On Your Own for the First Time? Do These Things...

You’re finally moving into your very own place. You won’t have to worry about parents trying to enforce the same rules you had in middle school or yelling at you to clean up your room. You won’t have to worry about roommates eating all of your food or borrowing your stuff without asking and finally, finally, things will stay where you put them. It’s a time to be happy! And excited! And, if we’re being honest, it’s also a time to freak out a little bit.

Being on your own for the very first time is really scary. Yes, there is a lot of freedom that comes with having a place that is just yours. At the same time, suddenly the only person who can be held responsible for everything is you. Yikes!  

Here are some of the most common fears people have about being on their own for the first time and what you can do to overcome them.


According to, one of the best ways to make sure your home is secure is to do a security audit. Hiring a professional to come in and help you identify the places in which your home is the most vulnerable (as well as how to secure them) is a lot smarter than just installing a security system--especially if you live in an apartment building with a strict landlord. If you cannot afford someone from a private security company, a lot of local police stations offer these services as well. 

Things like security film, security locks, peep holes, dallings in your windows, etc--these are also great for making your home harder to invade. Do not ever leave your door unlocked! 

Stranger Danger

One of the biggest security risks, particularly for people who live on their own for the first time, is stranger danger. Yes, stranger danger is a real thing even when you are an adult. When you’re on your own for the first time, suddenly everybody can seem like a potential threat. And, while it is good to keep your guard up, especially when walking around on your own, there are things that you can do to minimize your risk.

1. Get to know your neighbors. Seriously! It seems so old fashioned, but introducing yourself when you move in is a great way to find out who is living around you. Getting to know the people in your building will help you identify who is supposed to be wandering the halls and who isn’t. It also increases the chances someone will come running if you yell for help. 
2. Do not ever tell anybody where you live when you first meet them. Get to know someone before inviting that person up to your apartment or telling them where you live. Definitely do not share keys to your place with anybody you do not already know very well. 

Money Issues

Hopefully, before you found your current place, you spent some time putting together a budget to figure out what kind of rent you could afford. If you haven’t done that already, do that now. Set up reminders about bill due dates (yes, even if you have automatic payments set up). Then, spend some time figuring out how to live frugally. It isn’t as hard or as boring as you might think! And, being able to get super nice stuff without spending a ton of money will earn you more bragging rights as an adult than simply buying things at full price all the time. 

Life Skills

Suddenly you have to cook your own meals. You have to do your own laundry. You have to buy and transport your own groceries. You have to do your own cleaning. Running a sponge over things isn’t cutting it. Believe it or not there are a lot of great resources out there that will teach you how to become a domestic jedi. One of our favorites is the Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking. She also has a book about cooking and managing your own kitchen. You can find a YouTube tutorial for anything these days. 

The three best habits you can get into to help keep your home from becoming a biohazard and accidentally giving yourself food poisoning (though, really, that’s a rite of passage for everyone) are these:
• Put it away/clean it as soon as you’re done using it.
• Use a meat thermometer when you’re learning to cook (if you eat meat)
• Write the date on everything you stash in your fridge. If it’s been in the fridge longer than a week, toss it.

It’s a process of trial and error, but trust us: you can totally hack this! 

This post is written by a contributor only and not from the author of The Coffee Chic.

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