The Unforeseen Challenges of Renting Solo
Living alone doesn’t have to crimp your style — just know what your problems are going to be, and get them before they get you.
It doesn’t matter if you’re moving out of your Dad’s house, or the dorm where you shared a kitchen with six other people — when you move into your first rental house all alone, you’re going to run into some difficulties that you never saw coming. Here’s some of Royal Rose Properties’ best advice on dealing with some of the most common ‘first time renting solo’ problems.
Buying in Bulk
In all likelihood, your parents — and possibly your roommates — purchased most of your basic perishables in enough bulk that they were able to access the economies of scale that come with buying $2.79/lb Family Packs rather than $4.99/lb singles portions. But when your freezer is just a few cubic feet, you can’t buy a month’s worth of chicken, beef, and pork all at once. And the same logic crops up over and over again with everything from toilet paper (won’t fit under the bathroom sink if you buy a 36-roll-er) to carrots (that 5-pound Costco bag takes up the entire vegetable drawer!)
So how do you deal? Step one: increase your storage space. Buy a mini-freezer and put it under an end table; get some roll-out plastic drawers to go under your bed for your toilet paper. If your budget depends on it, you’ll surprise yourself with how creative you can get in inventing new storage space.
Step two: shop for more than one person. You can offer to split some bulk purchases with a neighbor, or if you’re entrepreneurial, you can go on someplace like Craigslist or OfferUp and arrange with someone near you to get paid for a portion of your shopping provided you deliver their part to their door, neatly divided.
Moving Heavy or Awkward Objects
For some people, there’s nothing as satisfying as rearranging the house. If you’re one of them, but you just happen to own a massive wooden writing desk that once belonged to the editor of the Chicago Tribune (just as a random example), you’re going to need some tricks up your sleeve. Those little carpet-covered (for hardwood or linoleum) or plastic (for carpet) discs that you can put underneath the feet of a piece of furniture can help a lot. For a big dryer or fridge, make some rollers out of broomsticks, or put a drip of dishsoap on the floor in front of each foot before you slide. Finally, any U-Haul or similar place should let you rent a furniture dolly for a few bucks a day — those things are immensely useful.
I don’t care if you’re a 6’6″ football player with a hobby of shootfighting — living all alone and hearing footsteps upstairs should scare the everliving crap out of you. But equally dangerous are those things we do to ourselves, like falling down the basement stairs because we left a mop out. To ensure that you don’t go too long without someone checking up on you, talk to your family and/or friends and/or neighbors. Ask them to allow you to ‘check in’ every few days, and have them call your parents, landlord, and the cops if you miss your check-in for the second time and they can’t get ahold of you.
There’s no reason you can’t have the advantages of family or roommates just because you’re renting alone — with a little careful planning, you can make the solo life as comfortable as everything that came before it. Good luck!