Single-person households are exceedingly - there are well over 31 million single-person households in the U.S. That's nearly a third of all households.
Living alone can be dreary or fabulous. It all comes down to the decisions you make and the way you run your single-person household. What follows is a guide to maximizing one's solitary life. The key, you will find, lies in quality, quantity, cleanliness, indulgence, and socialization.
Indulge in High Quality Things
One of the key benefits of living alone is that you do not have to share anything. This means that you have every excuse to ingulge in the best of the best in every department- from food to fabric.
Focusing on all-around quality when living alone is also pivotal in that it draws the distinction between fabulous living and dreary survival. Living alone need not be depressing or lonely, but you can bet your bottom that it will be if you pull on stained, boring clothes every morning and return to a shabby, un-chic domicile every evening. If you do not turn your home into an indulgent retreat, it will seem like an isolated jail.
It is therefore pivotal that you...
- Stock your fridge and pantry with the best of foods (healthy, fresh, and delicious!)
- Fill your closet with excellent clothing
- Furnish your pad with comfortable, tasteful furniture
- Invest in a good entertainment and sound system
... and indulge in any other household feature (from fun kitchen appliances to top of the line gaming systems) that help to define your personality and help you unwind.
If you're concerned about the cost of filling your solitary life with top-of-the-line items, do not worry. That issue is pretty much resolved with the next solitary-living rule of thumb about quantity.
Though it is a good practice for EVERYONE to keep personal possessions to a minimum, it is particularly important for singles to do so.
Those living alone have the particular advantage of being more flexible in their lives. It is much easier for them to relocate or change careers or change apartments because they do not have to agree with husbands or wives or boyfriends or girlfriends or friends or roommates. Housemates provide a hefty amount of logistical ballast.
Those living alone are free of the logistical ballast that comes with housemates, but that doesn't mean they may take on things that weigh them down. Physical possessions are the most common barriers to flexible living that can weigh single-lifers down.
Avoid this extra burden by simply minimizing the amount of things you allow yourself to hold onto. Only keep your best clothing, best furniture, and best decorations. If you're buying everything fresh, focus on quality and just get a few good things. They'll be more expensive, but they'll also be of higher quality and shall last longer.
Keep it Clean
One of the major perks of living alone is that you are free to make and clean up messes at your own pace. As someone enjoying the privileges of solitary life, you should feel free to exercise your right to make a mess and leave it around, or keep your diggs as clean and immaculate as possible.
That said, you should, on the whole, do your best to keep your home clean. This should be fairly easy to do given that you should (1) have stocked your home with only the highest quality things, and (2) you have paired down your possessions, but it is easy for even the best of us to slip . To avoid letting any clutter or grunginess sneak up in your home, make a habit of doing a cleaning overhaul at a certain recurring time every week or month.
Why bother with keeping things clean? First, keeping your home organized allows you to keep your life organized- the home in which you live constantly gives you mental cues that affect the way you think and behave. Second, should people come to visit you or see your home, they will think much more of you if you show how well your living. Even if you do not care much about what others think of your place, consider how people might use the messiness of your home as evidence of your "sorry, sad, lonely state." You do not want people thinking such things of you, so don't give them the fodder!
By living alone, you are allowed to truly get to know yourself, as you will not be defined by those around you.
Utilize this opportunity to develop your unique persona. Decorate your home with the things you love most. Choose some unique, fun art that reminds you of who you are and who you want to be. Don't worry about what other people might think of your decorating choices- they're not the ones paying the rent!
Turn Your Home into a Retreat
Once you have a clean, uncluttered, unique home filled with high quality possessions, you are ready to crown it off by turning it into the utlimate retreat.
Single-person households have a particular advantage as retreats as they are always places where one can get away from it all. When returning home every night, the solitary individual will not be hindered by roomies, housemates, significant others, or anyone else, and can therefore turn their places into super indulgent spa retreats.
Take advantage of the opportunity by stocking your home with the accouterments required for the ultimate you-tailored retreat. This might entail having bath salts, face masks, and scented candles on hand, or it might involve creating the ultimate video game and movie library in a media cave equipped with mind-melting surround sound and a top of the line flatscreen. No matter what you have on hand, make sure it makes being home alone not just a concession, but a privilege.
Socialize and Show Off
By turning your home into the ultimate you-tailored retreat, you might make it extremely tempting to just spend all of your free time alone! Though doing so is perfectly fine, life is far more satisfying when it is enjoyed with other people, hence I encourage you to, from time to time, share your lovely home with guests.
When you feel like it, invite people over for dinner, parties, brunches, games, and get-togethers. Because you live alone, doing so will be splendidly easy, as you do not have to garner permission from anyone else!
