6 Tips for Preparing to Live on Your Own by Alice Seeley

Moving out is an important moment in one’s life. As someone who moved across the country for college, I can tell you it’s scary but exciting at the same time. Here are a few tips to help you prepare to live on your own. 

Tip #1: Purge Your Closet to Lighten the Load 

Moving is a great time to purge your closet. Ask yourself: “Do I really need this?” or “Have I worn this recently?” Do not keep that dress you haven’t worn in two years; donate it! At the end of the day, you’ll feel great about donating, and packing will be easier. Keep in mind that the more you keep, the more you have to pack and figure out how to get it all to your destination. 

Tip #2: Be Organized 

I was not organized when it came to packing for my freshman year of college. I threw everything in unlabeled bags, which made unpacking much more difficult. Learn from my mistake and be organized when you are packing. Fold your clothes and label your containers. This will make unpacking much easier.    

Tip #3: Know How to Do Laundry 

Knowing how to do laundry is a necessary skill to be successful in living on your own. You may laugh and say, “everyone knows how to do laundry.” However, during my freshman year of college, I was shocked to discover two of my friends had never done laundry before. Washing clothes is easy. You just put your clothes, towels, sheets, etc. in the washer with some detergent and turn it on. However, drying clothes is more complicated. Especially as women, it is important to know that not everything goes in the dryer. For example, sweaters and jeans should be air-dried so that they don’t shrink. Also, depending on the material, certain shirts and dresses should be hung up to dry as well. 

 Tip #4: Know How to Cook 

You need to eat. “What about fast food?”, you say. Eventually, you’re going to grow tired of it and you’ll realize that cooking is cheaper and healthier.  

If you are brand new to cooking, be patient with yourself. It’s important to know that you will mess up, but you need to learn from this instead of giving up. Knowing one or two simple recipes is a great start. You can also ask your mom or grandma for their favorite, easy recipes! You can also consider investing in some small appliances like a crock pot or air fryer to help simplify the cooking. 

Tip # 5: Know How to Take Care of Your Car 

Cars are complicated and some of us might not know much about them. However, once you move out it is helpful to know the basics such as checking your oil, so you know when it needs to be changed, as well as replacing windshield wipers or brake lights. I usually find easy-to-follow instructions for these on YouTube. 

 Tip #6: Make Friends! 

Living on your own for the first time is hard and it’s going to be lonely at times. Making friends can be intimidating but don’t let that stop you! You can easily make friends by joining a NeW chapter on your campus or in your city. You can also attend a Young Adult Group at your church to meet new people. 

This blog was written by Alice Seeley, the NeW Chapters and Events Intern this fall and Social Media Chair for NeW at Christendom College. 

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