Living Alone? You Need To Read This...

Illustrated By Jenny Kraemer.
I'm not talking about a "fashion-mergency" toolbox the size of an Altoids tin with a needle and thread and a Tide pen. If you think fashion disasters are the only kinds of crises faced by single folks living in big cities, you, my friend, are probably not a singleton in a big city.
Independent living comes with challenges in any town, but urban life, with its absence of things like cars, storage space, and one-stop shopping, can present unique difficulties indeed. Face those struggles head on, with an eye toward resourcefulness, and being alone can feel pretty damn good.
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Illustrated By Jenny Kraemer.
This person is always around. He's got an eye on the building, and he's a presence. Heaven forbid there's a break in, a power outage, or a burst pipe, you're going to want to be on a first-name, I've-got-your-number basis. Shoot the breeze on a Saturday. Interact in times when there is not a disaster. He or she is a part of the building and will be in your home from time to time, so kindness is key. Also, don't forget holiday tipping. It's the right thing to do and goes a long way during non-emergencies, like when you lose your keys for the third time this year.
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Illustrated By Jenny Kraemer.
Yes, like those ugly things soccer players use to carry their shoes. I know this sounds ridiculous and not worth mentioning. Until you're walking home with literally 10 plastic Target bags with wearing-thin straps cutting off your circulation. This tote is small, smush-able, fits in any handbag, and is a godsend when running a ton of errands (on foot!). It's so much easier to schlep stuff on your back than in your hands — which you'll need for Metrocard swiping, taxi hailing, or general doing of things.

While I'm on the topic, accidental errand running should be near-daily activity. The amount of chores and errands in a household stays the same no matter how many people live in it. You're doing all the shopping, all the dry cleaning, all the prescription picking-up, everything. Keep a consistent list of everything you need to get or do and if you're walking by a Walgreens on the way home, stop in. Saving up all your errands for one day sucks up a Saturday quick. And, it kind of sucks, too.
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Illustrated By Jenny Kraemer.
Get your mind out of the deep fryer, I'm not talking about Seamless. Need an air conditioner? Home Depot delivers. Wine? Download the MiniBar app. Locate the best, fastest, cheapest methods to get what you need while you do your taxes while cooking dinner. It's still multitasking if you've farmed out a few of your zillion tasks. Many of these services also offer tipping online or in-app so that you don't need to worry about keeping a ton of cash around. If you're really strapped for time, services like WunWun or Task Rabbit can act as a temporary personal assistant in a pinch. And, there's nothing wrong with saving a little time and a few flights of stairs.
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Illustrated By Jenny Kraemer.
When it comes to home repair, sometimes two pairs of hands is simply better than one. But, when you're living alone, you need to figure out creative ways to make it work. That may mean YouTube, your bestie, or trial and error. Whatever method you use, you need to learn how to make basic home and appliance repairs. This saves cash and maintains independence. Also, that feeling of accomplishment is like bottled happiness. See that gallery wall? That extra pantry shelf? I did that. Boom.
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Illustrated By Jenny Kraemer.
I'm not talking about the emergency Mast Brothers chocolate you keep in your desk. I'm talking emergency candles, batteries, water, and so forth. Buy a kit online or build your own. You hope the stuff never hits the fan, but if it does, you'll be so happy to already be prepared. No one wants to wait in a line that's 100 people deep, when a hurricane is looming, because you're dangerously close to running out of TP. If you have some extra supplies on hand always, you'll never need to. Added bonus: You don't need anyone to save the day if you save it for yourself!
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Illustrated By Jenny Kraemer.
Turn on automatic payments for as many bills as possible, setting calendar reminders for yourself on your phone when they process. It's one less thing to worry about — just make sure you're checking your billing statements for errors!
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Illustrated By Jenny Kraemer.
People get sick. Especially city people. There are germs on every subway pole and every Starbucks doorknob. Single life can mean a serious lack of TLC. Make sure you've got tea, vitamins, cold meds, chicken soup, and cold/hot packs on hand for a little self-nursing when you need it. There's nothing more tragic than the sweatpants shuffle to Duane Reade in the cold with a cold.
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Illustrated By Jenny Kraemer.
I don't need to remind you of the Miranda strained-neck/bathmat incident, do I? One person in the city needs to have your keys. People get locked out. People fall. Things happen. If nothing else, a good friend with your keys gives you peace of mind. Also, these people make great cat-sitters.
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Illustrated By Jenny Kraemer.
I like to inject happiness into my day whenever possible, without needing affection, gratification, or attention from anyone else. Simply walking into an apartment that isn't empty (because something is meowing), is really nice. A dog, a cat, a turtle, choose whatever you like. Make your home a place you love, without needing anyone else in it.
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