Solo Living Essentials: 30+ Must-Haves For The Independent Dwellers

By Joyce S

This article was originally published on docjournals

In your domain, you’re the master of your TV remote, the commander of your dinner choices, the architect of your laundry toss, and the timekeeper for your bedside lamp. Living solo comes with its perks, for sure.

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Flying solo can hit your wallet hard, with no one to split the bills. There’s also no one to rely on to help you reach objects on tall shelves or zip your dress up. But fear not; there’s no need to jump into the world of dating apps or consider moving back to your childhood bedroom.

What’s the secret? It’s just a matter of savvy thinking. Elevate your space with some must-have items that are always within arm’s reach because making the most of your solo pad is all about smart choices for your comfort and convenience.

Create a Cleaning Checklist 

Crafting habits tailored to your needs is critical. Keep them simple and easy to incorporate into your routine, and before you know it, they’ll seamlessly weave into your schedule, making your time-management skills top-notch. Establishing daily routines can be a game-changer in reaching your desired outcomes. 

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Extending that philosophy to weekly and monthly cleaning habits sets you up to consistently conquer those more extensive, time-demanding tasks. Maintaining a spick-and-span kitchen after each meal becomes a daily ritual, while diving into the depths of decluttering and organizing a cabinet or closet is a less frequent but equally essential mission.

Plan Your Meals

Let’s get this party going, discussing the wonders of meal planning – just in case you missed the memo. By plotting out your meals a week in advance, you’re not just orchestrating a symphony of flavors but also conducting a money-saving masterpiece. 

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The key is to scout out budget-friendly ingredients that can pull double (or triple) duty across your week’s menu. This isn’t just about keeping your kitchen in order; it’s a triple threat of organization, savings, and time management. Plus, bid farewell to those grocery store dilemmas that lead to settling for a lackluster frozen pizza. 

Collapsible Wagon

Streamline your weekly tasks with time-saving tools like the versatile collapsible wagon. Tired of juggling groceries or making endless trips to the beach? Load up this wagon and effortlessly transport all your essentials in one go. Ideal for short-distance hauls. 

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It’s convenient for city dwellers in compact living spaces, making it a smart investment for efficient and convenient transportation. This folding wagon is a handy companion, from groceries to sports gear, moving supplies to camping equipment, and even gardening or fishing gear. 

Lights On

Imagine cordless light sensors as power-ups for your home—install one or several, and watch your space level up in functionality and accessibility. These discreet devices are perfect for areas where practical lighting is crucial, addressing those moments of irrational paranoia that might follow a horror movie binge, especially when living solo. 

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The adhesive LED lights are a breeze to install, requiring no hard-wiring. The lightweight structure comes with double-sided adhesive pads and a built-in magnet; you can effortlessly stick them anywhere you desire, bringing a practical and worry-free glow to your living space.

Ready For Emergencies

Accidents can catch us off guard anywhere—at home, at work, on the road, or during recreational activities. While we hope for the best, preparing for medical emergencies is crucial, especially for those flying solo. A first-aid kit consolidates vital supplies in one accessible place, saving precious time during crises. 

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Packed with essential medical items in a compact design, it’s a must-have for everyone. Whether you’re on the go, traveling, or navigating a small space, there’s no excuse not to have a first-aid kit on hand, offering peace of mind in unforeseen situations.

Food Storage Containers 

Investing in top-notch food storage containers is a game-changer for meal prep and baking. Opting for transparent ones keeps your fridge organized and reduces food waste. These containers come in various sizes (rectangular, square, and round) and materials (glass or plastic).

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They offer practical features like airtight lids or stackable designs for efficient storage. Whether glass or plastic, they’re dishwasher and freezer-safe, making cleanup a breeze. A great addition to any kitchen. With these functional, time-saving essentials storing meals for the whole week becomes easy peasy.

Scented Trash Bags

A reliable trash bag is like a silent hero—it does its job without drawing attention. Conversely, a subpar bag can wreak havoc with leaks and odors. While scented bags might not be everyone’s cup of tea, they come in handy for those who appreciate subtle fragrances. 

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If you’re not frequently taking out the trash, like when you live solo with minimal waste, a scented bag prevents odor buildup. Choose a discreet bag to keep your space clean and fresh while you aren’t home; a pleasant-smelling house will welcome you back.

Upgrade Coffee Time

Whether you’re after a morning coffee miracle without lifting a finger, love the aroma of freshly brewed coffee as part of your wake-up ritual, or enjoy sipping throughout the day, a programmable electric coffee maker has you covered. Picture waking up to the delightful scent of your favorite brew. 

