This year I lived alone for the first time in a little two-bed in the city. I’ve had my own room in a shared flat before, but this was the first time that I was fully responsible for everything in the house, with no shared space – every inch of the house was mine. I would be lying if I said that having my own space was anything but bliss, but the experience was still a learning curve for me. Here’s some of life’s lessons that I learnt along the way:
If I don’t do it, it won’t get done
At home, if I forgot my clothes were in the washing machine, or if I left a cup in the lounge, there was a good chance that someone would pick up the slack on my behalf, or give me a helpful nudge. However, in my own domain, anything I forgot to do would sit there until I did it. It was one of the limitations of living alone – there was no one to share the workload with, which could be tiring after nine hours at work.
Organisation is key
I’ve always been a keen member of the planner community (you’ll probably see a lot of #pashfam next year after my most recent purchase…), but I realised when I moved out just how important it is to stay organised. I made sure I knew when all of my direct debits were coming out, and keeping my diary up-to-date meant I could easily keep an overview of my outgoings. It definitely justified my stationery haul back in June…
Learning how to cook is an invaluable skill
I had been told that arriving home after work at 7pm, I wouldn’t have the energy to cook, but unwinding in the kitchen with a podcast became one of my favourite ways to spend an evening. With the help of a food-savvy boyfriend, some great cookbooks, and of course the Internet, after a couple of months I had a repertoire of delicious recipes, and I had grown quite passionate about food.
I realised what I can and can’t live without
I took everything when I moved, thinking my new life would need all of my craft projects, my art prints, my books. However, I quickly realised that I didn’t need even half of those things to feel happy in my home. My computer, phone, planner and a current read were really all I needed nearby to be comfortable, and I ended up downsizing my possessions quite considerably. Most importantly, having plans with friends and some good times at work were really what mattered the most.
Living alone isn’t really for me
This surprised me the most. Although I loved having all the rooms exactly as I wanted them, I learnt that I actually did miss the hustle and bustle of a busy house. I definitely needed to live alone to realise that I’m actually a pretty sociable person, and as long as I have some private space to get away from the world, that I am definitely happier living with other humans.
Have you ever lived alone? What were the pros and cons of your experience?