Thursday, October 2, 2014

5 Things to Know About Living Alone

"166" by Mitya Ku is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
For many people, living alone is best for all involved. If you're not home a lot or just like to have your space and things arranged your way, living alone is probably ideal. As with any living situation though, living alone comes with its pros and cons. Here are some common issues faced by those who live alone and some solutions on how to cope, courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Problem: Generally, the more you buy at one time, the cheaper it becomes. While a family of six cruises through a pot of chili, that much food can get wasted in a household of one. It's also more expensive to buy smaller quantities of toilet paper and other household supplies.

Solution: The Kitchn has some great tips for cooking on your own. For everything else, consider teaming up with a friend, family member, or neighbor to split that 24-pack of toilet paper. You’ll save money and space in the process.


Problem: You get an itch to decorate first thing on Saturday morning and find yourself stymied by your grandmother’s huge, six ton armoire.

Solution: Don’t hurt yourself by trying to lift things yourself. First, break the piece down in any way to make it manageable: empty contents, remove drawers or legs. If it's still too big or heavy, round up a friend or next-door neighbor to help you out on the fly. Otherwise, save up all your little odd jobs and hire someone one Saturday afternoon to knock out everything out on your to-do list that requires help.


Problem: Even if you have tons of friends, a boyfriend/girlfriend, sometimes being home alone at night is a downer. Everyone likes someone to turn to to express outrage over Ann Coulter’s most recent comment, or to rub it in when you get that night's Final Jeopardy question correct.

Solution: Create structured ways to leave the house and regularly interact with others— especially if you also work at home — at the times you feel most alone. Sign up for yoga classes, or join a book club. Host regular dinner parties, or even low-key television watching sessions with another person who shares your love of Mad Men. Lastly, think about adopting a furry friend. (Because everyone talks to their pets, no matter what we tell others.)


Problem: Maybe you are scared of axe murderers at night. Or, you worry about falling down the stairs and having no one find you for days. These are very rare yet valid concerns that shouldn't be deal breakers.

Solution: Yes, there’s always LifeAlert. And the pet (dog) you adopted to thwart loneliness will also help deter any meanies. Otherwise, set up a check-in system with a friend/neighbor and agree to touch base with each other regularly via text or phone. Ideally, this person will live alone as well, so the benefits go both ways. If one party is suspiciously quiet, either expect a welcome knock on your door, or head on over to check out your buddy.


Problem: You're only one person, and can only be so many places at one time. If you expect a package during the day, or need something repaired, there are only so many times you can take off work to be there in the flesh. There's no one right answer for this problem: the solution depends on your unique situation and needs.

Solution: For mail, check out this post on How to Manage Home Deliveries. For repairs, arrange to work from home one afternoon (again, if this is feasible). Renters can often ask landlords to greet the person on site. If you know and completely trust your repairman or contractor, install a key safe outdoors, then change the combination once the work is done. If all else fails, and you have to take the time, try scheduling appointments first thing in the morning, or as the last slot in the day.

Do you live alone? What to you do to combat these common problems? Share your advice below!


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