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Consider a model with a thermal carafe for a consistently hot cup, no matter the hour. Some even cater to solo adventurers with programmed brewing, keep-warm functions, and sleek options. For the ultimate coffee companions, explore grinders, milk frothing, and handy cleaning reminders in higher-end models. It’s coffee, upgraded.

Personal Blender

As the juicing and health-smoothie trend skyrockets, personal blenders steal the spotlight. Perfect for singles or duos with modest blending needs, these compact wonders outshine full-sized counterparts in storage, cleaning, and portability. Tailored for on-the-go sippers, their containers redefine convenience. 

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Opt for a classic personal blender if you’re all about that daily smoothie or health shake. Swift, uncomplicated, and highly portable, these blenders cater to the hustle. They tackle frozen fruit and more, as long as you toss in the right liquid. Blend on the fly with style and simplicity.

All-in-1 Cleaner

Dread the floor-cleaning drill? Join the club. Enter robotic vacuum cleaners and mops, the rockstars of home automation. These high-tech maestros use sensors and cameras to glide through your home, dodging obstacles and leaving no corner untouched. Picture this: a combo that vacuums and mops in one go. 

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Minimal user intervention, and for the primo models, a docking station that charges, empties dust bins, washes, and dries mop heads, prepping it for the next cleanup. Some even let you play boss remotely, setting virtual barriers via a nifty mobile app. Cleaning just got cool.

Vented Container For Fresh Goodies

Have you ever dug into your fridge for a nutritious snack, only to find a sad scene of wilted greens? You’re not alone. Despite recent grocery hauls, the struggle is real. The secret? Mastering the art of produce preservation. It’s all about refrigeration and low moisture levels. No crisper drawer? No problem. 

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Grab some vented containers to keep your goodies fresh while letting excess moisture bid adieu. Berries, cherries, and strawberries thrive in these containers, striking a balance between moisture retention and avoiding the dreaded produce breakdown. It’s time to keep things crisp without the storage drama.

Clean Air Fryer At All Times

Air fryers promise less oil, but they often beg for a drizzle to achieve that crispy perfection. The catch? A messy aftermath of greasy walls. Enter air fryer liners, your time-saving kitchen heroes. These little wonders ensure even cooking, thanks to tiny pre-cut holes enhancing air circulation. Plus, no more burnt edges. 

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Placing your fare on the liner dodges direct contact with the hot metal, mimicking the smart move of lining a cookie sheet in the oven. Forget the mess; embrace the ease with air fryer liners—it’s cooking without the cleanup drama.

Save Pizza For Later

Whoever claimed there’s no lousy pizza clearly has yet to encounter the tragedy of fridge-ruined slices. Ah, the nostalgia of “next-day pizza” tainted by the classic “plate and plastic wrap” method – a surefire way to zap a slice’s panache. And don’t get us started on the infamous “whole pizza box in the fridge” move. 

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Fear not, pizza enthusiasts. Enter the game-changer: a collapsible pizza storage container. From a solo slice to an 18-inch masterpiece, this genius creation seals the deal with an airtight lid, an air vent, and microwave-friendly dividers. Pizza perfection, preserved. 

Bedside Caddy Within Hand’s Reach

Discover the bedside caddy – the game-changer you didn’t know you were missing until now. This nifty organizer declutters the space, whether it hangs from the bed frame, slips snugly between the mattress and box frame, or attaches to your bunk bed. 

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No more fumbling under the bed for the remote during your True Detective binge or worrying about spills near your charging phone. With pockets of all sizes, it keeps your essentials like glasses, tablets, books, and the cherished remote within arm’s reach. 

Automatic Pet Feeder

Ease your pet-parent worries with an automatic pet feeder. Bid farewell to the stress of their feeding schedule when you’re away. This nifty device ensures timely and precisely portioned meals, eliminating the need to rush home or rely on favors from friends. 

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Set feeding times and portion sizes effortlessly, and let the automatic pet feeder handle the rest—even in your absence. Avoid health concerns like overfeeding or underfeeding, as this clever gadget ensures your furry friend gets the right amount of food at the right time. Keep them happy, healthy, and well-fed with this pet-parent game-changer.

The Brilliance of Smart Plugs

Solo living just got safer and more enjoyable with the brilliance of smart products. Have you ever left home only to fret about forgotten appliances wasting energy? Enter the game-changer: the smart plug. This tech marvel transforms your ordinary outlets into remotely controlled power hubs. 

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You’re in control, whether via your smartphone or Apple Watch. You’ll get to effortlessly schedule your appliances and receive timely alerts, bidding farewell to energy waste. In the realm of solo living, the smart plug is your reliable companion, ensuring safety and a touch of tech-savvy convenience.

