Nothing quite propels you into adulthood like moving out of your parent’s house. Having a place to call your own isn’t just hella empowering, it teaches you things you may not learn while still dependent on your folks to provide a roof over your head. Here are just a few things you’ll pick up once you finally decide to move out.
1. The toilet doesn’t clean itself.
“If you’ve never cleaned a toilet before, learn how to do that before you move out,” says Benj, 29. You’ll be amazed at how quickly things get dirty when you live alone. When you have no one to pick up after you, you don’t have much choice but to act like an adult. It’s a sink-or-swim deal: either get your crap together or find yourself swimming in filth — hopefully never in the literal sense.
2. Paying bills is no joke.
Sure, you already knew that electricity, running water, internet, etc. would cost money. But there’s a huge difference between simply knowing it and actually feeling the pain of parting with two-thirds of your hard-earned money every month.
“If the bills get too high, consider getting a roommate,” Janice, 31, says. Though living in close quarters with someone (even if that someone is a friend) may not appeal to you, sharing the burden with someone else can do wonders for your budget.
3. You don’t really need your daily Starbucks fix.
You may not have a designer bag to your name, but you’re probably splurging on more luxuries than you think — perhaps pricey lattes, regular mani-pedi appointments, even air conditioning! “I used to eat out a lot, but after moving to my own place I realized quickly that I couldn’t do that anymore,” says Mikka, 25. “Now I limit my gimiks to once a week or less. The FOMO gets more bearable with time.”
4. You — yes, YOU — have to kill all the cockroaches.
“I’ll never forget the day I found mice in my garbage,” says Ronn, 27. “Now I make it a point to throw my trash out every day.”
You can prevent this from happening in the first place by keeping your place spick and span (see item #1), but when you’re living in an older building, pests are inevitable. Arm yourself with a trusty rubber slipper or broom and you’re good to go.
5. You probably won’t have Instagrammable digs (at least not for the first few years).
Chances are, the first place you move into won’t look anything like the cute apartments you have on your Pinterest boards. For now, it’s best to stay practical and go for function over form. Daiso is your best friend.
6. Getting sick when you live alone is depressing AF.
You haven’t really suffered until you’ve tried buying your own meds while running a 39º fever. “When I lived alone, I thought eating dinner by myself was pretty sad, but getting sick was the worst,” says Timmy, 34. “Especially when you’re dealing with something like food poisoning and there’s really nothing you can do but let [the illness] run its course.”
7. You’ll discover adulting hacks that will change your life.
Did you know that you can steam eggs and vegetables in your rice cooker? Or that you can use steam from a hot shower (or a boiling kettle) to “iron” your clothes? The internet is full of adulting hacks that’ll make life so much easier, especially when you don’t have all the “right” equipment.
8. You’re more capable than you think.
The first few months of living alone will be tough. You’ll miss your childhood bedroom, your mom’s cooking, and not having to worry about whether or not you’ll be able to make rent. You may feel so sorry for yourself that you’ll end up in tears.
But it’ll get easier over time. No one becomes an adult overnight — pretty soon you’ll surprise yourself with how much you’ve grown. For now, stick to your budget, keep your place clean, and keep your head high. You’ve got this.
What were your realizations? Tell us below!