Adulting Life: 7 Things You Must Be Doing To Be Great At Adulting
The term “adulting” has gained traction in recent years. Loosely defined, it means copying the things you see real adults doing to make people think you’re responsible. The truth is there’s not much difference between being an adult and adulting. The only thing separating the two is the experience that comes with age.
At one point, every grown person was adulting. If we’re being sincere, most of us, regardless of age, still spend time adulting. Few adults don’t occasionally fake it, wing it, or secretly hire someone to do a task for them. So there’s no shame in faking adulthood from time to time.
In fact, if you’re new to the adult world, you should be copying the so-called real adults; that’s how you learn. This list covers seven critical tasks you may be familiar with, having watched the adults around you. But now it’s time to practice them yourself. So, instead of calling mom or dad, keep reading.
1. Make Cleaning The House A Routine
Once you’ve come to the horrifying conclusion that nobody will clean your house except you (unless you hire a house cleaning service), it’s best to get to it. It’s essential to make cleaning the house part of your routine. You’d be surprised at how quickly it can get away from you if you don’t.
If you need some inspiration, watch a few episodes of Hoarders. Then, sit down and map out a schedule. What do you need to do daily, weekly, monthly, etc.? It’s helpful to have a clean-as-you-go philosophy. Don’t let messes sit. If there are a few dishes, get them done. Wipe down the counters and kitchen table after every meal. Take a sponge to the stove and microwave while still warm so the splatter doesn’t become concrete.
If you don’t have carpeting, do a quick sweep once a day. Be careful with the trash. If you toss something stinky, take it out right away. Check with the town to see if they offer a garbage disposal service or if you need to get your own. Get a clothes hamper, and when it’s filled, do the laundry.
Now, back to that schedule. It’s important to pencil in time to clean the entire bathroom once a week. Be sure to use bleach and disinfectant so germs, mold, and mildew don’t fester. In the kitchen, clean the fridge and freezer regularly and wipe down the shelves with some non-toxic cleaner. Be sure to mop the floor regularly. How often depends on the amount of traffic, pets, and other factors.
It would be best if you also wiped down cabinets regularly. Don’t forget about the light fixtures and ceiling fans. As for the rest of the house, include dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning the windows in your schedule.
Stock up on cleaning supplies like sprays, sponges, dust clothes, mops, buckets, and a vacuum. Adulting life is hard, but being prepared makes it more manageable. Something else you may want to consider is if you’re still living at home, it doesn’t mean you can’t help out. It’s the adult thing to do, and it’s good practice for when you’re on your own.
2. Don’t Let House Repairs Go Unnoticed
Another part of adulting life includes not letting your house fall apart. Remember that you’re the adult, and people rely on you to provide a safe and secure home. Also, as adults, we have neighbors who won’t like us much if our house is a mess. If a noticeable repair is needed, complete it as soon as possible.
Do it yourself only if you’re confident in your skills. For example, don’t attempt roofing repair if you’re scared of heights and have never used so much as a glue gun. Letting repairs linger will only make them worse and more expensive to fix. If you can’t get repairs done immediately, be prepared to tackle emergencies. If that leaky roof creates an indoor pool in the living room, it’s essential to have tarps and buckets stored to tie you over.
Know where the shut-off valves are for water and gas in case there’s a situation. The most important thing you can do is be familiar with your house. Know what’s normal and what’s not. Take the occasional stroll around and inspect for anything broken, on its way out, or needs general care.
Speaking of that, be sure to clean the gutters and downspouts regularly. This can help you avoid costly repairs due to water damage. Here are some adulting life hacks that will save you money; learn the basics. We’re not saying you need to be a master electrician or plumber, but knowing a few things is necessary when you have a home.
Don’t try to tackle significant repairs like installing new pipes or replacing a circuit box that can be dangerous. But you should know how to unclog a toilet or sink, change a faucet, use caulk, patch a hole in drywall, and paint. These are relatively simple things that almost anyone is capable of doing.
While you’re at it, learn how to fix sticky, noisy doors and windows, take a door off its hinges, replace screws and smoke detectors, change filters, and dismantle drain traps. There are many home repair books and videos out there, so no excuses. Invest in home repair items like tools, WD-40, a plunger, a fire extinguisher, and plywood.
3. Visit Loved Ones
Now that you’re busy with adulting life don’t forget about the folks that got you there. Take the time to visit your parents, grandparents, and other family members. If you’ve moved far from them, try to do regular video chats and plan trips to see them. If you’re nearby and busy, invite them to hang out (they may even help you clean) or go on errands with you.
