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Living alone: Practical tips shared by those who've been going solo


We asked some Malaysians on what are some tips they have to get more out of living alone.

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It’s somewhat inevitable that we would live alone at some point in our lives. It’s a season where we learn to do thing like our own laundry or cooking a meal for ourselves and realising that yes, someone has to put the garbage out at the end of the week.

If you happen to be living alone at this point of time, heads up because we have some superb tips coming from some of your fellow Han Solos that would really make day-to-day life of living alone even more efficient than what it is at the moment.

1. “Meal prep is a lifesaver”

meal prep food container
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“When you make meals, make more so that you can batch them out and freeze them. Yes, batch them in your meal portions. If you freeze the whole portion of food, defrosting becomes difficult and your food is not going to last as long. Sure, you may end up eating chicken stew for a week, but it’s a lifesaver when you are too busy to cook. An additional tip is to label your frozen food with a date, so you know how old the food is. You can consume them by priority then.” – EC, who is a huge believer of decluttering.

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2. “You are alone, but you don’t have to be lonely”

“You may be living alone, but you don’t have to be lonely. Insert yourself into the community you live in. Make friends with your neighbours and the people who live in your community. You never know, they may help you with something when you really need it. At the same time, try to live a life where you are independent. Always plan and be prepared for the worst. It may happen and there may be no one around to help you. If someone shows up and offers help, you can consider that a bonus.” – Valery Khoo is someone who appreciates time alone tucking into a book or watching a movie.

3. “Leave a set of keys with a close friend”

“Try and leave a set of keys for your home with a close friend or family member. This is extremely useful when you happen to misplace the keys to your home. In worst case scenarios and I am not able to be home to feed my dog, having the keys with a friend can help so that they can easily drop by to help with that.” – M. Kho is someone who believes in having smaller thrash bags so that you can take the thrash out daily.

4. “Be nice to your guards, management and maintenance guys”

“Treat the people who work at your property, like security guards, management staff and maintenance guys, well.

“They will help you when your groceries weigh a ton or if you have a ‘cicak’ in your house that you are too afraid to clear. Don’t forget, they are always your first line of security. I always try to let them know when I have visitors so if someone random comes, they will escort the person to my door and make sure I am okay. They even help me move things around my house if things are too heavy for me to move.” – Raveena enjoys using her home space to entertain people, work, cook or to have a quiet night with Netflix and a glass of wine.

5. “Consider the ingredients when cooking something”

ingredients for cooking surrounding notebook
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“Preparing a single portion meal can sometimes be challenging. It’s either too much food or too little. Sometimes, to prepare your favourite meal may take up a lot of ingredients that you may not be able to use for other meals. These ingredients may sometimes also come in sizes/portions that may be a lot more than you need for what you are preparing. Try to buy ingredients that you can use for different meals, so they don’t go to waste.” – Cyn is someone who moved to KL for work and has been living alone for a couple of years now.

If you are preparing to live alone soon and are looking for a place to rent at the moment, you can check out some tips on how to pick the right rental property for yourself. Or if you are wondering how you can save enough money to buy your forever home now that you are living alone, you can try the 50-20-30 rule.

As you can see, there are a ton of things you can do to get more out of your experience of living alone. These tips can ensure you have more efficiency in executing your day-to-day tasks when you are on your own. The important thing is to enjoy this season as you may not have it your whole life.

* For privacy reasons, some respondents’ names were changed. Interviews have been lightly edited for clarity.

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