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Adulting 101: 4 Essential Skills to Learn When Living Alone for the First Time

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Adulting 101: 4 Essential Skills to Learn When Living Alone for the First Time
Making ‘real’ money as a full-time working adult and living alone for the first time are common rites of passage for many young Singaporeans, who may have recently graduated from university and are now seeking the freedoms of adulthood.
But another side of freedom is independence. Whether hybrid work culture has motivated you even further to rent an HDB flat, or you’ve saved up some money to make the down payment on a private condo, what happens after you get the keys to your place is really what counts.
Worried that all the little chores you took for granted will pile up and take up most of your weekends, with your social calendar looking little less potluck brunches and a lot more grocery shopping and laundry? Read on for four essential skills to help ease you into living alone (i.e. adulting) for the first time!

1. Cooking For One Can Be Easy and Varied

Anthony Bourdain’s famous quote on cooking being a virtue, similar to managing your finances, is helpful in reframing some people’s perception that it’s an impossible task. Maybe you’ve never picked up a spatula in your life, or the last time you did you made easy-bake lemon cupcakes in your home economics class. But cooking doesn’t need to be complicated, and after a month or two of trial and error, you’ll likely find yourself with a few nifty regular recipes up your sleeve.
Instead of a microwave, opt for a small oven or electric steamer (e.g. Instapot) that can both cook and heat up your dishes to perfection. Every meal should have a basic carb, some meat and some vegetables, so pick easy ingredients that you can mix and match while grocery shopping. Asian sauces are your best friend, from oyster sauce to fish sauce and sesame oil, and just assume every meal needs ginger and garlic. Another helpful appliance is an air fryer, which can easily add crispiness to your dishes without heavy prep and oil.
Meal prep isn’t just for bodybuilders, and you don’t have to eat the same food every day. But if you’re a busy bee, it can help prepare batches of staple carbs like rice that you can portion in containers in your fridge. These will be handy for easy one-pot recipes like fried rice that fry best with overnight fridge rice that won’t be clumpy. Simply mix them with different dishes, sauces, and preparation methods to get endless meal combinations!

2. Divide and Conquer Your House Chores

There are two types of people when it comes to house chores: the kind who does little bits throughout the week and the ones who pile it up for a big clean-up day on the weekends.
Here’s a common list of household chores:
  • Empty the bins
  • Replace your towels
  • Mop the floor
  • Vacuum the floor
  • Clean your kitchen sink
  • Replace kitchen sponge
  • Change your bedsheets and pillowcases
  • Clean the toilets and bathrooms
  • Clean your fridge
  • Wash curtains
  • Clean windows
If you’re a first-time homeowner wanting to treat your home like the sanctuary you deserve, you can opt for more ‘luxurious’ appliances like a dishwasher or Roomba vacuum cleaner: for an added cost, you save time on doing certain chores like washing your dishes or vacuuming your floor.
If you’re okay with DIY, we recommend scheduling your chores, which can help to make them feel like less of a hassle. Take note that some chores like emptying your bins and replacing your towels need to be done more frequently than once a week. You could even schedule small chores alongside your work schedule from home for a little brain break, using the Pomodoro Technique (i.e. time-blocking). Next-level adulting, unlocked!

3. Laundry At Home or the Laundromat

Dirty laundry can be one of the sneaky chores that pile up (hehe). But really, it’s one of the easier house chores to tackle. 101 rules like separating your coloured clothes from your whites to avoid dye transfer will become a habit over time.
Mesh laundry bags are a must-have for your delicates, especially paired with the gentle cycle settings on your washing machine. For rainy days in Singapore, invest in either a Steigen electric dryer or simply buy a strong standing fan to ventilate and dry out your clothes indoors when the clouds decide to pour. Alternatively, you may visit your neighbourhood laundromat and with about $10, you’ll be washing and drying your whole wardrobe in no time!

4. Be the Hostess with the Mostest

Now that you’ve got your own place, you get to be the one fully-fledged adult in your friend group hosting parties! Whether it’s a potluck or you’ve decided to go all out and prep the dinner on your own, here are a few tips that can go a long way in making dinners at your home nights to remember.
Have a few fancy sharing plates or even a cheese board to elevate the meal and get that perfect flat lay on the dining table for a nice touch. A set of glasses laid across the table should always be ready for the night’s drink, a little something you can whip up that doesn’t come straight from a bottle like a simple mocktail or cocktail of your choice. They don’t have to be expensive to look expensive either: online marketplaces offer great one-of-a-kind dining accessories at fractions of the costs that they look. Vintage markets and stores are great options for period pieces too.
Always have a bag of chips ready for after-dinner H2H talks, either around the dinner table or sprawled across the sofa space with throws and cushions plenty to get cosy. When in doubt, party favourites like sour cream and onion Lays, or tortilla chips with salsa dips are always a good way to go.

Need Help With House Chores? Reach out to Sendhelper!

If you’re ever in need of an extra set of helping hands around the house, fret not cause Sendhelper is here to help!
Your one-stop shop app for all your household needs, Sendhelper can find you part-time help for chores like cleaning, cooking, and other house chores. Get quotes on the app for handymen services or even certified caregivers to befriend and keep an eye on your elderly loved ones!
Whether it’s a long-term regular arrangement for domestic help every weekend, or simply a one-time hire for a special occasion, Sendhelper is your trusted reliable platform with vetted professionals and secure in-app payment methods for services rendered.
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More FAQs About Adulting

Adulting can be a difficult process for many young adults, so it's best to take things at your own pace, and keep an optimistic outlook on the process.

Adulting is a popular online term meant to group responsibilities many young adults struggle with when assuming adulthood.

Adulting includes skills like navigating the workforce, building soft skills, and creating meaningful connections with others.