You’re not a child anymore. You’re a man. You show up to a job and they remind you to come again next week by giving you a paycheck. You wear clothes that your mother did not pick out for you.

Good for you. Before you bring a girl home to mama, she’s gonna come back to your place. This is where most guys need help. You have brought a woman back to your apartment and she has laughed at your jokes. She has likely shaved two thirds of her body for this. The least you can do is get a one-bedroom house in order.

Let’s get started..

I’m embarrassed to say how much I love this fucking V6. It feels more like a power tool than a cleaning aid. Like you’re cleaning your house with a leaf blower.

1. Dust.
Take anything off your shelf if it collects dust—wine, that bottle of absinthe from your junior year abroad, mounted plastic fish that sing jaunty songs. Dust is your way of knowing that you never use or need it.

2. Organize your bookshelf.

Toss any book that has that old college USED sticker on it. You’re a man, not a graduate, and this is a date that’s going well, not a job interview. You know how no one has ever asked for your GPA in real life? Your dates also won’t.

3. Stock up on sparkling water.

Here’s your new date ritual: When you go out, put a nice bottle of sparkling water in the crisper. Get a case of them sometime at the store and stash ’em warm. They cost like a buck, if that. If things don’t go great, you’ve got a little treat to come home to that isn’t pounding whiskey by yourself (guilty). If they go real great you’ll look classy AF, pulling it out of your fridge like it’s totally normal. Plus you’ll be your own best friend the next morning even if you do pound the whiskey.

4. Also stock up on toothbrushes.

Individually wrapped toothbrushes. I know. I know you were at the dollar store and high-fived yourself for even thinking of getting that 12-pack for *winks at self in security mirror* “house guests.” Toothbrushes are basically free. Remember when you’d go to the dentist as a kid and get a little toy out of the chest for being good? That’s what those free samples are for now. Stock up.

5. Invest in a vacuum cleaner.

I’m embarrassed to say how much I love my $500 Dyson V6. It feels more like a power tool than a cleaning aid. Like you’re cleaning your house with a leaf blower. Its battery lasts about 14 minutes and every day I race to do the bathroom floors, the living room tile, the piano room parquet and my bedroom’s tongue-in-groove with the same attachment. If a girl walks barefoot from your bedroom to the bathroom: you better hope she wants to make that walk back.

6. Jar miscellaneous seeds, oats and everything else.

Get a case of jars. From the hardware store. Like a badass. That half box of cereal absorbing moisture? Jar it. The sunflower seeds for the paleo lunches you don’t pack anymore? Put’ em in a jar! Oats. Raisins. That weird candy your ex brought back from Christmas in Oslo that she loves and you think is made of actual Swedish fish: Put it in a krukke! (That’s the Norwegian word for jar. See, Søta, I do listen to you when you talk!)

7. Clean your bathroom.

Before you leave, scrub the toilet and the sink once. Leave it sparkling and with the faintest scent of cleaner. If you want extra credit, leave the bowl blue and be like, “Oh, sorry, I’m just so fastidious about not having a gross bathroom, but not in an OCD way…”

8. Get yourself a nice silverware set.

Matching forks and dishes. Brah. This is your house. Not your beach house.

9. That includes nice knives.

A chef’s knife that you know how to use. Anthony Bourdain for the win: “Most of the professionals I know have for years been retiring their Wusthofs and replacing them with the lightweight, easy-to-sharpen and relatively inexpensive vanadium steel Global knives, a very good Japanese product which has—in addition to its many other fine qualities—the added attraction of looking really cool.”

10. Method over madness.

We’ve all had that boss who has got “a system.” That system is usually convoluted and time-consuming. If you think it’s too uptight to label things and have your life organized and have a special shelf just for spices, think of how great it is when you walk into a good craftsperson’s workshop and you can see where everything should go. And think of what you could do in there. That’s what she wants. Because, admit it, there’s some work to be done in there.