This is a guest post by Terrence Filmont (bio below)
In the US, nearly 33 million people live alone, according to US Census data. Getting your first place without roommates is an exciting experience and a definite step up from dorm room living—if you’re well prepared.
Get the Essentials
If you lived with roommates before or in a dorm, a lot of your furniture needs were taken care of, either by the school or your fellow housemates. On your own, you need to invest in your own pieces. Even if your pad is a temporary situation, it doesn’t have to feel that way. Get comfortable and classy pieces of furniture that you’ll want to keep for years to come. Remember, a milk crate is not a table and a futon is not a bed. Pieces you’ll definitely need include a real bed, a couch, small dining table and a desk. Try shopping thrift and consignment shops first. Look for solid wood furniture that will last. You can always refinish it or update the hardware if you don’t love the look.
Clean it Up
Living alone isn’t an excuse to live like a slob. Sure, no one is nagging you about the mess, but you’ll probably want to have company over sometime. The last thing you want is for your date to run away the second you open the door or dump you after she gets a look at the state of your bathroom. Keeping your place clean doesn’t require a lot of extra work on your part, if you form good daily habits.
Make the bed every morning after you get up. It takes less than a minute and, according to Psychology Today, it makes people happier. Wipe out the sink after you shave, wash your face, and brush your teeth each morning. Get a daily shower cleaner than you spray in the tub after your shower. You can leave the dishes in the sink until the end of the day to save water and energy.
Secure Your Stuff
Get in the habit of locking the door and using a chain lock whenever you’re in house. Remember to lock the doors and windows when you head out, too. An alarm system can also keep your new place secure. Home alarm systems, according to www.SecurityCompanies.com, do more than protect against break-ins. They can also help detect threats from fire, flooding, freezing and carbon monoxide.
Add Some Fun
It’s time to make your new place reflect your personality and style, through decor and the features you choose. If you love to watch the game, create a sports zone in your new pad with a big television and a comfortable reclining chair.
Even small touches can make your place your own. If you love art, look for real paintings rather than prints. Work by a local artist or an up-and-comer can be affordable and distinctive. You can also choose to embrace your inner kid and set up a fun toy, such as a race car track or train set in your living room or a ping-pong table where most people would have a dining table.
Author bio: Terrence is happy as long as he’s writing about, talking about or playing games. He was the first kid on his street to have an Atari, which he still plays.