Living Alone: Your Guide to a Safe and Cozy Home

Living Alone: Your Guide to a Safe and Cozy Home

Picture of Owiso Makuku
By: Owiso Makuku | October 28, 2017

Whether you’re looking to go solo after living with a significant other, the kids are moving on, or you’re simply sick of having roommates, living on your own can be the best time of your life! Finding a space you love is the first step. Here are some factors to think about when creating a new home for yourself without having anyone else to worry about.

Step One: Location

Finding a place to live by yourself can be exciting, but also pressure-filled. Checking the classifieds and online listings can be overwhelming, so begin with your budget. Next, figure out what kind of neighborhood you're looking to join. 

Once you have a few places picked out, be sure to visit. Never rent a place sigh unseen unless you know the area very well, and even then, it's risky. Know what features you need, like a pet-friendly apartment, or access to transportation options. 

Based on your sleep schedule, look at the surrounding neighborhood. If you need complete silence to sleep, renting a flat next to a loading dock is probably not the right choice. Consider whether you like morning light waking you up, or if a sunset-facing view is what you prefer. 

The bottom line is that once you find an apartment you love, take a minute to walk around the neighborhood. Almost everything in life is a trade-off, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t hit each item on your checklist – you know what’s important to you and what you can live without. And, the best thing about rentals is that you can always weigh your options when it comes time to renew the lease!

Step Two: Focus on You

Now that you have a space that's all your own, personalize it! Nothing makes it feel like home like adding your personal touch that really reflect your personality and character. 

Whether you're a hoarder or prefer a sparse apartment, it's all your call. Take your time and find that favorite mirror that will always make you smile when you look into it; that favorite chair that is so comfy, you never want to leave it. Maybe you like burnt orange and no one around you has ever appreciated it? Well, make it your thing and create the space that you’ve always wanted.

You now have complete autonomy when choosing the color scheme, carpet vs scatter rugs, eighty pillows or two pillows on your bed, whether shoes get worn in your space or left at the door. Perhaps you've always wanted a bonsai tree, spider plant, or reiki garden - this is your chance!

Most importantly, remember that your apartment doesn’t have to come together the week you move in, and your bank account probably can’t handle that. Instead, visit local antique shops, resale retailers, and furniture stores and peruse the floor. Take it all in, and go with your gut. Inspiration can strike at any time, so get out there and explore! Seeing all different styles and materials can help you discover new pieces and techniques. Make an investment in one or two pieces of quality furniture that you absolutely love and that will last for years, in this space and your next home.

When your friends and family visit your space, watch for that knowing smile that shows you that you have created a space that’s perfect for you.

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Step Three: Making Your Safe Space

Living alone can be liberating and invigorating, but what do you do when something goes bump in the night?

First, remember that all new spaces have their own noises. They might sound like a closet monster on your first night, but over time you’ll acclimate to the creaks and know the heating thuds from the sounds of neighbors rustling past your door.

Equip yourself with whatever you need to find peace.  That might be a flashlight by your bed while you sleep, or a sound machine to drown everything out. One trick that works double duty is get a fan for your bedroom. During the summer, it can help keep you cool, and in the winter a fan can help circulate air that otherwise gets stale. And year-round, the gentle hum will keep all the other noises at bay.

Living alone is ideal for self-care. Whether that means rolling out a yoga mat, starting a project, or taking a long bath, there are no roommates to worry about disturbing you when you’re finding your zen. Think about how you best find relaxation, and incorporate that into your home. If you love taking baths, make the bathroom a soothing space with scents and artwork that helps recharge you after a long day. If you like reading to find calm, create a reading nook with adequate lighting and comfortable seating that you won't notice spending hours in. However you find your bliss, living alone lets you incorporate it into your home.

Living Alone and Loving It

Living alone is one of the best ways to get to know yourself, especially if you’ve always lived at home, had a roommate or been in a relationship. Most of us do a lot to accommodate others with whom we’re sharing a space and, sometimes in that process, we don’t end up knowing ourselves very well. While other people enrich our lives in innumerable ways, it’s really important to know your tastes, your inclinations, your desires.

Maybe you’ve always preferred to stay up late reading, sleep until noon on weekends or leave the dishes in the sink and wash them in the morning? It’s exciting to find out.

Some people may find that they absolutely must live alone, while others may find that they have so many people over all the time, it’s worth it to save the money and just live with a group of people again. Either way, you’ve spent time getting to know yourself and discovering new ways to enjoy life.

Finding things to do

There are plenty of people in the Burlington area in all sorts of living arrangements and there is always tons of stuff to do! Check out our Events List for an idea of what’s happening this month.

Posted on October 28, 2017 , updated on January 04, 2019

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