When I was single and living alone, I didn’t have guys over unless I really trusted them and really wanted them there. I preferred to go to their place so I could leave whenever I wanted. So if I knew a guy was coming over, I’d initially get a little freaked. I was living in a tiny studio apartment alone! Not caring about the tidiness of the floors or the mildew status on the shower curtain! If I didn’t have a ton of time to clean, I’d take these quick steps to make sure the apartment was not completely horrendous to the point that he would never come back. The point wasn’t to impress him or lie. It was actually an excuse to get my life together. Like, Lauren, you should have something besides cheese in your fridge! And Lauren, you need to wash your sheets more! And Lauren, you might be an alcoholic! Getting ready for a guy to come over gave me a lot of self-awareness. So you know what? Even if you aren’t having a guy over, do these things. Then your apartment will be all prepped and ready for action.

1. Fix the milk situation. If you only drink milk so occasionally that there is a perpetual carton of spoiled milk in the fridge — a perpetual carton of spoiled milk that has started to make the whole fridge smell bad but you don’t care because you live alone — you should always check to make sure nothing needs to be thrown away. In fact…

2 Tackle the whole fridge situation in general. Why are there only Reggiano Parmesan rinds in there? Where’s your fruit, girl?

Related: 15 Vows for Dating a Vegetarian (and 8 Promises Vegetarians Should Make to You)

3. Change the vacuum cleaner bag. I know you two are probably not going to end up vacuuming,  unless you’re into that kind of stuff. But what if you actually needed to vacuum something?! What if he was like, “oh let me just vacuum this real quick” and he picked up your vacuum cleaner and it was all stuck and not working because you haven’t used it in 8 months? Oh. And while we are at it…

4. Vacuum. You just changed the bag. [Ed note: Or, if you're me, this step should read "Buy a vacuum, grownup!"]

5. Take the 18 bottles of Malbec that are lining your walls down to recycling. You’re not hiding anything; he just doesn’t have to know everything about your habits.

Related: A Drink for Every Stage of Your Relationship

6. Hide your copy of The Rules. I am actually serious about this. I own this book, as it is one of my favorites (for comedic reasons). But it is really hard to explain that to people. I just don’t want to go into it with anyone. Also, in all seriousness, one of The Rules is actually “hide this book before a man comes over.”

7. Check your medicine cabinet! Here’s what should be there: contact solution (even if you don’t wear contacts) and band-aids. You know he is going to look, and nothing that should actually be there is any of his business. Put that stuff in the oven because you  never use the oven. Oh wait…

8. Clean the oven. Doesn’t it feel good to be the kind of person who could use her oven if she wanted? The kind of person who doesn’t store clothes in her oven or has an oven that is so filthy because she doesn’t know what to do with it? Actually, before you clean it…

9. Bake some cookies. And take them out of the oven just before he arrives so he is like, “mm it smells good in here I bet you are nurturing!” Hahaha just kidding. I heard that in a rom com once and it made me laugh for days.

10. Clean your sheets. If the only good thing that happens from this date is that your sheets got cleaned, then that’s a pretty good day.

Related: How to Make Your Apartment “Date Ready”

11. Clear your browser history on your computer. The whole evening will be more relaxing, I promise you.

12. Clean your cat’s litter box. Haha, just kidding. I’m not going to assume you have a cat.

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