Whether you’re divorced, recently widowed, or just single in general, living solo can seem a bit intimidating. If you’re suddenly on your own for the first time, this new venture might be overwhelming and maybe even stressful. Thankfully, there are things you can do to be proactive that will enhance your newfound solo living lifestyle. Read on for some tips to help you enjoy your solo life for a more fulfilling experience that will encourage you to thrive and grow.

Living alone is actually on the rise, which means solo living is becoming a lifestyle trend. Whether you split up with your partner or you’re just out on your own for the first time, more people than ever are leaning toward living on their own. The number of people living alone has increased throughout the world in recent years. In fact, this number has almost doubled in the United States in the past 50 years, making solo living a more common occurrence than it was in the past. Countries like Sweden and Norway have a high population of people who live on their own. While the reasons may vary depending on location, there’s little doubt that solo living is certainly a trend.

Why living alone is a transformative experience

For decades, society has dictated that living alone is a negative thing. However, contrary to this popular belief, living alone can actually be an incredible, transformative experience. When you have time to spend alone, it allows you to really become your true self. You’ll no longer need to spend precious time focusing on or worrying about your partner’s needs. Now is an opportunity to focus on you. Not only does the act of living alone provide the freedom to discover who you really are, but it also encourages you to become more independent. When you’re able to handle things on your own, you get stronger and better able to adapt to the world around you. Independent living is not always a bad thing. In fact, solo living will help you learn useful skills like home improvement tasks, financial management, and social skills.

Time to declutter

If you’re new to living on your own, it’s a great time to declutter your home. Decluttering the space around you can do wonders for your mental health. With less clutter, you’ll experience lower stress levels as an added benefit. Less stress means you’ll sleep better, stay focused throughout the day, and live healthier in general. You’ll also experience a great sense of achievement when you declutter your newly solo home. Getting rid of old memories or items you never use can free up space in your house as well as in your mind. You can also donate items you no longer want, which means you’re able to help others in need at the same time. Overall, the simple act of decluttering can help reduce anxiety and it gives you a clean slate to start your new solo life.

How to prepare: Tips for solo living

If you’re living alone for the first time in years, there are a few specific things you can do to help you be fully prepared for the experience. Whether you own your home or you’re renting an apartment, preparation will make you feel more confident about this new solo lifestyle. Here are a few tips for living alone that will keep you safe and make you feel more confident to live alone without fear and worry.

Take care of your home

No matter what kind of home you have, it’s important to take good care of your living space. Aside from the initial decluttering, you should try to keep your living area, kitchen, and bathroom as clean and as organized as possible. Regular, weekly cleanings will make you feel better about where you live. It’s also a good way to prevent issues later such as invasive pests, broken appliances, or plumbing problems. While you’re alone, it’s also prudent to learn some basic household repair skills. Everything from installing new lighting to fixing a leaky faucet can save you tons of money since you won’t need to hire someone. Study a few DIY videos and tutorials that walk you through some basic handy household skills. It’s not only a good way to save money, but it’s also a great way to boost your confidence and self-esteem.

Another way to protect your home, if you are a homeowner, is to have a home warranty. It covers major home appliances and systems repairs when they break down due to normal wear and tear. With a home warranty, you’re safeguarded against the financial burden of sudden appliance failures or system malfunctions, and being a good investment in the long run.

Decoration tips

When you’re living solo, it’s time to take control and decorate your home exactly how you want. Whether it’s classic and traditional designs or funky mid-century modern, be sure to take some time to make your space your own. Look for unique artwork and other accessories that will help you show off your personality. Have fun with your décor and find pieces that showcase your uniqueness. Other decorating tips include:

  • Make good use of the space you have by utilizing wall space. Hang shelving or use vertical storage such as a tall bookcase to maximize your space in the home.
  • If you have storage areas, try to hide them by purchasing multifunctional furniture. A storage bench or storage bed are both great options that give you hidden storage while keeping your solo home organized.
  • Lighting can make a major difference in the way your home looks and feels. Consider upgrading your lighting by installing a beautiful chandelier in the foyer, pendants over a kitchen island, or task lighting in your home office.
  • Mirrors can add tons of visual depth to smaller rooms. Hang a large floor-length mirror or look for a fabulous decorative mirror for the living room that will give your home bright reflection and additional depth for a home that looks and feels bigger.

Stock up on necessities

When you live alone, there are a few things you’ll need to help you accomplish tasks and stay safe. From tools to household cleaning products, use this checklist to ensure that you have the things you need to live solo confidently:

  • Basic toolkit: Your toolkit should include things like a screwdriver, a small drill and drill bits, a pair of pliers, and a variety of nails and screws. Don’t forget the hammer and level, too.
  • First aid kit: Every home needs a basic first aid kit. This kit should include items like bandages, first aid cream, burn cream, gauze, aspirin, and tweezers. Look for kits that contain a variety of items for common ailments and small injuries.
  • Kitchen essentials: Stock your kitchen with the basics like dish towels, dishwashing detergent, sponges, and a variety of pots and pans. Cooking tools like cake and muffin pans, spatulas, and of course plates and cups are also important. Think about the things you use most often, and purchase enough for yourself as well as guests if you plan to entertain at home.

Safety tips

Living alone can be a bit intimidating, especially if it’s new to you. To stay safe, make sure you choose a safe apartment or condo where you feel secure. Gated communities and complexes with strict access can add an additional layer of security and protect you from unwanted guests and break-ins. Choose a place to live with plenty of lighting and great neighbors. A complex with security guards can also give you peace of mind. Get to know your neighbors and the people around you so you can all look out for one another. Install a home security system that includes cameras, motion sensors, and monitoring so you always know what’s happening, even when you’re not at home. Finally, make a list of emergency numbers and keep them stored in your phone as well as on the fridge. These numbers should include local emergency dispatch along with the phone number of a few trusted friends and family members.

Manage your finances

Solo households have a much different dynamic than those with several members living under one roof. This applies to your finances, and it’s extremely important to keep your budget under control while living alone. Sit down and draft a budget that includes the cost of rent, utilities, food, and other monthly expenses. When you create a budget you can work with, managing your finances is easy. It’s also recommended that you put some money into savings for an emergency or rainy-day fund. If the process of managing personal finance is new to you, consider enlisting the help of a financial advisor. They can help you come up with a game plan and discuss effective ways to keep your income and your budget in check.

Do your research to find the perfect place for you if you’re moving to a new location. Take the time to really think about your needs, whether it’s social, career-related, or just how much you like a specific place. Keep your cost of living in line, explore who you are as a person, and remember to have some fun with your new solo lifestyle.