Basic life skills

Living alone tests basic life skills. If you have none it will become abundantly clear very quickly. A list of essential skills would include knowing how (and when) to do laundry, how to clean everything, and how to do the grocery shopping without spending hundreds and coming home with nothing resembling food (tip: write a list, and don’t shop when hungry).

But for my money, the number one life skill is what I call self management.

Self management stops me from spending all day in my pyjamas watching Oprah and eating Doritos. Not that there’s anything wrong with that once in a while, but if it’s every day, it’s time to get some serious self management going in the form of routines.

“Routine” gets such a bad rap. Routine sounds dull, tedious, predictable, but let me tell you, as a Living Aloner, it’s a godsend. Routines mean I don’t have to remember to do all those little things that keep life civilised, I just do them because it’s 10am on a Saturday morning and that means laundry.

Self management is also what gets me up in the morning to go to work. It’s been a long time since I had parents or flatmates to wake me. An alarm clock is of course handy, but routine itself wakes me most mornings. I’m used to getting up at the same time every day, so I wake up then.

When you live alone, it’s all down to you. Sometimes that feels overwhelming, but most of the time, it’s empowering.