Living alone means never having to share the remote control. It can also foster a sense of independence and agency that’s tough to beat.
However, not having anyone else to rely on requires you to take some extra precautions — or find yourself dealing with unpleasant situations. Here are nine tips for women living alone that will make the transition a snap if it’s your first time flying solo.
1. Check Your Batteries
If you read that heading and chuckled, it doesn’t mean what you think. This advice has to do with preserving your safety. Smoke detectors increase your chances of surviving a house fire, but only if they work as intended.
Smoke and flames aren’t the only two potentially fatal substances in your home. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless byproduct of many of the heating systems used to keep your abode cozy in winter. Remain aware of symptoms like dizziness and headaches, and look for signs of trouble like pilot lights that frequently fizzle. Test your carbon monoxide detector monthly along with your smoke detector.
2. Change Your Filters
Your home’s HVAC system needs TLC, especially if you smoke or have pets. If 2020 reminded everyone of one thing, it’s the importance of indoor air quality.
You should check your home’s HVAC filters once per month and change them as needed. Many experts recommend swapping them out every three, although you may need more frequent changes depending on your home’s conditions.
3. Swing That Hammer
If you decide that you want to erect a plant shelf for your peace lily collection, do you know how to locate a stud or level the surface? If you’re a woman living alone, it pays to learn some basic carpentry and repair skills. Otherwise, it costs you a bundle to call in a pro each time.
What if you have never held a hammer in your life? Have no fear. Many community colleges offer courses in various construction disciplines, and some will let you audit classes for no credit for free.
4. Master Basic Auto Savvy
If a flat tire leaves you reliant on the kindness of strangers, you could end up in a sticky situation. You don’t have to become a pit-crew member, but you should master a few basics.
Once again, your local community college may offer courses. You can also swap services with a knowledgeable friend — have them show you how to jumpstart your battery in exchange for helping them with something they need.
5. Wisely Conceal Your Spare
Few things prove more frustrating than locking yourself out of your pad. However, as a woman living alone, leaving the standard plastic rock sitting by your front door could make you feel insecure at home.
Instead, why not make friends with one of your neighbors? You can leave a spare key with them and exchange contact information. It’s super handy to have someone you can text when you go out of town to keep your mail from accumulating and rolling out the welcome mat for thieves.
6. Keep Contact Information Up-to-Date
One of the first things you’ll learn as a woman living alone is that you can’t do everything yourself. You’ll probably find yourself wishing that you were born with four arms before your first week of flying solo ends.
Amass information about pros you use and love — and those you might need in the future. If a pipe bursts, you don’t want to waste time tracking down for a responsible plumber. Talk to others in your neighborhood about the service techs they utilize or turn to apps like Nextdoor to find reliable assistance near you.
7. Alarm Yourself (on the Cheap)
Women, unfortunately, face a physical disadvantage in many home invasion situations. Even if all the intruder wants is your television, the loss of your safety sense can traumatize you.
Prevent burglaries before they occur with a quality alarm system. It’s more cost-effective than ever today because you can buy various components if you are on a budget without necessarily linking them to a monthly service fee.
You can find window sensor alarms at most discount stores, and while they won’t dial 911 for you, they can tell you to hide in the closet with your cellphone until help arrives.
8. Adopt a Companion
Who said that your best friend and companion in life needs to have two legs? A feline or canine companion can help ease the loneliness that sometimes accompanies living alone.
If you have safety concerns, the right dog can serve as a security system and a companion animal. Even cats sometimes will defend their homes and family — but you might feel more secure with a rottweiler.
9. Customize Your Living Space
Have you always dreamed of putting a hot tub in the living room where you watch TV? Sister, your home is your castle and yours alone — if it delights you, go for it.
Living alone means that you can customize your space however you like. Did you always want a bathroom resembling an undersea aquarium? You don’t have to have kids to get whimsical! Go ahead and get that “Finding Nemo” or “Spongebob” shower curtain.
If You Are a Woman Living Alone, Embrace These 9 Tips
Flying solo can give you a feeling of independence and agency like no other. If you are a woman living alone, please make the most of your freedom with these nine tips.