Learning How to Adult: 4 Essential Habits to Adopt When You Move Out of Home

Creating a weekly menu and shopping list on the kitchen bench

Moving out of home for the first time can spark a happy dance or two, but the first initial month of learning how to ‘adult’ and juggle new responsibilities can be quite daunting if you’re not prepared. Equipping yourself with a few fundamental skills and adopting these 4 habits from the get go will make the transition period as painless as possible. 

The weekly menu

Although it can be difficult to anticipate future cravings, planning out your meals for the week is well worth the effort. That’s not to say that you can’t substitute Monday’s dinner for Tuesday’s, the primary purpose is to establish 5-7 meal options for the week. Don’t forget to account for leftovers – for example, if you’re cooking a curry, you’re likely to have plenty of leftovers which means you’ll have fewer dinners to shop for. Being mindful of this is paramount to avoiding a stockpile of food in the fridge, which sounds terrific in theory, but often results in an unpleasant rubbish run. With an abundance of food blogs and recipe books to sustain the fussiest eaters, devising a meal plan should be a breeze. (My favourites are Tasty and Jamie Oliver but I like to pull inspiration from the odd blog every now and then). With a well thought-out weekly menu, you can execute your supermarket mission without falling victim to the endless supply of preservative-filled distractions.

The weekly shop

As thrilling as a supermarket shop may be, with all the glorious food options tantalising your taste buds through its stupidly seductive packaging, try to resist the urge to visit the supermarket more than once a week. Shopping efficiently will save you precious time and believe it or not, plenty of dollars, so long as you stick to your beloved shopping list. Create a shopping list based on your weekly menu and other necessities. Don’t forget to perform an inventory check on regular household goods such as toiletries and kitchen staples like dishwashing liquid and paper towels that may need to be replenished. The last thing you want to do is return home from your shopping escapade, only to find that you’ve forgotten a crucial ingredient or that you’re out of toilet paper. That may just trigger a hangry episode, and nobody wants to bear witness to that.

The weekly clean

Implementing a weekly cleaning regime is the best way to ensure that your glorious new pad doesn’t turn into a pest-worthy habitat. Cleaning regularly keeps your interiors from accumulating a nasty layer of dirt and grime that is generally a lot harder to remove when left to fester. If you develop a routine, you’re less likely to perceive it as a chore, but rather a natural (and oddly satisfying) part of your week. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy the satisfaction that arises from a freshly cleaned and spotless house? Embrace your inner clean freak!

Establishing a budget

Living out of home brings an assortment of expenses, from rent to weekly groceries to the unforgiving power bill. Yes, it’s painful to begin with, but you’ll soon become acclimated to the cost of growing up. It can be very easy and tempting to blow your monthly pay on a few impulsive purchases (homewares of course) and forgetting that rent is due before you receive your next pay. Listing and calculating your expenses ahead of time and establishing a realistic budget alleviates the risk of over-spending and being forced to eat two-minute noodles for an unconscionable amount of time. Setting aside a small amount of savings per pay cycle will also help ensure that you’re not caught out when the next unexpected bill arrives.

Regardless of whether you’re renting or proudly wearing the homeowner badge, taking heed of the advice above can help alleviate the painful shock to the system that first-time movers are susceptible to.

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