After years of living with roommates, I finally took the plunge and got a studio apartment. I was initially afraid I would get lonely, but so far (fingers crossed), I love it! I don’t have to consult anyone else about decorating; I don’t ever have to put on clothes while I’m home; I can use the bathroom with the door open; I can come home whenever I please to philosophical conversations with my own reflection in the sliding glass mirror… okay, maybe I’m taking the whole thing too far. But it’s so freeing!
There are a few things, however, that somebody probably should have told me before I decided to live alone. If you’re thinking of making the same decision, here’s what you should know:
1. Make copies of your keys and leave them with someone you trust nearby.
You now have no roommate to let you in when you drunkenly (or, I’m embarrassed to admit, soberly) lose them late at night when your super is asleep.
2. Bills get expensive when you’re not splitting them.
Keep this in mind when you budget, and conserve energy when possible.
3. You still need to flush the toilet.
“But you said to save energy, and nobody’s going to know!” you might think. However, you’ll know when you start smelling it.
4. Don’t let your increased alone time lead to too much ‘alone time.’
There is something about having every room of your apartment to yourself that makes you really want to take advantage of that privacy, if you catch my drift. Resist the urge. Get your work done.
5. Get curtains.
Trust me, you will want to do a lot of walking around naked. But while nobody may be in your apartment to catch you, the people in the building across the street still can.
6. You will be shopping A LOT.
Just accept it. When you’re no longer combining resources, everything from replenishing your toilet paper supply to making sure you have a can opener is your responsibility. You’ll be surprised how many little things add up.
7. Make sure you see the light of day.
This is true even when you live with roommates, but it’s especially true when you’re alone: interact with other human beings. Even if it’s just going to a café instead of working from home. No matter how much you love your apartment, it can get depressing to be alone there all day.
8. Don’t let your apartment completely go to shit.
It’s tempting to take advantage of the fact that nobody can see how messy your apartment is, but living in squalor can subconsciously affect your sense of well-being, and it creates more of a hassle to clean up when guests come.
9. STOP MOVING THE FURNITURE.
I can already see you rearranging it. Stop it. Having total power over your whole apartment can spark a desire to get everything perfect, but after one or two re-arrangements, you’ll just get more confused. Stick with the first layout you’re happy with.
10. Throw a housewarming party.
This is more of a reminder to myself than advice to you. I still need to do this. But seriously, what’s the point of having a whole apartment under your jurisdiction if you don’t use it as an excuse to make all your friends visit you and bring you bottles of wine? I can’t think of any better use for your new property. So get on that.