Spoiler alert.... I love it.
It's been some time since I've just chatted things out, so grab a glass of wine and let me tell you some things. When I did the whole "ask me" Q&A on Instagram, I was surprised how many people were interested in my living situation. A lot of "how is it living alone?" or requests on tips for living alone. I thought the topic was a good one and deserved its own post. I moved into my own apartment two months ago and have totally adjusted to living alone again. A big change from having three roommates or from living with family during my in between leases phase. I've lived alone once before, a year out of college, but I had a boyfriend who spent the night 80% of the time, so that doesn't count.
When I made the decision to start looking for my own one bedroom, I was definitely a bit nervous about it for several reasons. The thought of being lonely crossed my mind multiple times... I'm v single right now. The thought of being a hermit also crossed my mind. It's so easy to be lazy and not make plans. But I'm doing it and I'm loving it. So here are my thoughts.
First, the moving and decorating part...
save and plan first
If you're thinking about living alone, I definitely recommend saving up before you make the move. Even if that means moving home (like I did) for a few months to save on rent, do it. Remember to also plan ahead for moving expenses. I had to put down a full month's rent for my deposit and the first month's rent within the same week, plus also pay for a moving truck to rent for the day. I had a wishlist for all the furniture I needed. I thought about all the expenses for basics on top of that. Things you don't always thinking about... like lightbulbs, tools, cleaning supplies, vacuum or broom, bathroom stuff, and alllllllll the kitchen necessities. You get the point. Plan ahead and save as much as you can. At 28, I wanted to invest in good pieces and my own stuff that would last me a lifetime. So, I had to save $$$, rather than just taking whatever furniture I could get fo free. Make a budget, have a spending plan.
make the space yours, take your time
You living alone = doing whatever the fuck you want with your space. Hell. Yes. This has 100% been my favorite thing about living alone so far. And definitely the most fun. There's nothing like the excitement of decorating your own apartment. Don't be afraid to have a lot of pink or hang up that boobs shower curtain (wink wink) while you're not living with a bf or partner who may influence home decor later in your life. This is the time to make it your own. As you start to feel like the space is more lived in, it will feel homier, and you won't mind spending time alone there.
be smart about buying
While you may feel anxious to fill the space, take your time. Every time I've moved, I've always been hasty in filling a space, making impulse buys and also... stupid ones. That whole feeling of just wanting the place to feel complete is too real. This time around I'm really putting thought into the furniture items I buy. Prioritizing is key... I needed a bed, couch, dresser, dining table... you get it. Then lamps, a tv, etc. When I find an item I love, I spend hours looking for it in a better price. Don't buy right away, do some research. I'm also a major fan of vintage, so a lot of what I have I found from vintage shops over the past year for really good prices. Make a list and decide what you'd spend good money on. For me, it was my bed and my couch. All my other furniture items are second hand or good quality stuff that look nice, but don't break the bank. I also found lighting that was affordable. Don't spend $500 on a trendy lamp, put that towards a great mattress or sofa or a bunch of art to hang. You know what I mean? My go-tos for my home decor have been local shops, Chairish, Urban Outfitters, Ikea, CB2, and West Elm.
Ok. Now the living alone part...
make plans often
If living alone has taught me anything, it's make sure to have a social life. Personally, I'm someone who is very social, but I also really enjoy my alone time (an extroverted introvert as one might say). However, when you work from home twice a week and don't have roommates to chill on the couch with, you may go insane without proper plans and people. I always take a look at my week ahead and make plans. Usually that means doing something at least three nights a week, a happy hour or two, then definitely something Friday or Saturday night. I also get out of the apartment when I work from home if I can.. like going the The Wing or a cafe. I try to make plans for either Saturday day or Sunday day around the city too. Keeping busy and making plans will help you feel less alone. Also, try having friends over once a week too!
make nights alone enjoyable
When I do make plans, I am usually really happy to have my nights alone. Like way happy and perfectly content spending a Friday night in. People can be annoying, and sometimes I just want to go home and get away from them. I don't even think about the fact that I'm by myself when it happens. I try to make those nights (or days) more enjoyable. I light candles, put on a good movie, I get comfy, and cook dinner. You get the point. Because I have the blog, I also like to make sure I have time during the week to get stuff done, and also for cleaning my apartment or doing laundry. Enjoy the alone time. Because one day you'll probably be desperate for these moments.
it's ok to be sad sometimes
I haven't yet had a Bridget Jones' moment of crying into a carton of ice cream or belting "All By Myself" alone in my pjs and messy hair, but if it happens... whatever. You may feel sad sometimes and that's ok, cry it out, do what you gotta do. When I do feel lonely, I call my mom or dad, text a few people, or hit up a friend who is always down to hangout on a whim (these types of friends are good people, have at least one or two). If I don't feel like chatting with people, having a solid binge sesh of The Mindy Project (early seasons), Parks and Rec, or New Girl always make me feel better and laugh.
have a night time routine
I think the evening is definitely the time when feelings of loneliness creep in, so having a routine before bed is a good way to avoid those feelings. I do my skincare routine, maybe read, and get to bed at a decent time. Sometimes I watch my favorite Youtubers at this time, but mostly I watch a least one episode of Bewitched or I Love Lucy every night in bed before I pass out. They both make me very happy and it's something I look forward to. Am I a grandma? Maybe.
Hope these tips help! All in all, I think people in their young adult life who get to live alone are lucky people. Not everyone gets to experience the freedom and responsibility that comes from this situation, and it's definitely one to embrace. Most importantly... you never have to wear pants at home.