The fool-proof guide to solo apartment living

Living alone can be a lot of fun. Maybe you’re trying to avoid annoying roommates. Maybe you’ve finally found a housing situation humble enough that you can afford it on your own. Or maybe you just despise both disgusting human beings and the cruel sun, preferring to shelter your reptilian flesh from its searing rays in a filthy burrow all your own. Either way, you might find that there’s a bit of a learning curve to starting up your own household. Luckily, having done it for nearly two weeks now, I already know literally everything there is to know about having my own place—so read on to learn from the master!

First of all, you’ll have to furnish your humble abode with all the things necessary to human life, namely groceries, some simple furnishings, Walmart Great Value liquid eggs, towels and linens, cucumber lime Gatorade and a cattle prod. Since this first shopping trip can be confusing, I find that it’s best to do it all in one place. That way, you can simply make a comprehensive list of the items you need, then peruse the store’s aisles until you eventually leave with nothing that was on that list and a wide variety of things that weren’t. Perhaps you wanted to buy milk and bread, but a dozen jalapeño peppers and a pack of hamburger buns without any burgers to eat them with should do just as well. When you’re out of money, you’ll know it’s time to move on to the Decoration Phase.

Now I know what you’re saying: “Foolish human! My dark masters command me to live my life without vain adornments!” But hear me out. Even the smallest of dwellings becomes much brighter and livelier with a splash of color on the walls or an exciting throw on the couch. For example, consider a modernist painting, a fun tapestry or perhaps a copy of the landmark “Hide the Pain Harold Opens Up” issue of Meme Insider magazine. Simply purchase these items, place them in a drawer and wait for the inspiration to strike to finally put them up. I find that spending money gives me a great sense of forward momentum in life, and the knowledge that I could, at absolutely any time, transform the appearance of my little lair helps as well. By the way, if you find yourself out of hanging putty, dried mayonnaise works just the same.

After all that decorating, you’ll probably be hungry. Here’s where the magic of living alone comes in: Rather than bland and uninspiring dining hall meals, you’ll enjoy the opportunity to spend hours preparing the perfect dish. There’s no need to refer to any kind of recipe. Simply select your ingredients, add seasonings and stir until you turn out exactly the same kind of bland and uninspiring garbage food as the cafeteria, right there in the discomfort of your own home. Bone app the teeth!

Once you’re done cooking, the horrible streaks of brown grease on the walls and the blast zone on the stovetop might lead you to consider cleaning up after yourself. If not, no judgment; sometimes, it’s more fun to let mold grow for a soft and pillowy cleaning experience. If you do want to scrub down the kitchen, though, just remember one simple tip: using a clean washcloth might sound like a good idea, but because washcloths cost money that you already spent on a Valu-Pak of four restaurant-sized jugs of Heinz Mayochup, it’s best to steer clear. Instead, scrub vigorously with the corner of your shirt until most of the stains are gone. There is such a thing as partial credit in home cleaning.

Living alone doesn’t have to be difficult. The key is just not to sweat the small stuff. Don’t worry about little issues, like the dripping faucet or the torn shower curtain or the steadily-growing pile of evidence that a strange man is living in your walls. Usually, problems like that fix themselves anyway, given enough time. Instead, let yourself relax: Pour yourself a drink, open a window and lay back on the industrial-size bag of Wonka Nerds that you use as both bed and groovy beanbag chair. Do you smell that smell? No, not the delicate aroma of unrefrigerated mayonnaise covered in black mold—the other one. That, my friend, is the smell of freedom.

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