Carrie, who stored sweaters in her oven, didn't follow all of our advice
Living alone for the first time can be an exhilarating experience, but it can also feel a bit isolating, especially if you're used to having lots of roommates and guests shuffling through your living space. So what are some ways to settle in and make yourself feel at home alone in your first solo apartment? Click through for a few ideas...• Use your kitchen. Cook yourself a good meal at least a couple of times a week. Put on music and choose a recipe you love and feel comfortable tackling. Keeping food in the house is key; it might take a while to get a feel for how many groceries to buy for one, but it's worth it, because your home will feel more welcoming and tailored to your needs.
• Invite guests regularly. Having friends over gives you an opportunity to really think about how you want your solo space to appear to others. It can be tempting, when living alone, to let messes pile up, when there's nobody around to pass judgment. But entertaining guests, even just for after-work cocktails or maybe a weekly TV night, is a great motivator.
• Keep fresh flowers around. Flowers bring color and life into the home, and since they need to be refreshed and replaced, they're a good way to remind yourself to check in with your living space once in a while and make sure that it's clean and comfortable.
• Meet your neighbors. We think knowing your neighbors is key when you live alone, for reasons of both safety and comfort. It's nice to know that when you travel, someone's looking out for your place, and of course meeting your neighbors right away makes it easier to communicate later on if you need to address issues having to do with shared or communal space.
• Line up a few DIY projects. Investing a little elbow grease into your new place is a great way to make it feel personal. When you're the only resident of your home, it's nice to be able to look around and see that you've put some effort and time into making it express your personality.
What do you remember about your first solo apartment? If you're living in it now, maybe you've got some other tips to share? Please feel free to weigh in!