Sometime in the fall of 2012, I was attending an art festival in Tempe, Arizona. After a few hours of perusing paintings, crafts, photography and other artwork, I texted my friend Jim, who lived in the area. He invited me over.
Within milliseconds of entering through the front door, the stench of guy hit me. We’re talking stale dude body odor. Not attractive. That was the first red flag.
I then noticed stuff strewn everywhere. It was as if a tornado had gone through the place an hour ago. We were off to a terrible start. Stale guy smell and disheveled apartment. But wait, there’s more. It gets worse. A lot worse.
Within five seconds of entering the place, I concluded that this dude’s apartment was decidedly non-chick-friendly. I then told him and his roommate that I needed to use the bathroom.
I immediately emerged from their bathroom and told Jim and his roommate, “There’s no toilet paper.” Jim threw me a stack of Wendy’s napkins. I was incredulous. He then said, “We’re bachelors.” I exclaimed, “Yeah, and it’s gonna stay that way until you guys get some toilet paper!”
I then went back into the bathroom to take care of business. I sat down on the toilet and noticed that the floors were soiled to the point of blackness. The carpeting was also black from never being cleaned. As I sat there, I thought to myself, is this what hitting rock bottom feels like?
After I was done, I proceeded to wipe my backside with the Wendy’s napkins. Needless to say, it was not a comfortable experience.
I went back into their living area and chastised them for the lack of toilet paper and I told them that’s what I would bring to their place if they ever had any company over. Jim’s roommate was clearly annoyed by my presence. And I didn’t care. By that point, I wrote these guys off as clueless, eternal bachelors. What’s especially sad was that Jim was already 46 years old!
I hung out with those two guys for an hour or so more (I’m not sure why) until I headed back home to my condo, where I always had ample supplies of toilet paper on hand.
Fast forwarding four years later, I’m asking myself how I could’ve helped these guys with aromatherapy. The short answer is not at all. They didn’t get it, nor were they willing to listen – not even to another guy. Why on earth would they ever listen to a woman, if they managed to attract one in the first place? Look – if you can’t even stock up on toilet paper and vacuum your own carpets, you don’t deserve a woman. Just move in with your parents.
Okay, having got that rant out of the way, here’s another pet peeve of mine: people using toilet paper as tissues. Unless you’re sitting on the toilet and need to blow your nose, just keep a few boxes of tissues around the house. Rolls of toilet paper on a coffee table are a little weird, in my humble opinion.
But if Jim and his roommate were actually willing to hear some feedback, here is how I would’ve used essential oils and other natural products to clean up their apartment:
1) Probably the first step would be to either address the nasty smell or the clutter in that apartment. I’m not a professional organizer by any means, but generally, if you have something laying around in your abode that you haven’t used in six months or more, and you can easily purchase it again, then pitch it. Decluttering that apartment could have easily taken a full weekend. Doable. Getting rid of what you don’t need will make space for things you actually do need. And it’s like taking a big weight off your shoulders. Not to mention it will make it easier to walk around the place.
2) Addressing the smell of guy wouldn’t be too difficult. Open some windows, if possible. As I discuss in my article “9 Ways to Freshen Up Your Bachelor Pad,” get a bunch of wooden clothespins, soak each of them in lemon and/or orange essential oil, and clip them to every A/C vent and fan in the place. Every time the heat or A/C runs, the essential oils will be dispersed into the air. Airborne germs will be destroyed along with any lingering odors. You can get a ton of wooden clothespins on Amazon. If you’re not interested in using essential oils for clinical aromatherapy work, you can save a little money and buy lemon and orange essential oils from Hi-Health or Sprouts (get the NOW brand).
3) Prepare some Homemade Febreeze for freshening up linens and upholstery, and some LLTTB Cleaning Fluid for cleaning every surface in the apartment. Take a look at the two infographics below. They’re featured on my Pinterest and Instagram pages too.
4) I’m sure their bathtub would have been horrible and possibly beyond salvaging. But if those two guys actually did have a not-too-soiled bathtub, they could have employed my bathtub cleaning techniques that I talk about in my 9 Ways blog post. It goes without saying that their tub would’ve required a more thorough cleaning.
4) As far as floors are concerned, for tile and/or vinyl surfaces, I would recommend a bucket filled with water, some liquid castile soap, rubbing alcohol, and some cheap lemon or orange essential oil, like the kind you can get from Hi-Health. Sweep and then mop the floors with this solution. For carpets, my previously-mentioned article talks about how to use baking soda and essential oils to get them cleaner and fresher.
There you have it, the apartment from hell and how I would’ve saved it. I’m sure you have some horror stories from places you’ve been. Hopefully you weren’t too traumatized. I’m curious and would like to hear your stories. Feel free to comment in the form below.