The new year is time to turn over a new leaf and put some of your bad habits behind you. While many will try to lose weight or quit smoking - admirable goals, indeed - the new year should also be a time to reflect on how our actions affect those around us.
We all have bad habits around the home that gross out a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or roommate. So take a moment to consider adding some of these common gross-out habits to your list of resolutions this year.
1) Gross sheets: I know your sheets might not look dirty, but I can assure you that after sleeping in them for six weeks, they most certainly are. Doing a load of laundry every week or two isn't going to kill you, but sleeping in a dirty bed might not be so good for your health.
2) Clipping your nails at the coffee table: That's what toilets are for. Seriously, just stop clipping your nails anywhere but in the bathroom.
3) Letting sponges fester in the sink: You wouldn't eat your dinner off a toilet seat, so why are you wiping your kitchen table down with a filthy sponge? There's probably no dirtier habit in the home than leaving a kitchen sponge stewing in a sink full of brackish water. In fact, the average kitchen sponge has far more bacteria on it than a toilet seat, and is known to harbor nasty pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella. So wring out that sponge and put it up on the edge of the sink, where it can dry and keep bacteria at bay. Or better yet, soak it in a bowl of boiling water every now and then to sanitize it.
4) Leaving dirty clothes around the house: You know that laundry hamper your spouse has placed in the corner of the bedroom? Have you ever wondered how dirty clothes get in there? No, it's not sorcery. It's the back-breaking work of a patient spouse picking up your carelessly discarded clothes. Give a loved one a break this year and quit leaving a trail of sullied socks and underwear around the home.
5) Rancid recycling bin: A sticky film coagulating at bottom of the recycling bin is an invitation for flies, roaches and rodents to make a home of your kitchen. A recycling bin is not a trash can. So before you toss old food containers in the recycling, give them a quick rinse.
6) Old food in the fridge: Pushing rotten food to the back of the fridge doesn't get rid of it, it just delays the inevitable. If food has gone off, throw it out. Don't wait until it morphs into a furry green monster that someone else has to deal with.
7) Bodacious burps: You might think that letting out a ripping belch is a like singing a chorus of appreciation for your spouse's cooking, but let me tell you, it isn't. So keep the gaseous exclamations to a minimum. And if you do have to let it out, at least excuse yourself afterwards.
8) Cleaning your ears with random objects: Keys are not a Q-tip. Nor are pens, pencils or fingers. Some people like to scratch an itch or clear the canals with any pointy item they can find, but getting your ear wax all over everyday objects is disgusting. Not only that, it's also dangerous. So spare your spouse, and your ears, and just use a cotton swab (on the outside of your ear – not in the canal. Don't stick anything – even cotton swabs – in your ear canal).
9) Tossing tissues: Winter is cold and flu season, and many of us will be sniffling, sneezing and blowing as we weather an illness this year. But if your nose is running like a fire hose, and you're tearing through boxes of Kleenex, do everyone in your home a favor and toss them in the trash. Sure, you're sick, but that's no excuse to turn the stomachs of everyone else in your home.
10) Forgetting to brush: Yeah we noticed that you didn't brush your teeth today. Thought you could get away with it, didn't you? Well you can't. Take a minute and give the teeth a quick scrubbing. And in case you're wondering, your morning coffee is not a substitute for mouthwash.