So you’ve decided to live on your own for the very first time. This glorious feat may provide the independence that you’ve sorely been craving, or end up as a rehearsal for the dreaded day you accidentally find yourself in solitary confinement for a heinous crime you most certainly did not commit.

There’s no doubt that living by yourself is a definite must on every girl’s list. Having an entire space to call your own and developing a personal relationship with your friendly neighbourhood Chinese delivery service, is an essential rite of passage in today’s modern world. It’s the space that one needs to be as creative, or as naked, as you want.

 Living by yourself may be the kick in the maturity pants that you so desperately need, teaching you the importance of doing your own laundry, dishes, and maintaining some general semblance of cleanliness. Or, by month two, your place may look like the apartment straight out of Roman Polanski’s Repulsion. Seriously, not a good look, ladies.

If you’re a seasoned pro or taking the plunge for the very first time, here are some tips on living solo.

  1. Set time to clean. “Artful clutter?”? Artful clutter, my ass! Your bohemian slobitude may have been hidden from the eye of your more conscientuous roommates, but when you live alone, nobody’s there to chastise you when you need it. Pick a day of the week, and make a ritual of cleaning your space. Nestle in with a cup of tea, a couple scoops of gelato, and some NPR and just do it. Let the oddly nasal yet comforting sounds of Ira Glass accompany you as you wash, fold, and dust.
  2. Host a dinner party (or 10). When you’ve got roommates, you’ve got a built-in community. When you live alone? Not so much. The quiet can be an introvert’s dream, or an extrovert’s worst nightmare. If you find yourself lonely (or needing an excuse to cook), why not invite some pals over for a dinner party? Whether it’s a potluck, cooking together, or a meticulously organized affair, it’ll be the perfect excuse to get some quality time in with your loved ones. Just promise us you won’t pull a Clarissa Dalloway, k?
  3. Give yourself permission to be weird in your own space. Yes, it is okay to sing showtunes naked in your kitchen, and only eat melted cheese for breakfast.
  4. Make your place your own. Treat it with the care that an interior designer or collector of art would. If finding cool junk is your thing, make weekly field trips to your local Goodwill or antique store to fill your home with your own signature touch.
  5. Play Scrabble with yourself. You’ll win every time!
  6. Listen to a new album from a genre you’re not familiar with every weekend. 
  7. Throw a “weird foreign film” movie night for one. Nobody will pressure you to watch another boring Adam Sandler movie when all you want to do is get down with some Czech new wave.
  8. Diary your experiences. You’ll learn what you love about living alone, and what you don’t.

~ Natasha Hunt