Internet Self Improvement

How to Prepare to Live on Your Own for the First Time

Briallyn Smith 14-10-2016

Moving out on your own for the first time can be so overwhelming.


There’s the big stuff, sure — packing up your things, finding a new job This Simple Process Will Make Your Job Search Insanely Productive There's a simple process you can employ that will make your job search via social media insanely productive, and hopefully land you that coveted job you've always wanted. Read More , unpacking your boxes, running to the store for all the things you never realized you didn’t own. Most people have the big stuff figured out.

Alas, there’s also the small things to consider. Things like unplugging a sink, planning a week of meals, or getting a stain out of a white shirt. No one teaches you these things! (To be fair, maybe they did, and you just weren’t listening at the time).

Thankfully, the internet is a wonderful place that’s chock-full of advice for those of us who are a little clueless when it comes to fending for ourselves.

These 15 websites and apps are great to have on your phone or in your bookmarks folder. Then, no matter what crisis happens, you’ll be able to handle it on your own.

Getting Comfortable With Cooking

As wonderful as ordering in every meal may be, it’s really not the best choice for your wallet or waistline. Thanks to many apps and websites, learning how to eat healthy foods 4 Popular Courses That Teach the Tricks to Eating Healthy Learn some key things about nutrition and how it can help you live a healthier lifestyle. Read More  isn’t as difficult or as time-consuming as it may seem.


1. Budget Bytes

This budget-friendly site features simple, delicious meals with an estimated price breakdown per serving. Many of the dishes cost easily under $2 a plate, and the creator rotates through a variety of cuisines.

2. Allrecipes

This is easily one of the richest databases of recipes on the internet. Allrecipes is an amazing resource for those learning to cook. Use this site to search for recipes by ingredient, by key word, or by category. No matter what recipe you choose, be sure to check the comments for additional tips and tricks!

Allrecipes is also available as a free app on Android.

3. Simple Cooking Channel

If you would rather learn by seeing than by reading, consider trying out a YouTube channel dedicated to cooking. An example of a great cooking channel is Simple Cooking Channel, which features both full meals and simple snacks. Each recipe is broken down into easy-to-follow steps and video so that you can follow along at your own pace.


If the instructions on Simple Cooking Channel aren’t quite right for you, YouTube has a wealth of cooking channels. So, do some hunting, and find one that best fits your learning style.

Maintenance Around the House

Now that you’re living on your own, when something goes wrong around the house it’s unfortunately up to you to fix it. Instead of ignoring problems, or trying to cobble together a solution, take some time to learn from the online experts Learn Basic DIY Skills Online With YouTube While DIY falls in and out of fashion depending on the state of the economy, individual styles, and the availability of professionals and materials, there will always be someone, somewhere keen to learn basic DIY... Read More .

After all, doing the job right means that you’ll only have to do it once. Doing the job poorly, on the other hand, may land you in a lot more trouble than you bargained for.

4. FamilyHandyMan

This website is the perfect resource, no matter what kind of maintenance project you are attempting. From replacing a lightbulb to replacing your roof, this site has you covered.


Search for easy-to-use tutorials by room, skill, or part of the house through the dropdown menu at the top left of the site.

5. VideoJoeKnows

You might find it a bit easier to complete a home maintenance project after you’ve actually watched someone do it first. If your go-to handymen don’t live nearby anymore, the next best thing is a YouTube channel like VideoJoeKnows.

6. The Family Handyman DIY Tip Genius

The incredibly long name of this app aside, it’s a great way to have DIY tricks at your fingertips, no matter where you are. Before beginning a repair or project, take a moment to do a quick search on this app. Hopefully, one of the tips that it offers will make your job easier!

All these options aside, if a project seems dangerous or could cause a lot of issues for you down the road, it’s probably still a good idea to call a professional (especially if you are renting).


Download — The Family Handyman DIY Tip Genius for iOS and Android

Learning All About Laundry

If you’ve never really had to do laundry before, it can be an overwhelming task. These quick reference guides can help to make sure that your whites stay white, and your sweaters don’t shrink.

7. Laundry Guide

While the app’s interface may be a little out of date, its information on laundry certainly isn’t. Whether you are doing your laundry at home, in a dorm, or at a laundromat, this app offers you quick access to decoding all the wash symbols and fabric types.

Laundry Guide Promo

Once you have this information, the app recommends settings like water temperature, wash type, and dryer temperature, making doing the laundry essentially foolproof.

Download — Laundry Guide for iOS

8. Stain Removal Guide

Sure, this website isn’t very flashy. But, it gives you all the information you could ever want about removing stains from your clothing, carpets, or upholstery.

Simply click on the link for the kind of stain you’re fighting, and follow the steps listed. Much of the time, several variations on stain removal will be offered for a single kind of stain, giving you options if you don’t have certain materials on hand.

Becoming Better at Budgeting

After you move out on your own, you may start to fly through your paycheck like never before. The fact is, little purchases add up — and there are many tiny purchases involved in everyday life when you’re the only one around to buy them!