If you have elderly family members, be sure to check in and make sure they’re doing well. If they seem overwhelmed or unable to care for themselves, you may need to find a senior care service to assist them. Sadly, this is another part of adult life nobody tells you about. At some point in your adulting life, you may need to consider taking in one or more of your relatives. It’s something to keep in the back of your mind when buying a home and planning your future.
4. Get Your Own Car
Often, the first taste of adulting life is getting your own car. Whether you live with your parents or not, it’s a huge step toward independence and growth. The first step is to save money for your vehicle. While doing this, consider insurance, gas, and potential auto repair.
When you’re ready to shop for a car, bring someone with you. Sometimes, you need a mom or dad or a real adult, and that’s okay. Once you have the vehicle, you’ll need to take care of it. Get the oil changed regularly, address any odd noises or warning lights, and please wash it from time to time.
Also, be a responsible driver by obeying traffic laws, paying attention, and not speeding. Nobody, young or old, wants a dui lawyer on retainer, so never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While marijuana is now legal in many states, it is not legal to smoke and drive.
5. Take Care Of Yourself
One thing that’s easy to forget about while we’re busy being adults is to take proper care of ourselves. It’s easy to ignore our physical and mental well-being while caring for cars, homes, family, and work. But self-care is vital to performing all the other tasks that need to be done.
It’s important to eat correctly, get enough rest, and exercise to remain in tip-top shape. If something does go wrong, like an injury or illness, it needs to be seen by a healthcare professional. Ignoring a problem will not help it go away. Getting a health issue seen will help get you back in the game much faster than suffering from it.
It’s also OK to practice some indulgent self-care from time to time. There should be zero guilt in getting a massage, going to the spa, or even taking a day to stay in bed and watch movies. These are ways to recharge your battery, which is a critical part of staying mentally healthy.
Speaking of mental health, pay attention to it. If you need help, don’t be afraid to seek it out. Whether it’s a therapist, recovery meeting, support group, or a religious organization, we all need the help of others from time to time. It’s the adult thing to get that assistance for ourselves.
Taking care of yourself also involves your appearance. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for taking care of your hair, nails, skin, or anything else regarding how you look. It’s essential for our self-esteem as well as our professional lives.
So go for that facial, spend the extra time at the barber, and enjoy it. If you’re having issues with your smile, as many adults do, don’t be afraid of some cosmetic dentistry. Many procedures like veneers and tooth whitening are affordable and painless.
6. Manage Your Finances
Financial literacy has been gaining traction in many schools because, basically, we have finally admitted to ourselves that we desperately need it. Regardless of age, managing your finances can be one of the trickiest parts of adult life. But balancing your finances can be done successfully with some education and organization.
Start with the basics. Learn the difference between debit and credit cards, checks, using an ATM, and opening a bank account. Once you have those down, it’s time to buckle down and make a budget. It’s not difficult to do, but it can be challenging to follow. It’ll take some sacrifice, but it will pay off in the long run. If you have money left over, try to build an emergency fund. You never know when unforeseen circumstances will pop up.
Another critical aspect of managing your finances is to pay your bills on time. This helps avoid interest and late fees and will build your credit score. Your next step is to financially protect yourself, your property, and your family with insurance. Lots of insurance. In addition to a good life insurance agent, you’ll need health, car, home, and disability insurance. Insurance can seem unimportant, but it helps to protect your property and income when a crisis arises.
Let’s not forget about your responsibility as a citizen to pay taxes. It’s advisable to find a local accountant for this project. They are more knowledgeable about laws, loopholes, and deductions than you, plus they do all that dreaded paperwork and math for you.
7. When You’re Ready. Get Your Own Place
Perhaps the most significant adult decision you’ll ever make is to get your place. Leaving the safety and security of our parent’s home is never easy, but it’s the mature and healthy thing to do. You’ll likely know when the time is right. However, it’s wise to wait until you have a good job and have established yourself.
Then, decide if you’ll get an apartment or buy a home. Research carefully and make sure you have enough money saved or can qualify for a loan. The important thing is to plan financially. Remember to consider furniture, commuting, utilities, and other incidentals.
Once ready to hit the road, you must hire movers or find friends to help. Moving out of your childhood home is usually a bittersweet moment, not only for you but also for your family. So be kind as you drive away, and remember to call!
Adulting life is hard for everyone. It gets easier with time, but new obstacles pop up no matter how long you’ve been doing it. The best thing you can do is try to keep up with things, organize as much as possible, prepare for emergencies, and take care of yourself. Don’t be afraid to call a parent or “real” adult when you need help.