Game-Changing Toaster

Investing in a top-notch toaster oven is a kitchen game-changer for many reasons. These compact wonders effortlessly find their place on your counter, saving space and making life easier. Imagine the joy of a 3-in-1 toaster that looks cute and packs a powerful punch. 

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This gem doubles as a two-slot toaster, a mini non-stick griddle, and a six-egg cooker—talk about multitasking. Say goodbye to breakfast hassles; preparing food and cleaning up is a breeze. Embrace the efficiency and charm of a toaster oven that’s a true kitchen hero all year round.

Saving Your Produce (Ethylene Gas Absorber)

Meet the apple-shaped wonder promising to be your produce’s best buddy. This charming container, complete with clever packet inserts, is a game-changer for fresh fruits and veggies. Say goodbye to the spoilage blues caused by ethylene gas—naturally released as produce ripens. 

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Even if your fridge boasts cool gadgets like an avocado keeper or produce keeper, taming ethylene is no easy feat. Enter the kit, armed with disposable packets that fit snugly in the palm-sized container, waging war against ethylene. Enjoy weeks of extra shelf life; with compost-friendly packets, it’s a zero-waste hero you’ll adore.

Smart Speakers

Embrace the joy and convenience of smart speakers, especially the tech marvel Alexa. This device is not just about cutting-edge tech—it’s your comfort companion. Picture effortlessly operating all your home appliances with a simple command. Alexa transforms your routine, making life comfier and more manageable. 

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Need the weather, the latest tunes, or a quick game? Just ask Alexa. There’s no need to juggle phones with messy hands; Alexa has your back. From calls to setting timers and managing your grocery list, it is the personal assistant you didn’t know you needed—making busy days a breeze.

Mini Wifi Security Camera

Never underestimate the power of a good security camera when your roommate is just your pet. It’s a wonderful tool for your safety and for watching your loved pet while you’re away. The trend of WiFi security cameras is soaring as they become smarter and budget-friendly. 

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For instance, this stick-up camera perfectly blends quality and affordability. It has stellar video quality and night vision, smart motion detection with smartphone notifications, portability, and easy mounting. While it needs a plug nearby, the features at this price point make it a winner. 

Lid Openers

Have you ever battled with a stubborn jar before dinner? We feel you. Say farewell to the struggle with our mighty, one-handed bottle opener. No more searching for rubber gloves or a helpful friend. This sleek wonder ensures a jar or bottle is a breeze to open, sparing your hands and wrists. 

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Installed under the cabinet, it’s invisible and ever-ready, claiming no precious counter space. Whether factory-sealed, vacuum-sealed, childproof, or just plain stubborn, this gadget triumphs effortlessly. Make the switch from struggle to success in the kitchen with our game-changing bottle opener.

Have Your Own Tool Set

Navigating home fixes solo? We get it, and we’ve got your back. Tackling a leaky faucet or a wall dent might seem daunting, but the joy of conquering it with your own hands is unparalleled. You don’t need fancy power tools.

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You’ll see that a trusty essential toolkit does the job. It’s a must-have, perfect for solo warriors or even those with roommates. Tight budget or occasional fixes? No worries, explore options that match your vibe. Embrace the DIY satisfaction – your home, your rules, fixed effortlessly by you.

7-in-1 Air Fryer

This is a game-changer in the culinary world. It may not boast the elegance of a cast iron skillet, but let’s be honest — it’s this decade’s kitchen hero. This little powerhouse hits 400 degrees, tackling tasks from air frying and broiling to baking, roasting, reheating, and dehydrating. 

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Even rotisserie cooking is possible with this bad boy. Picture this: a succulent rotisserie chicken in minutes. Say goodbye to daily cooking woes; this gadget is your ally, making life tastier multiple times a week. Ready for crispy goodness with minimal oil? This is your go-to.

Smart Way to Preserve Food 

Cut down on food waste with a simple solution: vacuum sealing. Whether saving raw ingredients for later or preserving a delicious cooked meal, this easy method keeps flavors intact. Your food stays at its prime by sealing out air and preventing freezer burn. 

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Imagine savoring summer berries or peaches in the heart of winter—your future self will thank you. Plus, bulk buying minimizes grocery runs and saves on transportation costs. Embrace the freshness, cut the waste, and let your taste buds time-travel with vacuum-sealed delights.

Green Bag to Keep Produce Fresh

Meet your produce’s new best friend: these green bags. Ever wonder why your fruits and veggies seem to age in a flash? Blame it on ethylene gas. But fear not; these magical green bags are here to save the day. 

