There may come a time in your life when you decide to live alone. While it’s freeing to find your independence, the solo lifestyle may be a hard adjustment. If you’re considering living alone, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of doing so, along with some helpful tips from professionals. So whether you’re moving into your first studio apartment in San Diego, CA, or looking for ways to feel comfortable in your newfound solitude, read on to see how to make the best of living alone.
The pros to living alone
Living alone has plenty of benefits whether you’re an introvert or a social butterfly. Here are five advantages to living alone in an apartment:
1. The space is yours, so you can decorate with things you love
Having your personal space means you won’t have to compromise or share. You’ll be able to decorate however you like. Try creating a cozy apartment to get yourself situated and feel at home.
Angela Wetzel, a life coach from Epic Initiator recommends, “Make it fun, honor your unique needs and wants, and don’t rush to fill the void but let it evolve. Surround yourself with what lights you up, and you’ll love waking up daily in your own space.”
2. You’ll only pay for what you use
A great addition to being alone is only paying for what you consume. Utility bills are usually split among roommates, and while you live alone, you only pay for what you need and use. That way, you won’t have to pay for utility services you didn’t use while on vacation. The same goes for food and everyday items like trash bags, coffee filters, cleaning products, etc.
3. You’re in control of your own life
A great benefit to living alone is allowing yourself to create your own rules. No more relying on other people or expectations regarding home life. Do you want to watch your favorite show on repeat or have a solo dance party? No one’s watching; you’ll get to be your own boss.
4. The best time to learn about yourself is when you’re alone
Through this time, you’ll be able to find what you like, don’t like, and how social you want to be.
Brett Baughman, a professional life and business coach of Brett Baughman Companies, Inc, often gets asked: “what is the most important skill or lesson I should learn? and the answer is always the same: learning to thrive on your own. You’ll never know how high you can soar until you challenge yourself. Rather than depending on others to make you feel whole or safe or stable, when you learn how to succeed on your own, you build true confidence that will shine through in all areas of your life.”
5. You’ll get plenty of peace and quiet
The only one living in your space is you. You’ll be able to relax in your thoughts without interruptions or distractions. Along with peace and quiet, you’ll be able to socialize whenever you are up to it. Humans are social beings and need human interaction, and sometimes, when you live alone, you may find that you are even more social than before.
The cons to living alone
While there are great benefits associated with being in your own company, there are also some drawbacks. Here are four downsides to living alone.
1. You’ll feel lonely at first
Living alone means you’ll be coming home to an empty apartment more frequently. And yes, you get a full range of freedom, but adapting to feeling alone can be a challenge. Luckily there are things you can do to help with loneliness.
Erika b Hess, an artist, and host of the ‘I like your work‘ podcast explains, “Living alone is a huge accomplishment. While getting those keys and having your very own space is awesome, it can also come with its challenges, such as feeling a little alone. We crave and need connection as humans, and while we may no longer have roommates, we can still create that connection with others.”
She continues with, “play your favorite podcasts in your space. Having conversations around you on topics that you love fills your space with great dialogue and a vibe that is all yours. Continue to make your space your own by selecting artwork by artists who you follow on social media and whom you want to support. Not only will your place reflect you and your taste, but it also creates a connection with the artist by having their work in your space.”
2. Living alone can be expensive
Although you’ll be paying for only what you use, living alone can be more expensive than splitting the costs with a roommate or significant other – especially rent. Use tools like a rent calculator to determine how much rent you can afford to get a feel for your budget. Can you afford a one-bedroom apartment in Seattle, WA? Or is a studio apartment a better option based on your budget? Apartments vary in price and finding the best one to fit your lifestyle and price range can make a big difference.
3. Safety can be a concern
One of the main concerns many people have about living alone is security and safety. That said, there are plenty of things you can do to help yourself feel safer in your space. Below we’ve highlighted precautions you can take before deciding where to live and additional apartment security measures you can take once you’ve moved in.
Looking for an apartment
It’s always a good idea to take time to consider the safety and security of a place before deciding if it’s right for you. Make sure to ask these ten safety and security questions while searching for a new place to live alone.
- Does the apartment complex have a door attendant? If so, are they onsite 24/7?
- Is the complex in a safe neighborhood?
- Is the apartment complex secured with a tenant key or fob?
