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Nullo's avatar

"The Young Man's Guide To Bachelorly Domestic Tasks" would include...

Asked by Nullo (21973points) February 28th, 2011

Tips and tricks for the first-time apartment-renter. Yours?

I got the idea from thinking about the laundry questions that I have so far asked.

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13 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

For some reason I want to say that the pepper grinder must be filled when it stops grinding pepper. It requires real peppercorns. It can not be bought in one of those little boxes. Only fresh pepper will do. It goes really well with potatoes.

tedd's avatar

Do your damn dishes, and don’t stick with room mates who don’t do theirs.

Vacuum regularly, ESPECIALLY if you have any pets.

Lock the doors, even if you live in a nice neighborhood.

If you have room mates, don’t live with someone who even though they may be a nice person, may have unsavory friends over. Also if you have room mates, don’t be a dick or sloppy for them.

tranquilsea's avatar

Clean your bathroom really well. I’ve known too many guys who, for some unknown reason, didn’t give their bathrooms a thought beyond using it to shit, shave and shower.

That is a real turn off if you ever have a girlfriend or potential girlfriend over.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Try to save water and energy, even if they are included in the rent.
If you don’t, you can expect your rent to go up next time.

YoBob's avatar

It is much easier to wash your dishes and put them away after each use rather than let them pile up to the point where you could be accused of manufacturing biological weaponry in the bottom of your sink.

Kardamom's avatar

Make sure to keep your bathroom clean, clean, clean. This means keeping the counters wiped and the mirrors and the sink wiped clean of toothpaste and other stuff that you spat into the sink. Keep the floor swept and mopped (to get rid of all the hair and dust that collects there). And keep the tub, shower and shower curtains cleaned. Don’t let mildew or mold or skin flakes or hair accumulate in there. And make sure that you have a trashcan next to your toilet, that you empty regularly (for your lady friends to deposit their sanitary items, and for everyone else to put their used nose-blowing tissues).

Keep the kitchen immaculately clean. Invoke the “clean sink” rule. Never leave dirty dishes in the sink. Wash them immediately or put them into the dishwasher. Make sure the sink itself is clean and not covered with mildew or food scraps (it looks disgusting and will make your kitchen and your house stink). Regularly run the garbage disposal with some ice cubes and a slice of lemon and the water running to make sure that anything you put down there has gone away. The garbage diposal is another place of disgusting mystery smells if you don’t service it regularly.

Sweep, vacuum and mop your floors regularly (at least once a week) to keep hair and dirt and crumbs and sticky spills from getting worse (or looking terrible or smelling bad, or attracting more crud). Vacuum your couch cushions, and chair cushions too, at least once a week (and actually take them off the couch and chairs so that you can vacuum underneath and remove any crumbs) Then, use Febreeze on the cushions. If your cushions are actually dirty, either take the covers off and wash them, or get some fabric cleaner like Resolve. No one wants to see or sit on dirty cushions or couch pillows. Yuck!

Remove and wash your bed sheets once a week.

Keep the inside and the outside of your refrigerator clean (use Simple Green or 409 to wipe it down) Check at least once a week for expired food and get rid of it. Clean up any spills or leaks inside the fridge immediately, or else the fridge will start to stink.

Keep the counters and the stove and the oven clean. If you spill anything, wipe it up immediately, or else your kitchen will start to stink.

Keep a bulletin board/dry erase board in the kitchen or mudroom or by the back door so that you can write messages to yourself and your roomates for phone messages, grocery lists, appointments, emergency phone numbers etc.

Make sure you buy toilet paper and paper towels before you run out of them. Always have at least one extra roll of toilet paper in your bathroom (in plain sight) when you have guests, so that they don’t have to search through your cabinets or yell through the door to you to bring more (this is especially embarassing for female guests). Put a roll of paper towels or a clean hand towel on your towel rack if you have company.

Keep your medicine cabinet stocked with an OTC pain reliever, anti-diarrheal med like Pepto Bismol, anti-nausea med like Imodium, sore throat lozenges like Cepecol, Chloraceptic or Halls, bandaids and rubbing alcohol, and a decent pair of tweezers for removing splinters (sterilize before and after each use by boiling or soaking in rubbing alcohol) and a pill form laxative like Ex-lax, Carter’s or Dulcolax. These are things that you will want to have around and may not have the time or ability to run down to the drugstore to get.

Make sure that you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and get enough fiber and water and try to limit the fast foods, processed foods and soda and alcohol. Learn to cook some basic dishes, get yourself a decent (easy to follow) cookbook.