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Crafted with a natural mineral, they absorb and banish those pesky gases, keeping your harvest fresher for longer. From apples to zucchini, these bags are your allies against ripening, aging, and rotting forces. So, toss in your favorite fruits and veggies, seal the bag, and let freshness reign. Your taste buds will thank you.

Doorbell With A Camera

Enter the world of convenience with intelligent doorbells. These WiFi wonders keep you in the loop, sending alerts to your chosen device whenever visitors drop by—whether you’re in or out. Ideal for homes, offices, or schools, they’re the ultimate visitor management solution. 

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Plug the smart doorbell camera into any wall outlet, and voila—instant notifications from every corner. Perfect for apartments, outdoor spaces, or offices, these weatherproof champs brave the elements, standing tall against sun, rain, or storms. Upgrade to a seamless blend of tech and security—because your door deserves the smart treatment.

Fun Window Film

Sometimes, we go on a Pinterest hunt for decor ideas to find simple and budget-friendly decor ideas. Decorative window films offer a stylish twist to traditional drapes. The options now are a delightful explosion of possibilities. Elevate your space with these films, transforming from basic frosted white to a playful splash of color. 

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Picture this vibrant choice in your home office—it’s a fab finishing touch that’s stylish and budget-savvy. You only have a limited budget to reinvigorate a space? Don’t worry. Enjoy the evolution of window films and let your space shine with a touch of personality.

Practical and Tasty Meals

Cooking for yourself as a single person may feel challenging after a long day, but it doesn’t have to be. Mastering basic skills, stocking up on essentials, and getting creative in the kitchen can make it enjoyable. A good cookbook is a game-changer, offering a wealth of knowledge for cooks at every level. 

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Imagine over 4,000 recipes focusing on saving money, using convenient ingredients, and minimizing waste. From slow cookers to frozen goodies, these cookbooks make solo cooking a breeze, ensuring you eat well without the hassle. Start your culinary adventure and savor the joy of self-made meals.

Love A Good Glass of Wine?

You might not want to finish it all, whether you’re sipping solo after a hectic day, whipping up a tasty white wine-infused dish, or sharing a bottle of red joy. But, let’s face it, the struggle is real when the corkscrew’s MIA or that white wine needs a quick chill. 

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Enter the wine stopper – your dinner date’s best friend. Say goodbye to reinserting old corks or, gasp, wasting wine down the drain. A handy wine stopper keeps that vino fresh and fabulous. Cheers to never settling for stale sips again. 

Keep Doors Safe

Ideal for dorms, apartments, hotel doors, or anywhere you crave extra security, this door-stop alarm is a game-changer. It’s straightforward yet super effective. Set the sensitivity (high, medium, or low), and it’ll blare when someone tinkers with your door. Now, you’ll never be caught unaware.

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Plus, it’s not just an alarm – it moonlights as a door stopper, thwarting any attempts to swing your door wide open. According to happy customers, this thing is LOUD. Peace of mind and a no-nonsense deterrent all rolled into one. Safety first, right?

Time-Saver For Defrosting

Forget dinner disasters. Meet the thaw claw, your ultimate time-saver for defrosting. Ever forget to defrost chicken, and panic sets in? Fear not. This magical tool works its thawing magic in under half an hour, rescuing your meal plans. Simply attach it to your sink, and voila.

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This thaw claw delicately suspends your protein packages in the “Perfect Thawing Zone.” Picture it as the Goldilocks of thawing – not too deep or high. The result? Your food thaws seven times faster. No more waiting games, just speedy, stress-free defrosting.

Window Locks

Here’s a home security tip: your windows, often overlooked, play a significant role. Not every window needs Fort Knox-level security, though. Ground floor? Yes, beef up those locks. If your window’s three stories up, chill—no security marathon is needed. Watch out for easily accessible spots, like windows near flat roofs or balconies. 

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Case in point: a window by a fire escape is a potential sneak-in spot. Enter sliding window locks, the unsung heroes of window security. Just press or push the pin into place, and voila. No uninvited guests waltzing in. Keep it secure; keep it breezy.

Bug Catchers

Ever done a surprise bug dance in your living room? We’ve all been there. Say hello to your bug-busting hero: the bug-catcher vacuum—no more screams – just a gentle, silent capture and release. Bugs, spiders, and insects meet their match without harm. 

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Picture it: a bug-free zone, thanks to this quiet superhero. It gracefully sweeps away the creepy crawlers, deposits them in a long plastic tube, and presto. Your home is safe, clean, and bug-adventure-free. There’s no need for a bug symphony—just peace, quiet, and bliss.

