It’s been 12 months since Ash and I moved out of our own parents’ homes and in to our new house together.
I’ll hold my hands up and say I was quite lazy while living with parents so it’s been a steep learning curve fending for myself. Here are the things I’ve learnt from 12 months of living independently.
There is no time for anything
Seriously! I used to come home from work, walk the dog, and sit down and chill. Crack on with blog writing, do some reading, watch TV, etc. But not now. Anyone reading this who lives alone will be slapping their head and saying “well yeah” but it takes you to do it to realise. Mornings consist of breakfast, feeding dogs, walking dogs, showering, getting ready for the day, making lunch, any bit of cleaning you have time for. Then you get home tired from a day of work and you need to walk the dogs, cook tea, get some washing done, and before you know it it’s bed time. Especially for me who gets up early (half 5 / 6am), by 8.30pm it’s time to be thinking about going to bed.
You need to learn how to cook
The best way to learn is by needing to and by doing it. I soon got sick of eating chicken nuggets and chips and started trying recipes out. By having a go I found out that I could do it. Google really is the answer to everything, I don’t feel bad asking google “What do I do with a swede?”. It told me the answer without judging me.
Slow cookers are amazing
Keeping on the cooking theme slow cookers really are brilliant. If you can get up and get organised in the morning it only takes about 20 minutes to get a chilli, casserole or bolognese on the go. Not only is the smell amazing throughout the day if you’re at home but it means when you finish work all you need to do is make some mash or pasta and you’re good to go. Slow cooking meat also makes it really delicious.
Cleaning never stops
There is always something that needs to be done. Be that washing clothes, putting clothes away, loading the dishwasher, unloading the dishwasher, washing pans, hoovering, dusting, wiping the surfaces, it never ends. Each meal you make creates dishes that need something doing with them.
We have seriously considered hiring a cleaner as I find it so annoying spending a day off work cleaning the house. I guess it is the choice of spending money to get your time back, or saving money and using your time.
Keep on top of your finances
This is something I could get better at. Bills need to be paid, insurances need to be renewed, food needs to be bought. If you keep on track of what’s going in and out and how much you need then you can be sure there is enough money for everything. Plus be able to save up for new bathroom, new kitchen, holiday, etc.
Food goes out of date quickly
I’ve found when buying for 2 you really have to just buy what you are going to eat and make sure you use it. Especially fruit and salad. If you change your mind about what you are having that week or just buy in popular ingredients it’s likely that you may end up throwing things away.
I’ve found meal planning really useful to ensure we only buy what we are going to use, plus it saves us money.
If something breaks it’s up to you
There are tradesmen out there for every job but it can take time and be expensive to get someone in. It’s useful to have some simple skills like how to change a fuse, turn off the water, replace a door handle, etc. (Thankfully I have Ash for all of these things!)
You have to stop being lazy
No one is going to do it for you. You’ve got to get up and do it yourself! You can’t just choose not to cook or not to do the washing, or if you do then you will have far more to do the next day.
Doing things your own way is amazing
The freedom of choosing how to do things is awesome. We all love our parents but we all think “I wouldn’t do it that way” at one point or the other. Living on your own lets you do it. Cook what you want, organise things how you want, do the washing as and when you want. It’s lovely.
People see you as more capable
I can relate far more to my fellow adults now that I have my own place. It may just be my perception of other people but I do feel like they respect me more and see me as more of an adult now. I am young yes (although I don’t feel it now that I’m close to 30) but I feel like I’m looked at as less of a child.
It’s also given me more confidence and independence. More ability… I can cook now!