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To keep a gal, you've got to keep it clean

As every man knows, once you enter into a partnership, the home you so lovingly created in your own image and likeness (with a little help from favourite movies, bars and MTV Cribs) is immediately under threat.

Men design rooms based on a crude head-to-toe, bodily function tier system, with each room simply corresponding to basic human requirements. Then it's just a matter of haphazard decoration with possessions and collections as centrepieces.

Of course, that's not the way things should be done. Particularly not when it comes to women. Women visualise an empty room and work from there. Men begin with a room full of all their crap and, well, leave it like that.

But what men need to learn is that someday a woman will enter their lives, and their rooms, like it or not, will become empty again. It's either that or have the emptiness of life without a woman. And having personally binned a massive toy soldier collection, I'm inclined to think that's the lesser of two evils. But to tip off the singletons, here goes.

There are the obvious put-offs in every man's pad, most of which is baggage and old habits from college and adolescence: collections of bottles and beer mats, outdated movie posters, football jerseys, tins of alphabet spaghetti in tomato sauce, a phone book or freesheet newspaper in the toilet instead of toilet roll, mattress on the floor (some women say they think it's cool -- don't trust them, it's a sign they intend standing right over you for the rest of your days) and strange things 'kept' in fridges and freezers.


Other things which are not so obvious include: any room, cupboard or box that is locked, bogey collections under the arms of the sofa, any stool that resembles a bar stool (ie any stool, unless you can convince her that it's a 'breakfast-counter stool'), blank but well-viewed video tapes (come on, if you still have any, think about it), webcams (I don't care what anyone says or how many relatives they have abroad, no woman is going to trust a man with a webcam unless she's looking at you through one), the PC in a room under the stairs and an empty attic space with easy access.

The last one has you stumped? Well, in many people's minds, two go up, one comes down.

You could always try to convince her that the attic has been kept empty for the day she walked into your life, so you could put all of your crap up there. And you might get away with it.

Now I'm not saying every woman is like Sarah Beeny, but try to get into a woman's mind before you invite her into your beloved home.

If it's empty enough, then you could be on to a winner.