- Are there security cameras in the parking garage and around the complex?
- Do the windows and doors lock appropriately?
- Do the surrounding neighbors seem friendly?
- Do the units have a working smoke and carbon monoxide detector?
- Are the common areas secured?
- What is the landlord’s policy regarding renter’s insurance?
- How quickly does building maintenance complete a request?
Once you’re in an apartment
Increasing security measures in your apartment can go a long way to ensuring your safety. A few daily tasks that you should start implementing in your routine should be:
- Keep a light on in your apartment when you leave
- Lock all doors and windows
- Keep your blinds closed at night
- Let friends know when you made it home
- If you schedule maintenance, invite friends over so you’re not alone
- Invest in a security puppy – great for company too!
4. Relying on yourself for apartment responsibilities
Holding yourself accountable for taking care of the dishes or picking up after yourself can be an adjustment for some. Living alone requires more responsibility – paying the bills on time, cleaning up after yourself, and making food. You’ll be able to adjust as time goes on, but getting in the groove of things can be challenging. Try creating a morning routine to get yourself situated.
Professionals share tips and insights about living alone so you can thrive solo
Whether you’re considering living in Atlanta, GA, or moving into an apartment in Austin, TX, there are so many ways you can embrace the solo lifestyle. From investing time creating a home to support your needs to putting together a budget, there are plenty of tips to help you along the way. Read on to see what these professionals had to say.
Living solo is empowering
Living alone means you’ll spend time budgeting accordingly and smartly with your bills. It’s also very empowering – you can take ownership and become responsible and accountable while learning to trust and develop yourself further.
– Kemi Sogunle, an award-winning Certified Life and Relationship Coach, NLP, International Speaker, and Author
Take your time to create a space that you’ll love
Invest your time and energy into creating a cozy corner that nurtures your soul. Fill this space with a bean bag or other comfy chair, a reading light, a small bookshelf loaded with your favorite books, photos of friends and family, and scented candles. This way, you won’t be coming home to an empty apartment at the end of a bad day—you’ll be coming home to yourself.
– Yael Dubin, MD, Ph.D., ACC of Bechira Coaching
Practice being independent by trying new things
Living alone is challenging, so practicing self-care by getting out and about is very important. Go out and embrace being a tourist in your new area and try all sorts of tours, coffee shops, markets, and festivals – learn to love being independent.
– Kathleen Renee, Certified Life Coach of Road Trip with a Life Coach
Living alone gives you time for self-reflection
Living alone for the first time can be scary. However, time for yourself is beautiful because it gives you time for self-reflection. This can lead to a deeper understanding of yourself and also helps you to figure out what kind of environment will keep you at your best. When you live alone, you have more time to focus on your own needs and desires; it can give you the time and space to work on your projects, grow as a person, and learn new skills.
– Michelle Gagliani, Founder of The Balanced CEO
Living alone means you don’t have to hide who you truly are
Find at least one spot in your new home to showcase who you truly are. When you share your space with other people, whether family members or friends, you may find yourself forced to compromise your freedoms. Sometimes that’s as simple as keeping the noise down at a particular hour, but sometimes it can be as extreme as hiding religion or identity. Living alone means no more hiding who you are.
– Michelle Arseneault, Life Coach and Instructional Designer of YouthStald Coaching
Make sure you have the essentials
When setting up your first home, be quick to meet your needs—cold medicine, the perfect bed, a designated place to keep your keys—and then take your time with the non-essentials. Pay attention to things that appeal to you—art, plants, decorative objects—and let your home evolve as you learn more about yourself, creating a space that nourishes and inspires you.
– Sarah Thomas, Life Coach of Sarah Thomas Coaching
Remember that you are never truly alone
Consider living alone as an opportunity for reinvention. Sometimes living alone is part of a transition process, whether it’s your first apartment, finally moving out on your own, or the place of recovery after the end of a relationship. Living alone doesn’t mean you have to be alone.
– Jeremy Stegall, Author, Speaker, and Coach of Where the Change Happens
It is important to believe in yourself and what you are capable of – and remember that you are never truly alone.
– Shirley Allred, Business and Personal Coach, Motivational Speaker, and Adviser
Living Alone in an Apartment? Top Tips to Help You Thrive is written by Ana de Guzman for www.redfin.com