A little over a year ago, I took a deep breath and signed the paperwork for my own flat. No flat mate, no lodger, just little ol’ me, stepping out into the world all on my own. Scary, right? Granted, I did only move across the road from my mum; a grand total of a few metres away, but I still wasn’t sure just how ready I was to take on food shopping, cooking, paying bills and defending myself from spiders…
Having stayed at home whilst studying at university, I’d thought about moving out of my mum’s house a few times before but I’d hit a few hiccups along the way; namely other people letting me down, money being an issue and me generally just chickening out. The thing was, could I afford to live by myself? Would I be bored? What if I got lonely?
Turns out it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Luckily for me, I quite like my own company and I’ve adjusted to living alone well – maybe too well as I now fear I will never let anyone live with me again – but there are pitfalls too.
Here are 10 things I’ve learned whilst living on my own.
- Ordering groceries online isn’t always the best option. Even though it’s super convenient (and makes you feel like a total princess) fresh food doesn’t last very long and there’s usually a minimum spend which can mean you end up spending more than necessary. It’s great if you can’t face the thought of a ‘big shop’ on your own though.
- Tackling Aldi by yourself can be terrifying. Once the cashier has stopped throwing your shopping at you and you’ve decided (under intense pressure) whether you’re paying cash or card, you can then proceed to the ‘shelf’ to start packing . You’ll have probably only brought one bag for life with you and totally misjudged your shopping so your handbag becomes the emergency over spill bag and it’s all a bit awkward. It’s okay though because you’ve bought enough food to feed a school and you’ve still only spent £30.
- Cooking for one is hard. Judging how much pasta is required for one is harder that it sounds and dividing recipes in half is even tricker.
- It is all too easy to binge on box sets. I managed to watch seasons 1 – 5 of Game of Thrones in just short of seven days recently because there was nobody to tell me to get a grip.
- Silence is golden. Returning home from a busy day at work after a 10 hour shift to an empty flat is one of my favourite things. Of course, my friends and family are only a phone call away if I ever need to chat.
- Clothing becomes unimportant. If my door is locked and my blinds are down, there aren’t a lot of things I don’t do either half naked or in my PJs because, well, why the hell not?
- Plants are hard to keep. So far I’ve managed to kill about six. The cacti are about the only ones still surviving because they require almost zero effort to keep alive.
- No-one will fight you for the bathroom. Oh, hello there three hour Radox bath of joy.
- It’s unlikely that you are being burgled as you vacuum but this thought crosses my mind regularly. Usually along the lines of, ‘What if I turn the vac off and there’s someone stood behind me with a knife and I haven’t heard them come in because of the loud vac.’ Just me then?
- Dust is endless. Even though there’s only one person to create mess and you spend about 50 hours out of the house a week, dust will always appear and re-appear.