The End of the Bracelet-Fastening Drama

Tackling a bracelet solo mission? The struggle is real. Enter the bracelet tool – your secret weapon against clasp chaos. No more bracelet slip-and-slide drama. This nifty device lends a hand (literally) by holding one side of your bling while you work the clasp. 

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Channel your inner Samantha from Sex and the City and avoid a pearl bracelet debacle. Smooth, hassle-free clasping – because your wrist deserves the royal treatment, even when flying solo. Keep the bling drama-free and rock that jewelry with ease.

Adjustable Security Bar

Embrace the solo life with its perks—decor reign, dinner decisions, and total TV remote control. Yet, being the security chief? That’s where smart gadgets swoop in. Gift one to your independent friend, a sweet reminder you care about their safety. 

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Today’s devices are the superheroes of simplicity—easy to install, portable, and zero home harm. Take, for instance, adjustable bars, the guardians of any door. No measurements are needed; lock and load for a secured home. Elevate your safety game effortlessly because peace of mind is the ultimate solo perk.

Folding Ladder

With the right folding ladder, tackling household tasks becomes a breeze. Say goodbye to relying on tall family members for those high-up kitchen items or ceiling cobweb cleanups. These foldable wonders offer versatility for various chores and are a space-saving dream. 

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Unlike traditional ladders, they’re easy to handle, occupying minimal room even in cozy apartments. There is no need to search for the perfect wall—they don’t require external support. Embrace self-sufficiency and make your daily tasks effortlessly reachable with the convenience of a foldable ladder.

Lid Covers

No more battles with plastic wrap and messy microwave mishaps. Make cleanup a breeze with dishwasher-safe lids. These interlocking wonders save space and fit most containers—metal, plastic, glass, you name it. The natural fit handles ensure easy gripping, even for weaker hands. 

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These versatile lids have you covered from the microwave to the stove, oven to the fridge, or serving at the table. They reduce clutter and elevate your kitchen game with these high-quality, universal lids—ideal for cups, mugs, pots, fry pans, glasses, and bowls up to 10″.

Freezing Food In Trays

Upgrade your kitchen efficiency with this silicone ice cube tray and lid combo. Simplify meal prep by cooking in bulk and freezing individual portions. No more scrambling for dinner on busy Tuesday nights. Ideal for bone broth, recipes, and portion-controlled meals. This versatile tray isn’t just for freezing.

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It can handle baking, too, with a temperature range from -4°F to 428°F. Batch prepare multiple meals, neatly store them in labeled zipper bags, and save time for emergencies. Embrace the convenience and organization this freezing cube brings to your kitchen.

Practical & Stylish Laundry Basket

Making laundry day a breeze is more than just having a stellar playlist; it’s about upgrading to a top-notch hamper. Picture this: a cute, high-quality hamper not only adds a touch of chic to your space but also keeps those dirty clothes neatly tucked away. 

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If sorting laundry feels like an Olympic feat, you’re in luck. Opt for a hamper with three separate bins for colors, darks, and lights. This game-changing system turns laundry from overwhelming to effortlessly organized. Say goodbye to laundry day blues.

Zipper-Pulling Woes

Navigating solo living has its challenges, yet it’s a journey of empowerment and tranquility. Have you ever struggled to zip up a dress with non-double-jointed elbows? Enter the hero: the zipper pull. This nifty string easily attaches to your zipper, pulling it up effortlessly from a shorter distance. 

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It’s time to bid farewell to wardrobe woes and reclaim your independence in daily tasks. Living alone becomes a breeze when you have simple yet ingenious solutions at your fingertips. Embrace the ease and relish in the self-sufficiency of your solo adventure.

Sliding Furniture Easily

Moving your bulky bookcase solo? No problem. Keep a set of furniture sliders on standby at home. These handy tools, crafted from single or multi-part plastic, slide effortlessly under each leg or corner of your furniture, transforming the heavy-lifting task into a smooth glide. 

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Perfect for revamping any room in the house, furniture sliders reduce friction, ensuring a seamless move without scratching your hardwood, tile, or carpet. Make that bedroom-to-living room transition a breeze with these must-have sliders – your go-to solution for hassle-free furniture rearrangement.

Book Safe

Books hold secrets beyond the pages. Whether real or fictional, concealing objects within them is an art. Tuck away a photo or a note between the pages for a discreet touch. Consider crafting a book safe for bulkier treasures by hollowing out some or all of the pages. 

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Clever and discreet, book safes like this one won’t be noticed by intruders (unless they trash your entire bookcase) while remaining familiar to the owners. Uncover the hidden world within your bookshelf, where every page may hold a surprise waiting to be discovered.