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HaroldWrites: 5 Tips For Successfully Living Alone for the First Time



Are you contemplating moving out of your parents/guardian’s house any time soon, into your own apartment? Are you overwhelmed by the thoughts of what you need to do to live a happy life as an independent human for the first time? Do not worry. This article will serve as your guide on what exactly you need to do, and things you need to get, to have a fantastic singlehood.

Should you move out?
Before delving into what you need to do, it is pertinent to address the question of whether you need to get a place of your own in the first place. I know how difficult it can be, deciding if it is time to make the bold move out of your current abode, especially if no one is stressing you about leaving. You are wondering how you would cope in a new environment. You are already missing the free foods you get at your current place. Are there younger ones or house maids/helps currently living with you? You are already missing the little services they render to you like doing your laundry, running errands, assisting you with chores, etc.

If the above describes you, well, you should know this: moving out to live on your own is a pretty bold move every young adult should be mentally, physically and financially prepared for. You do not just wake up one morning and decide to leave your parents/guardians house, especially if the reason is not school. If you are done with school and you still live with your parents/guardians, you must be prepared all-round, before deciding to move out.

Living on your own is hard-work; you pay your bills (rent and utility bills like power, water, TV, security etc), make impromptu compound/estate contributions like annual or special project levies, you cater for yourself (transportation, hospital, clothing etc) and you put food on your own table etc. This is hard-work but with some level of preparation and planning, you will be fine.

So, the question is still, should you move out of your parents/guardian’s house?

A simple answer to this question is: if you are mentally, physically and financially stable and prepared… yes, you should.

The perks of living alone
One good thing about living on your own is that, it commands some level of respect from your family and friends. Everyone sees and begins to treat you like the adult you so much crave to be. As an able adult, especially, if you are African, living under the same roof with your parents attracts some form of disrespect, if not all-together, contempt. Most African parents may not mean it, but they do display it without even knowing.

Another reason why moving out is best is, living alone teaches you how to be responsible. When you live alone, you know, there is no one there to tell you, your cooking gas is low and needs a re-fill. No one is there to police you to do your laundry or clean your room. The thoughts come naturally to you.

Yet another gain of living alone is, you have your own privacy. It is practically difficult for your family to intrude in your every little business. You have your own space and can easily make your own plans with little or no interferences. This affords you freedom.


This is the best part about living alone. However, you need to be careful how you handle, and what you do with your freedom. It is your best friend, as well as your worst enemy. It can make or mar you, 10 years from today.

So, if you tick all the boxes as someone who is ready to live alone, here are a few tips to do that successfully.

Consider Your Income
The first thing you should consider when deciding to move out is, your take home pay at the end of the month. It is not enough to currently have the sum of N500,000 in your savings account and the apartment you are moving into, requires a rent of N450,000. If you pay the rent the first time, can your salary/earnings accommodate next year’s rent? Get a place which your salary/earnings can comfortably pay for.

Do not think you can always fall back on your parents when your rent is due. Apart from the fact that, you could lose the little respect you had hoped to get by living alone, your parents may not have such money at the time you would need it. If you earn a monthly salary of say, N100,000, it is advisable to get an apartment that requires an annual rent of N100,000 too. This way, you can comfortably save 10% of your monthly salary (i.e N10,000 per month) and by the end of the year, you would have your rent ready with some change (N20,000) to spare. If your landlord increases your rent, you would not be so hard hit by the increment.

Move Away From your Immediate Environment
It is not advisable to move to an apartment within the same vicinity as your current place of abode. This defeats the whole point of privacy and alone-time. Do not be surprised if you woke up one Saturday morning and saw your mum in your apartment. What is the purpose of her visit? Your kid brother has refused to do the dishes. Get a place that is distant from your current place. The aura of moving to a totally new place brings with it some air of freshness. This is what you need.

Choose a Place Close to Work
When picking an apartment, endeavour to pick one closer to your workplace. Whether you live in a place like Lagos or not, this saves you time, money and energy.

Have the Items You NEED
It is practically impossible to list everything you would need in your new place. However, some of the most important things you would need are:

A mattress, bedspread and pillows (with pillow cases);

Some kitchen utensils like pot (2), kettle (1), plates (a set), spoons, cups (2), tray (1), chopping board (1), spatula (1), pepper grinder;

A gas cooker (to reduce cost, you can a table top burner and a 6kg gas cylinder);

One or two gallons/kegs to serve as your water reservoir

Waste bins (2) (one for the kitchen and the other one, outside your apartment);

Curtains for your windows;

A foot mat for your front door;

Broom, parker and floor mop;

Buckets (2) (to do your laundry or when you want to clean your bathroom);

An outdoor cloth hanger to spread your cloths (depending on the compound you move into, this may not be so necessary);

Cloth clips and shoe rack;

Fan (standing or ceiling fan for hot days and nights);

Personal effects like cloths and towel (also, always have a spare cloth/towel for your guests. You never know when you will have a guest who will sleep over);

If your budget is a bit large, you can also get a TV set/home theatre/radio (to kill boredom), a table and chair, refrigerator and a generator.

Have the Contact number of someone Local
When you eventually move to your new place, it is important that, you obtain and store the numbers of your landlord (or property manager), your neighbours and at least, one local. The importance of having the number of a local is that, they can keep you abreast of new (security) developments in your new environment. Of course, you would have made friends with the local before getting their number. Do that as soon as possible.

I hope the above information is sufficient for your purpose. Good luck in your new single hood life.

Photo Credit: Syda Productions | Dreamstime

HaroldWrites is an extraterrestrial who uses words like floccinaucinihilipilificate and antidisestablishmentarianism to keep his readers under his spell, yearning for more. Visit his blog at and stalk him on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram @haroldwrites


  1. tracy

    July 18, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    great post. right when i needed it.
    Sept 2017 is my target moving out date

  2. The Real Oma

    July 18, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    One underrated perk of living alone is cooking naked, hehehe.

    • Ariere

      July 18, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      Is it fun doing that when u frying fish or chicken with all that oil splattering in all directions?

    • The Real Oma

      July 18, 2017 at 9:45 pm

      @Ariere, but i hardly ever fry my fish or chicken, healthy eating things.
      But i’m sure even you don’t fry all the time nah
      Anyways, i am actually describing those evenings you get back from work hungry and tried and can just remove your clothes and get a-cooking.

  3. Cocolette

    July 18, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Great article.
    What is it with Nigerian parents wanting their kids to be responsible and independent but not wanting them to move out of the house, especially their unmarried daughters… like moving out automatically makes you into a loose, wayward girl?

  4. Live In Ibadan

    July 18, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    Great post but I’ll love to add one or two things. It is very important to get a chair when you’re moving to your new apartment. If money dey, a chair and a couch in case of visitors. Also, to save money, you can take some of these things from your parents house. Humble yourself and pack some these things only with their permission. They might have one old chair they can spare or one table in the other living room. That old bed in the visitor’s room or that pillow no one uses. Those plates mommy bought but hasn’t used alongside some spoons. The list is endless. By doing this, trust me, you would save money. Your parents will understand as it’s your first time leaving home and living alone so they’ll let you pack some things. Good-luck!

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