5 Lessons I Learned About Living Alone

In summer of 2023, I moved into an apartment by myself and started living alone for the first time in my life. These are my reflections and lessons learned from the first month of living alone about the pros and cons of living alone.

This article was tagged with: Living Better

There are 872 words in this article, and it will probably take you less than 5 minutes to read it.

This article was published 2023-06-27 00:00:00 -0400, which makes this post and me old when I published it.

  1. Cleaning is a full-time hobby (or job).
    • The tidying never ends, and you don’t have anyone to help divide the labor.
    • Do small clean-ups after yourself if you can because it truly does help, or batch cleaning tasks so you can utilize the momentum to get more things done.
    • Use the dishwasher if you can so you don’t have to wash dishes everyday.
      • Dishwashers are very water efficient and sometimes running half loads is still more efficient than washing by hand, and more hygienic too.
      • Not everything is dishwasher friendly, so make sure to Google it, or read the packaging if you have it/when you buy.
    • Definitely keep the cleaning materials stocked, and if you can, try to have them in a semi-visible spot so you have the visual reminder to clean, if the dirty location isn’t enough motivation.
  2. You can freeze a lot of different foods to help cut down on food waste.
    • Don’t throw out those leftovers! I just Google “can I freeze X” to get an answer because you wouldn’t believe the amount of things that you can and can’t freeze.
    • You can also try to turn leftovers into another dish if you’re sick of eating something (there’s even a Netflix show about it).
    • Buying and making things in bulk is easier and cheaper, so you can try to freeze portions of the foods to hold off on using them until you’re ready.
      • If the food is already made, another way to cut down on food waste is to give it to other people. It’s also just always a nice gesture.
  3. Utilities are expensive, but can be brought down if you are willing.
    • If you are alright with being a little uncomfortable, you can rely less on Central Heating/Cooling and focus more on space options like fans or space heaters.
      • A/C uses so much electricity which is not great for your wallet (or the environment)!
      • I personally rarely use my A/C. and try to use my ceiling fan or open windows when possible, but use it when friends are over, or when I want to bring the temperature back down for a bit.
    • You can probably use the lowest Wi-fi bandwidth plan since it’ll only be your devices connecting to the network. (I use the Verizon 300Mbps plan, which is their lowest, and it costs me about $45/month).
      • Customize your network name and password! It’s a fun nice touch.
      • If you can, try to use 5GHz because it’s faster but at the cost of broadcast distance, but if you’re in a smaller space, it should be able to cover everything.
      • Try to buy a cheap-ish router too, in the long-run it will save you money, since chances are, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is charging you a router rental fee in your Internet bill (usually around $10-15/month).
        • This is the router I got, which was only about $50 for me because I also bought it “Amazon Renewed” which is just refurbished, but with a quality guarantee and a good return policy, so you can save some extra money with the option of just returning it if it doesn’t work out.
    • Showers and toilets use far more water than you think, but not to the point where it will drain you of money.
      • A shower is usually 2-2.5 gallons per minute of water, so if you can keep your showers to around 5 minutes, you will be helping save money and water.
      • Not flushing your toilet every time saves a gallon of water (only about 1/3 of a cent), so its really at your digression.
  4. It can be really quiet.
    • Obviously if you have loud neighbors this doesn’t apply, but there are no other noises from other people doing things.
    • Sometimes you can go hours or days without saying words to another person.
    • Quietness and loneliness are not mutually inclusive, so try not to mistake one for the other, but do monitor yourself for feelings of loneliness.
      • Don’t stay in your house too much! Go out and meet some friends, try new hobbies outside of the house, or just take a walk outside.
  5. It is a lot of fun!
    • I love being able to decorate my own space in the different ways I want, and being able to find places for everything.
    • The peace and quiet is really unmatched, and learning to enjoy your own company is a great lesson to learn.
    • Just because you live alone, does not mean that you have to be lonely, you can host all kinds of community and friends in your home. Living alone, just like everything else, is what you make of it.
    • Your results may vary. I think that everyone could learn something by living alone, but I don’t think that everyone is the right type of person to be able to live by themself, for any number of reasons. Additionally, I know that it is a privilege to be able to live alone, and not one that I take for granted.

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