In addition to having a good time with friends (without having to go anywhere), you will be spreading the understanding that living alone is not only fashionable but fun. And that's a good thing indeed!
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on March 14, 2012:
Hehee, thanks Nare Anthony! I certainly think that the solitary life can be a very happy one.
Nare Gevorgyan on March 10, 2012:
This is beautiful Simone... :)
sheryl on February 12, 2012:
less is more ,no junk less housework. and an uncluttered look is so calming for stress free living .life is not ment to waste on housework
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on January 30, 2012:
Oh, you are SO stylish GypsyFootedWoman! Sunday's a great day for cleaning. Hehee- Saturdays are my go-to cleaning days ;)
Don't you love those good habits that actually STICK??
GypsyFootedWoman on January 30, 2012:
What a fun upbeat hub. so many of these tips I've been doing for years, who knew I was so stylish? :)
I too despise clutter; I am not a knick knack person. I love big statement pieces, which lend themselves nicely to moving, which I also do frequently.
Sunday is my regular cleaning day. A hold over from my childhood with a catch phrase coined by my mother “It’s clean your room day” she would say in a sing song voice after breakfast, and it stuck!
Thanks for sharing your take on living alone.
vasantha T k from Bangalore on December 18, 2011:
Great ideas and tips for living alone.Have a good day.
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on September 21, 2011:
Yeah, this is true naturalsolutions! And I think solitary living can work well at any age... at least any age above adulthood. It's all about the way one goes about it!
naturalsolutions on September 20, 2011:
Simon, another wonderful hub. Living alone is nice specially when we have a great income.lol It is daring and exciting. But it is effective in your 20 - 30 :)
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on September 16, 2011:
Hahaa! I guess you can't! Though with such amusing premises, why would one ever want to complain in the first place?
Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on September 02, 2011:
So awesome! Scheduling visits has been my only problem. It's karma, really - as I never call or anything, I just show up.
. . . .so perhaps I can't really complain about the three a.m. visits from people asking where the best place to hide the bank bags are, or how to diffuse the exploding dye packs?
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on September 02, 2011:
Inspiration to clean? Hah! The best inspiration is knowing how GREAT it feels to be rid of clutter and unneeded stuff!
kimberlyslyrics on September 01, 2011:
Ahhhh help girl
Well more but still
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on September 01, 2011:
Oh, thanks for the idea, Indigo Bird! I should totally do that!
Indigo Bird on August 31, 2011:
These rule.... Your how-to guide to dwelling solo is groovy, perhaps an article on Tips to Living Alone: Staying Financially Golden is in order? I know i would dig it
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on August 22, 2011:
Oh noes! Perhaps if you took an afternoon to just clear everything out while listing to very, very loud music, you could make everything neat and spiffy again!
kimberlyslyrics on August 21, 2011:
Simone I relapsed, I can't find a thing my mess is back out of control
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on August 19, 2011:
That sounds like a pretty ideal living arrangement, funmontrealgirl! It's pretty similar to what I do myself. After a day filled with people, it really *is* nice to be able to come home to serene solitude.
funmontrealgirl from Montreal on August 18, 2011:
Great ideas. I like my peace and quiet. I have friends over when I get bored, but for the most part it's comfortable having solitude and quiet at home. I am with people all day.
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on May 10, 2011:
Yep- you hit the nail on the head, yenajeon!
kimberlyslyrics on May 10, 2011:
i love that comment,spot on for me also
Yena Williams from California on May 10, 2011:
I love living alone! There's nothing I enjoy more than single gal behavior. Example one: Dancing like a crazy person to any music I want.
two: Eating breakfast naked in bed. It's fab!!
Rated up and awesome!
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on April 25, 2011:
Oh of COURSE!! Always trust a 100 Hubber. LOLOL
And congrats on making it to the hardwood floor!
lyricsingray. from the impossible on April 25, 2011:
ok Iam trusting you cause you obviously have 100 score [hmmmmmm ha]
no seriously starting to get in the groove and moving some furniture around has given me inspiration for clearing and opening up space
omg saw my area rug yesterday, it has green in it so after an hour of mini golf trashed it in the big blue bin-who knew tada hardwood floors-next miracle i shall report promply
and tamka tanks
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on April 24, 2011:
Hahaa, that's really awesome, kimberlyslyrics! It's worth the work and the temporary mess- so freeing!! Glad you're making the change :D
kimberlyslyrics on April 24, 2011:
this is gross
can i hire someone?
but fyi started sifting lifting shifting and risking the initial throw out stage
status update in few weeks
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on April 23, 2011:
Hahaa, thanks kimberlyslyrics!!