Get some basic kitchen equipment such as a small sauce pan for cans of soup, a medium sauce pan for making spaghetti sauce, a big stock pot for boiling spaghetti or cooking chili or boiling potatoes, a small frying pan for making eggs and a big frying pan for sauteeing vegetables or making chicken, an egg turning spatula, a ladle, a whisk, a big 2 pronged meat turning fork, some wooden spoons, some rubber spatulas of various sizes, a big colandar or wire strainer for pasta, and a smaller sized wire strainer for straining cans of beans or washing small veggies or fruit, a cheese grater, a tea kettle, salt and pepper shakers, paper towel holder, a cookie sheet (for cookies or to put under your pot pie or pizza), a roasting pan (for cooking meat and vegetables in the oven) foil, plastic wrap and various sizes of tupperware, measuring cups for both liquid and dry measure and measuring spoons, and at least one full set of 4 coffee cups, 4 plates, and 4 bowls and flatware, plus a good pairing knife, a chef’s knife if you’re so inclined, and a serrated bread knife. And at least 8 drinking glasses (for when you break one or your have guests).

Purchase non-perishables when they are on sale to keep in the pantry: canned beans, canned tomatoes, dry pasta, condiments (salsa, mustard, ketchup) boxed mac and cheese, soup and broth, so that you will always have something to eat.

Keep a set of office supplies: paper for your printer, pencils, pens, envelopes and stamps and a letter opener, a couple of sharpie pens and a highlighter, paper clips and a stapler.

Keep cleaning supplies on hand: Bleach, Simple Green or 409 or Fantastik, glass cleaner, laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, paper towels, toilet cleaner and brush, wet wipes for the counters and outside of the toilet, broom, whisk broom and dustpan, mop and bucket (or swiffer mop handle and disposable wet mop covers) vacuum cleaner and extra bags, microfiber duster (like swiffer). Carpet stain remover, Febreeze and Fabric cleaner like Resolve (for couch cushions and pillows).

Get a couple of hanging file folder boxes with files and start making categories to keep yourself organized. Files might include such things as rent payments, health and car insurance, warranties on purchases, receipts, correspondence with the landlord, school schedules, repairs and maintenance, emergency contact info etc. Don’t let your paperwork get out of hand or get dispersed around the house or get lost. Keep things organized and pay your bills immediately, and keep track of what you paid, how much you paid, check number and to whom you sent the checks.

The most important things are to be clean and organized and pay your bills on time.

sakura's avatar

I think @kardamom has it pretty much covered just one more thing have a jar that you can just dump any spare change in you will be surprised how much you collect plus it always comes in handy

josie's avatar

Never go to bed with dishes in the sink.
Scrub every surface in the bathroom once a week.
Hang up your clothes, and put your shoes away.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Every time you head out the door, take trash or recyclables with you.

YoBob's avatar

So… let me try to put what most are saying into “guy perspective”.

Once you get on top of things it’s much easier in the long run to do the little things that keep you there rather than having to periodically fight your way out of the hole. And if that ain’t enough to convince you to deal with the whole domestic maintenance thing, should by some stroke of cosmic fate that chick of your dreams agrees to come back to your place, having clean sheets, a made bed, a bathroom that doesn’t give you the urge to put paper on the seat, and a kitchen that does not make you fear catching a disease that doctors are still trying to figure out a name for from your coffee cups will go a whole lot further to landing her for keeps than any gymnastics you can pull off in the heat of passion.

Kardamom's avatar

@YoBob Yeah, that’s what I was trying to say, but you said it more succinctly! : )

A disgusting house that looks dirty, smells bad and seems like it is in a state of chaos is a real turn off, even if you like the guy a lot.

One thing that I left off of my list from above was make sure to keep your laundry clean and not let your hamper overflow with dirty clothes. The smell of dirty socks is one of the worst things on earth.

Oh yeah, and for your junk drawer, make sure you have scissors, scotch tape, masking tape and duct tape, some nails, various screws a hammer and at least 2 screw drivers (one with a Phillips head and one with a slotted head, plus 2 of the same in a tiny size (for fixing eyeglasses and other small items) and a pair of needle nosed pliers, and a wire clipper.

And for the kitchen/cleaning supplies area: Freezer ziplock bags, sandwich sized ziplock bags and a public container of hand sanitizer and trashbags for any trashcans you might have (and just another gentle reminder about having a trashcan in the bathroom for the ladies, they’ll love you for it!!!)

And buy frozen cheese pizzas when they are on sale. You can add whatever toppings you like, but you’ll never go hungry. : )

sonataking05's avatar

@Kardamom I’m assuming you’ve had some bad roommates in the past, or like me your a touch OCD. LOL

@YoBob I like how you said “guy perspective” as opposed to dumb it down like most others would have.

The only thing everyone missed and this I learned trying to keep the ladies happy is, Even if its all guys in the house put down the toilet seat. If you teach yourself this on seemingly insignificant step now, then when you do get a steady girlfriend or wife it will already be instilled in your habits. Trust me its something that you will hear about on very frequent occasions.

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