Five things I learnt after moving out on my own.

| By Sangeeta Kocharekar | Entertainment

I Never Thought I’d Live Alone, Now I’d Never Go Back to a Share House

Five things I learnt after moving out on my own.

I never thought I’d live alone. But after things not working out with two housemates in a row, I felt I didn’t have any other choice.

It’s been a year and half since I moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Sydney’s North Bondi on my own, and I can confidently say I’ll never go back to a share house.

These days I feel like a veteran of solo living, so I wanted to share everything I love about it. If you’re considering moving out on your own, or just curious about what it’s like, here are the best things about it.

1. You can Furnish It How You Want

One of the first things I did when I moved into my new apartment was buy a white couch from MCM House. Living in share houses, I never wanted to invest in quality furniture, as I’d have to constantly ensure housemates were treating it well. But as I got older, I got more interested in home décor and placed more value on how my home looked. I felt frustrated that my home didn’t have nice things.

When you live alone, you’re finally able to make your space look exactly how you want it – without having to compromise. If you want to buy an expensive couch and not have to worry someone will spill something on it, you can. I was also thrilled to proudly display a tie-dyed pillow on my couch that an old housemate didn’t like. This was entirely my place now – her opinion didn’t matter.

2. You Can Do Whatever You Want, Whenever You Want

Since I’ve lived in my apartment, I’ve had two sets of visitors, three house parties, and countless dinner parties. And I didn’t have to ask anyone about any of it.

Living alone allows you to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Of course it might annoy your neighbours (my tip? WhatsApp them before you have a party) and many unit blocks don’t allow things such as pets, but otherwise, I get to run the show. And it’s glorious.

3. You’re Never Being Asked to Clean Up

A year and a half into living on my own, I’ve almost forgotten how annoying cleaning chats with housemates can be. One person inevitably ends up doing more cleaning – I’ve been on both sides. You can start to resent the other person or worse, be the one resented.

Now, I can leave my dirty bowl or water glass in the sink without worrying about getting a passive-aggressive text about it. On the flip side, I can also spend an entire Sunday afternoon scrubbing my bathroom, knowing it’s all my mess I’m cleaning.

4. You Don’t Have to Be Social All the Time

After a day of work in the office, followed by a media dinner mingling with other journalists, PRs and their clients, my social battery is empty. I’m exhausted. Lucky for me, I don’t have to continue any small talk with a housemate at home – I can just walk in, brush my teeth, wash my face and head straight to bed.

On the weekends, too, I’ve really started to love my alone time in my apartment. I’ll crank up a speaker, light a sweet-smelling candle and organise my wardrobe, clean my kitchen or curl up on my (pristine, white) couch, where I’ll answer e-mails and get on top of what’s coming up for the week ahead. When I don’t have this solo time in my apartment for awhile because I’ve been travelling, I start to crave it.

5. Feel Independent

Finally, there’s the feeling of independence I’ve gotten from living alone. I’ve chosen my Internet, gas and electricity providers, and I pay all their bills, plus my rent, on my own. I also furnished the place entirely on my own. When my landlords increased my rent, I negotiated it on my own.

I know I’m extremely privileged to be able to care for myself physically, emotionally and financially, and I’d credit a big part of that development to having lived on my own. If you have the financial means (even if it’s a stretch) to live on your own, I’d say go for it. There’s a good chance you, like me, will love it. The only downside is you’ll probably never be able to go back to living in a share house!

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