petri dish after about two uses. It's not feasible for you to be running to the laundry every two days, or to buy three sets of towels just so you can have one week of not making your skin smell like a fungus bog after a shower that's supposed to be making you clean.
What a brand new towel looks like after one shower in a windowless bathroom (If it were a slice of cheese. Shut up. That's hard to get a picture of).
So here's something you can do. Hang your towels after you use them, and not on a hook. Hanging them on a hook deprives the towel of surface area. All the wet parts are bunched up. So first, hang them on a hanger, and hang the hanger on the hook.
Then, and I know this sounds crazy, but have you considered just putting a fan in your bathroom on low? Like a 20 buck rotating fan. It works. Your stuff dries faster than it would before. It takes a week to get moldy. What it costs you in slight energy bills, it saves you in laundry fees. (And don't tell me its worse for the environment, when it means you're doing fewer washes and using less soap, water, and energy.
Also, if you have a mat in your bathroom, throw it out. Those things never ever get dry.
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