The Role You Take Before Going On Your Own
Independence, it’s something you seek, but also brings a sense of fear. You want to learn to be on your own, but still rely heavily on mom and dad. To help you deal with the responsibilities of being independent of your parents, we’re providing eight practical habits that will help you establish a strong foundation to feel comfortable when it’s time to leave home and be on your own. Here are three:
4. Do Laundry
You know which pile on your floor is the clean clothes and which pile is the dirty, but no one else knows your system. If you have a system that is unique to you, it’s time to start doing your own laundry. It’s not fair to have your mom play the guessing game on laundry day. The first key to doing your laundry is to know how to sort your laundry. Sort your laundry by color and by fabric. Your jeans need to be washed on a different cycle than your bras and panties. T-shirts and other daily wear articles can be sorted by light and dark if you have enough to fill a load. Once you’ve sorted out your laundry, you’ll need to know what cycle to use with what temperature. Some machines designate temperature automatically according to the type of cycle, some don’t. You’ll need to learn according to your machine. Be sure to load the correct amount of detergent and other cleaners (fabric softener, bleach, etc.) into each load. Different load sizes need different amounts of cleaners and some loads don’t need anything extra added.
Doing your own laundry doesn’t stop at having clean clothes, you need to dry them as well, either in the dryer or on a drying rack. Don’t let them sit in the machine because they’ll mildew and need to be washed again. Once dry, fold them or hang them up and put them away.
Find a way of doing laundry that works for you and your schedule– is it easier to do a small load regularly (when you need something) or a large load so you don’t have to do laundry as often? Also, be aware of your family’s needs. You can’t take over the laundry room if someone else needs it too. Which leads to planning ahead. If you wore your favorite dress and you want to have it for a special event this weekend, you need to make sure you clean it before your event or you’ll have to find another outfit last minute. Do you need your work pants or sports uniform tomorrow? Make time to clean and dry them overnight so they’re fresh and ready.
It’s not a bad idea to familiarize yourself with an iron as well. Most clothes are now made wrinkle free, so this isn’t a necessity, but there will be times in your future where that iron will be a helpful accessory.
Once accustomed to your family’s washer and dryer, ask your mom or dad to take you on a field trip to a laundromat. You may never need one, but it doesn’t hurt to have a little extra knowledge. When you’re on your own, you’ll find that not every apartment has a washing machine and dryer supplied. In America nearly every household has a washer and dryer, but that is not the case elsewhere. As with many of your household items, it’s a privilege to have appliances in your home.
5. Fix Things Around The House
There are so many DIY home repair projects (big and small) that you can take on yourself. You don’t need to rely on someone else to hang a picture or unclog a toilet, these are tasks that you can do. By the time you ask your dad to fix something, you could have done it yourself. Being your own handyman teaches you basic problem solving skills, plus you’ll save a lot of time, money and stress by learning how to care for frustrating issues now. By learning how to handle the little things now, you’ll be able to handle the big problems with ease when they come your way.
Start out by investing in a basic tool kit or a few small gadgets that have several tools in one. Ask your dad or big brother to take you to Home Depot to find the perfect kit for you. Before you begin any project though, consult your parents. It’s not your house – so communicate with your parents first so you don’t cause any major issues.
Problems don’t just occur in the house. Spend a weekend with your dad learning basic car care so you know how to change a tire in case of an emergency. Also, make sure you know how to put gas in your car, check and change your oil and to prevent that emergency flat tire, be sure you know how to check your tire wear and air pressure. Car maintenance also includes washing, waxing and vacuuming your car, so be sure you know how to manage these tasks as well.
6. Host a Party
Hosting a party starts with planning a party. It’s easy to have a group of friends over and have your mom supply all the food while you just hang out watching movies, but hosting a party places your guests first and allows you a special time to serve them.
To plan a party, you must first craft a list of people to invite, designate how you’ll send them an invitation and update their contact info, decide on a time and location, establish a theme, create a menu, plan for decorations and entertainment and set a budget. Parties can be expensive, so be creative on how you spend your money. By having adequate time to plan your party, you can save money by shopping around or crafting your own decorations/entertainment. Send the invitations out with plenty of time for people to save space on their calendar. Develop a plan for the day so you have adequate time to clean, prep food, decorate, set up entertainment, etc. Enlist extra help if you need it, don’t just assume your siblings will be available to help.
When people arrive, you’ll probably be tired because you’ve been preparing for the party all day, but you must be the host and make everyone feel welcome. Chat with everyone at some point during the party, make people feel comfortable, introduce them to one another and make sure everyone has what they need. You put the time and energy into making the food and drinks, so ensure that your guests don’t leave hungry or thirsty. It may seem small, but make sure your guests know where the bathroom is as well.
The party doesn’t end after everyone leaves. You now need to cleanup. Pick up trash, take down the decorations, throw away or store leftover food, cleanup any spills or messes. The space should look as it did before you started setting up for the party.