kimberlyslyrics on April 22, 2011:
kimberlyslyrics on April 22, 2011:
kimberlyslyrics on April 22, 2011:
Simone, this is my major spring project, I mean it's ridiculous what I am unable to throw out-even stupid embarrassing door knockers I don't use ha
You have saved me
and between you and I-he is smoking hot, but I really only think so cause I love her-I have 6 large prints of her in my room surrounding the walls, nut lmao every morning I wake up I face the one AEvans has as her avatar and I think she's here to yell at me
have you been to his site-you'll freak-the photos everything-she was such a humanitarian, and he's continuing her work with unicef
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on April 22, 2011:
Ok. WWWWOOOWWW TANKA!! NO WAY!! NO WAY NO WAY!!! I am such a huge Audrey fan, You're so lucky!! And it doesn't surprise me a bit that her sons didn't realize she was famous for so long- she was so classy about keeping her personal life sane and healthy. Btu dude. That's so cool.
And I used to be something of a dreadful pack rat, too, but a while back I realized how wonderful and freeing it is to let go of stuff, and I've been getting rid of things ever since!
prey from places you should hope we never meet on April 20, 2011:
Hey, too weird that this is what I have been working on trying to find some style comport and cut back on my seriously deadly disease of being a pack rat
Love Audrey, dated her son and worked on Audrey projects, [bragging and adding just a little fun whoa] cool fun fact - Sean, her son told me that he nor his brother never even knew their mom was famous til they were ten. Motherhood and goodwill was her priorities.
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on April 19, 2011:
Wow, Peggy W! My college roomie had an immaculate closet like that, too. That's where I developed the habit! I've still held on to a set of get-dirty clothes, too, though XD
And better late than never, eh tritrain? Hahaa.
You make such an excellent point, KoffeeKlatch Gals. I hadn't though of that, and it's such a mental load off!
And hurrah for solo-living, Chatkath! You're so right. It's the best!
Kathy from California on April 18, 2011:
Brava! I absolutely love living alone (most of the time anyway) You can be selfish, eat what you want, say what you want (my cat does not talk back) and when you come back home, there are no messes to clean, my apt is exactly as I left it. I can go on but I think you covered it quite well! Great Hub Simone.
Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on April 18, 2011:
Simone, the best thingabout living alone is that you don't have to please anyone but yourself. What a wonderful point of view you have about living alone.
And Drewson from United States on April 18, 2011:
If only I read this earlier. Doh!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 18, 2011:
Clutter does have a way of sneaking up on one. Good pointers to make it a regular day of the week or month chore to try and keep it restrained...better yet...booted out the door! Good hub! When I was sharing a room in the nurses dorm prior to getting married, my roommate and I had just one closet. Hers was sparsely populated with clothing and shoes compared to mine...but everything was top notch! You and she obviously share the same mind-set, and it is a good one.
Of course...I have to keep my grubbing in the yard and painting cloths! Haha!
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on April 18, 2011:
And seriously likecore- it's all about good speakers, isn't it! As for indulgent food, DailyResearcher, I can see the reason in keeping that out... though it's OK for me, because my idea of indulgent food more Hyphenbird-like. Nothing beats huge salad with homemade whole wheat bread and goat cheese! That's not exactly a pint of Ben & Jerry's, hehee.. XD And Hyphenbird- at least you've got it in hand when you might need it! Good speakers are quite the asset.
And Peter Dickenson, that sounds so liberating! And "Less possessions leaves more room for love" = something I need to say again and again and again. Wise words!
Peter Dickinson from South East Asia on April 18, 2011:
Good advice I am sure. I am alone but have no permament home. That's great because all the possessions I have I must be able to carry on my back...no junk. No room for too much sentimentality. It does make some of your suggestions a little more complicated but I feel sure you are right. Then again I am not always alone. My relationships are complicated to say the least. Less possessions leaves more room for love.
Thank you for sharing.
Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on April 18, 2011:
When I lived alone, I indulged in the most wonderful linens and foods. Great cheeses, wines and imported crackers were a normal staple. I also had an awesome stereo system, still do but it is seldom used now. Thanks for this great Hub.
DailyResearcher on April 18, 2011:
It was such a joy to read this article :) Do not agree with indulgent food though :p
Luke Chant from Manchester on April 18, 2011:
When I lived alone a good set of speakers was my most important item!
Maggie Griess from Ontario, Canada on April 18, 2011:
Simone...A terrifically wonderful take on living alone!
Marian L from UK on April 17, 2011:
Thanks Simone for making me smile on what started out as a miserable day on my own lol!