Don’t Clip Your Toenails Like an Animal

Clipping your nails isn’t a matter of preference—there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it

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For six years, I’ve been finding nail clippings on the floor. Not periodically, but constantly. Some of these little devils are embedded into the fibers of the carpet, others hidden in plain sight on the hardwood. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t eyed my roommates, hoping to squeeze a confession out of them with my stare.

Then, a breakthrough. Walking by my roommate’s bedroom, I heard the familiar snapping of a nail clipper. I stepped back into the door to see him sitting on his bed, clipping his fingernails and catching them in his hand.

Rattled, I felt the need to question him. He thought it was bizarre that I thought it was bizarre. I found that bizarre. I pressed him on the living room nail clippings, but he said he doesn’t venture out of his room to clip his nails. He added that he’s pretty sure that our other roommate bites and spits his nails. I had unearthed something I wasn’t ready for.

Like any upstanding citizen, I clip my fingernails over the sink. I clip my toenails over the toilet or a garbage can. I hadn’t even considered the alternatives. I’m still not considering them because I’m not an animal. This shouldn’t have to be one of those things where you realize that your normal isn’t everyone else’s normal. This is binary.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to do this. Location is everything, but your tools play an important role as well.

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Harperton Nail Clipper Set

Nail clippers are generally standard in shape and material. You can get a classic, durable finger and toenail clipper set at any drugstore or on Amazon.

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Precision Grip Toenail Clipper

Toenails can be stubborn, so you may want something with a firm grip and a sturdy build. Tweezerman makes a toenail clipper that looks like it doubles as an excavator. This should do the trick.

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Gentlemen's Hardware Men's Travel Manicure

Maybe you want to class it up a bit with this gold-plated hand care kit from Gentleman’s Hardware. Even if you don’t need all these tools, this drips of wealth and sophistication.

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Mavala Stop

Nail biting is a bit trickier. Everyone is prone to a nervous habit, but yours doesn’t have to define the state of your living space. There are products specifically designed to help you kick the coping mechanism. Mavala Stop is a clear coating applied to the fingernails that gives them a bitter taste, helping to slowly wean you off the nail biting dependence.

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In the end, a craftsman can’t blame his tools. If you are clipping your fingernails or toenails in any location aside from the bathroom, that’s a human error that you need to reevaluate. Luckily, there are simple solutions to cleaning up your act. A standard toolset and a quick trip to the bathroom can make your living space clean, comfortable and appealing to visitors. If nothing else, do it because stepping on someone else’s toenail is a terrible, terrible thing.

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