When you’re living alone for the first time, there can be a lot of uncertainty and worry. Some people find that they love being on their own, while others realize that they’d prefer to have the company of a roommate. Since it’s unchartered territory, it’s normal to feel nervous when you go from living with your parents or family to being on your own. However, you’re likely going to be filled with just as much excitement and anticipation. Try to keep an open mind and give your new situation a chance—you’d be surprised at what you end up enjoying. To better prepare you for this transition, here are some helpful tips for living alone for the first time.
1. Prioritize Safety
The first thing you should be aware of is that living alone requires a certain degree of safety. While you should take these steps into account regardless of your roommate situation, they’re even more important when you’re on your own. If something happens when you are home alone, make sure that it is safe before taking action. You should never answer the door unless you know who is outside. If you think you’re in danger, call 911 immediately. If you’re worried about living alone, consider installing an alarm system with 24/7 monitoring and smartphone connectivity.
Another way to increase the safety of living alone is to change the locks when you move in. This ensures that regardless of who was living there beforehand, you have a renewed sense of security and can rest easy that there are no spare keys floating around the community.
Be prepared for emergencies—no matter how many safety precautions you take, accidents can still happen. Therefore, it’s important for anyone living alone to be prepared and have a plan. You should plan ahead by either keeping important contact information posted near the phone or having it accessible on your smartphone.
2. Get to Know Your Neighbors
One thing that many people do when they move to a new place is introduce themselves to their neighbors. This will not only help you feel more connected to your community, but it can help increase your sense of security. Neighbors can often make or break your living experience, so be kind and try to have an open mind. While you might not become best friends, having a good relationship with your neighbor will open up several doors in the future.
3. Channel Your Inner Designer
One major benefit of living alone is that you can decorate your space exactly how you want, without having to make compromises with roommates or family members. Finding your style and channeling your inner designers is a great way to express yourself and reinvigorate your style.
You can experiment with different colors, styles, and furniture in order to create a space that suits your personality. Choose decor that makes you happy rather than adhering to the current trends. Now is also the perfect time to explore DIY projects as many of them are cost-effective ways of sprucing up your place or expressing yourself artistically.
4. Organize Your Space
Living alone gives you complete freedom to decorate your place however you want. It’s also an opportunity to focus on your individual organization methods. It’s easy to start collecting things when you live on your own—especially since there aren’t any consequences for bringing home unique or “statement” pieces. Throughout this process, try to keep your home balanced.
Clear out any clutter or any items that you no longer need. When you bring something new home, get rid of something old. If you don’t want to get rid of things completely, utilize a self-storage unit for additional storage. This allows you to keep your home organized and chaos-free so you can focus on maximizing your living space and accentuating your design.
5. Keep It Clean
It’s easy to let things pile up when you can do them whenever you want rather than when your parents or roommates tell you to. Make a list of your cleaning needs and stick to it. As a rule of thumb, you should schedule daily cleaning tasks in your calendar so that you’re not overwhelmed by the amount of work that can quickly pile up. This helps you stay on top of things before it gets out of hand. Include everything from the kitchen to the bathroom, hard-to-reach areas, and appliances for a well-kept and odorless home.
If you have appliances that are rarely used or are difficult to clean, schedule special days for them. For example, if there’s a part of the refrigerator that collects dust easily and is hard to reach, set aside a separate day in which you’ll deep clean it.
6. Learn How to Cook
Cooking helps save money and lets you explore different cuisines than what restaurants offer. Most importantly, it keeps you from getting bored with routine and allows you to try new things without worrying about overspending. Make sure that you have the right cooking utensils and then stock your pantry with some essential herbs and spices. Don’t overdo it and try to keep your kitchen and pantry organized as you move through your culinary experiments.
7. Live Within Your Means
The one downfall of living alone is that you are responsible for the entirety of your rent, utilities, and associated costs. To avoid running into money problems, be honest with yourself about your living expenses and how much spending money you can realistically put aside each month. Living beyond your means will only result in stress and debt, which can ruin the experience of being on your own. Create a budget and stick to it.
To make this easier, plan out your grocery list and buy second-hand furniture or clothing. Another great way to make sure you’re living within your means is to choose a smaller space—like a studio—and supplement livable space with a self-storage unit. This is especially true if you’re moving to a major city.
8. Get a Job
If you’re living alone, it’s important to have a job that can support your lifestyle. You can start applying for jobs while you’re still living with your parents or a roommate to make sure that you’re prepared for the transition. Try to save up enough money to cover the deposit along with the first and last month’s rent. If you have a job that doesn’t pay well or that you don’t enjoy, start looking for other options. If the job is far from home or if there are no jobs available, consider making a list of things you could do at home and try starting a side gig working as an entrepreneur.
9. Make Friends
When you live alone, it’s easy to become increasingly isolated. While enjoying some much-needed me-time is a great way to unwind and relax, too much alone time can create mental and social strain. Make it a point to get out and socialize at least once or twice a week, even if that just means heading to a local coffee shop or calling a friend. Don’t let yourself forget that there are people that care about you and want to connect.
10. Increase Your Independence
If you’ve lived with others for the majority of your life, you may not know how to handle minor problems or roadblocks. This can be anything from a leaky sink to laundry or cooking. Try to tackle one thing at a time and focus on personal growth. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, call a friend or jump online to try to better understand how to overcome your problem at hand. You’d be surprised with how much you can accomplish when you give yourself the opportunity to learn along the way.
Living alone can open up doors for exciting opportunities and changes to your everyday routine. To help maximize your experience, make sure that you create a space that’s calming, inviting, and a reflection of your personality. To maximize your living space and keep things organized and clutter free, utilize a self-storage unit from The Lock Up Self Storage. The Lock Up Self Storage has storage options for everyone. Our units start at small as 5’ x 5’ and go up to 10’ x 25’. Certain facilities also offer opportunities for parking and wine storage. All of our units, regardless of size, are temperature controlled to keep your things in the best condition possible during storage. Our facilities are also equipped with varying security features such as 24/7 video monitoring, individual access codes, and perimeter alarms. To learn more about storage options that fit your budget, call The Lock Up Self Storage today at (866) 327-LOCK.