I moved to New York 10 days before the pandemic. I also scored my first-ever studio apartment during that week and three days of life in the big city. So after an entire year trapped inside a dingy, sunlight-barren studio apartment with *cue the world's tiniest violin* no friends, no family, and certainly no roommates, I'd like to think that I know a thing or two about living alone (and weekly therapy sessions). Combine that unfortunate event with the two years of lifestyle shopping writing under my belt, and I present to you my Lifestyle Writer Declassified Living Alone Survival Guide (heavily inspired by none other than Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide).
Pandemic or otherwise, living alone is equal parts superb and challenging. I evade the unhinged roommate horror stories, but end up going one on one with the occasional, unequivocally massive roach. I sing as loud as I'd like in the shower but also wonder if someone will come snatch me mid-high note. My privacy knows no bounds, but I overshare like no other due to lack of conversation. Living alone is all about taking the good with the bad, and also buying a handful of home essentials you previously didn't have room for or never really needed (like a 30-pound weighted blanket for companionship). So whether you're lonely, your apartment's lacking some flair, or you simply love investing in your literal and metaphorical personal space, scroll on for this introverted lifestyle writer's living alone shopping recs, below.
Tip #1: Security!
Living alone is a great way to amp up your fears that someone is lurking behind your closed shower curtain. Thankfully, those of us in isolation can easily keep to ourselves (and keep our peace of mind) with the help of a few extra security measures — which easily ship to your door compliments of Amazon. (If you have any personal recommendations feel free to leave a comment below!)
Tip #2: Me, Myself, & My Fridge
Fridge. Space. I deem it "the most overlook living alone perk," amongst my social circle, and I am now reiterating the sentiment for Refinery29. Picture it: I free myself from the shackles of roommates, go to the grocery store, and realize I can purchase that giant bundle of kale, a 12-pack of sparkling water, and however many bags of Trader Joe's frozen meals as I'd like. That being said, when you wind up with so much goodness, you want to keep it organized with the help of a few containers, storage baskets, reusable bags, and the like.
Tip #3: Cookware Counter Space
Three years of living alone and my very own countertops still spark a twinkle in my pupils. Small-space wares and appliances are great, but those are your counters. You wipe them down with your multi-purpose spray and pay (possibly an exorbitant amount of) rent every month — deck it out with 4-piece cookware sets, 6-quart air fryers, adorable juicers, and fancy trash-to-treasure compost bins if your heart so desires. You've earned it.
Tip #4: Personal Touch
Perhaps it's pandemic-related or the fact my introverted self doesn't host too many parties, but being alone can, shock, get lonely. While the best touch-starved solutions are most likely interacting with humans, you can also invest in a set of in-sync friendship lamps, a dreamy weighted blanket, or a mind-melting head massager. Hell, I even suggest letting a Roomba dawdle about your space if pets aren't your thing.
Tip #5: Constant Good Vibes
Long gone are the days of sharing walls with roommates and nervously putting your prized sex toy in hyperdrive. Forget about stashing them in underwear drawers. Buy yourself a buzzy companion regardless of its noise reputation and let the good times roll.
Tip #6: Creative License
Unlike fridge space, creative license is probably the most obvious benefit of shelling out extra cash in the name of privacy. A few unique retailers to add some high-quality personality to your space: Coming Soon, Areaware, Revival, and of course, Etsy.
Tip #7: Lounge Around
Quite frankly, I didn't believe in loungewear until I was gifted a baby blue sherpa set sent from
heaven Bailey44. Although I'm still committed to my oversized t-shirts and cotton boy shorts, the occasional robe, loungewear set, or pair of slippers adds a little dazzle to my days, and I recommend them to the masses.
Tip #8: Sound
It's important to respect your neighbors, but it's also important to make the most of your rent and fill your space with your tunes of choice — whether you're spinning vintage vinyl, blasting tunes in the shower, or perusing around your place with SZA's new album sounding off in the background.
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