The easiest way to avoid financial trouble Simply Frugal: How To Learn Personal Finance The Easy Way Do you fret over bills and debt on a regular basis? Do you feel lost when others speak using financial lingo? Here's the good news: it's never too late to learn about money. Read More when living on your own is to keep track of what you’re spending and when. These budgeting tools help that process to stay as painless as possible.

9. Mint

Mint is one of the most comprehensive money-management systems available online right now for personal use.

Mint can help you to create and track a personalized budget, sync with your accounts to stay fully up-to-date, and offers you customized tricks for your financial situation.

10. Google Sheets

Full budgeting systems can be very helpful, but they can also be very overwhelming. You may find that creating your own budgeting spreadsheet 15 Excel Spreadsheet Templates for Managing Your Finances Always keep track of your financial health. These free Excel spreadsheet templates are the tools you need to manage your money. Read More is a better solution for you.

Google Sheets is a great option for this, as it allows you to access your budget from any device with an internet connection. However, if you have concerns about security, you may want to use an offline spreadsheet or only include non-sensitive information (e.g. balances, not account numbers) in your budget.

Creative Approaches to Cleaning

It’s amazing how many things you don’t realize need to be cleaned until no one else is around to clean them. Worse yet, there are a lot of things in houses that are very difficult to clean if you don’t know how. When you’re left staring at a mess that you have no idea how to begin cleaning, these resources can be invaluable.

11. Bright Nest)

Bright Nest is an all-in-one app designed to help you keep your home clean and organized. Enter some basic information about your home when first signing up, and you’ll be given information tailored to your needs.

From cleaning your blender, to cleaning grout, to uncommon uses for toothpaste, this website has everything you need to maintain a spotless home. If you sign up for a free account, you’ll also receive reminders to clean certain areas of your home at set times. This ensures that you’re never left with an impossible amount of mess; instead, cleaning up will always be a manageable task.

Download — Bright Nest [No Longer Available]

12. Cleanipedia [No Longer Available]

If what you need is a no-nonsense approach to common household messes, Cleanipedia should be your go-to website. Step-by-step solutions are given through video, text, and images for everything from washing windows, to removing odors, to dealing with household pests.

Search for any cleaning problems you are having by keyword, location in the house, or type of activity. Many solutions also offer tips to ensure that your problem doesn’t occur again. As well, Cleanipedia places a lot of focus on injury prevention and safety in all of their recommendations. This focus is incredibly valuable, as it ensures your safety while you work to keep your home clean.

13. Magazine Websites

Many magazines known for their housekeeping tips also have useful websites. Some of the best online resources for housecleaning and organizational strategies are Real Simple, Better Homes and Gardens, and Good Housekeeping. All of these sites are full of creative ideas, common sense advice, and cleaning strategies that are sure to help you figure out how to take care of your home.

Touring Your New Town

Living on your own is about so much more than just staying in the house. Now that you’re on your own, you have a whole new city to explore and new experiences just waiting for you to discover them! These tools can help you to be sure that you are living your best life in your new location.

14. Trip Advisor

Sure, you’re not on a vacation, but that’s no reason to avoid the wealth of information available on Trip Advisor Yelp Can't Be Trusted: Try One Of These Alternatives Now Yelp has lost some ground when it comes to trust. At this point, Yelp's reviews have little redemptive value and users should look to an alternative service when finding local businesses. Read More ! Use Trip Advisor’s lists, its reviews, and its message boards to get the inside scoop on where you should go, and what you should avoid.

Trip Advisor is great for finding restaurants off the beaten path, beautiful places to walk or jog, and inside secrets from locals about events and festivals. These insider perspectives will make you feel like you belong in no time.

15. Google Maps

The fastest way to feel like you belong in your new locale is to have a good understanding of where things are, and how to get there. Google Maps is your best bet on both counts. Spend as much time as possible looking up destinations, exploring Street View, and getting to know the transit system in your area. With just a little bit of research, you’ll quickly be navigating your new city like a pro!

Transitions Are Tough

Let’s face it, moving out on your own is a huge transition, and there’s no way you’ll ever be fully prepared. That being said, take the time to look up these resources and others like them. Having places to turn to for answers when you don’t have a built-in support system can make a world of difference.

If you run into a problem that I don’t have an answer for in this list, don’t despair! Take a few moments to search for the answer on a platform like Pinterest (especially good for creative solutions to everyday problems), YouTube (best for walkthroughs and visuals), Wikihow (although the expertise of the author may vary) or, of course, your favorite search engine.

Are there any other sites that you have found helpful while living on your own? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Image Credits: MediaGroup_BestForYou/Shutterstock

Explore more about: Cooking, Home Improvement, Money Management.

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  1. Robert Bryant
    October 17, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Purchase a pair of good quality stainless-steel scissors. You will find that zip-to-open food packages rarely "zip open."

    • Briallyn Smith
      November 25, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      oooh!! That's SUCH a good one and so easy to overlook– thanks Robert :)