17 Things Nobody Tells You About Living Alone

Living alone may be simultaneously the most empowering and harrowing experience of life as a homeowner or renter. While there's potential for unlimited calm and the sweet joy of cooking naked, there are also downsides you'd never expect unless you've lived alone before.

We asked The Huffington Post's Lifestyle Facebook community for things nobody tells you about living alone. Solo dwellers, take note. When you live alone...

1. "No one cares if you eat crackers for dinner." --Facebook user Betsy Ackerman

2. "There's nobody to hand you a roll of TP when you run out." --Facebook user Melissa Black

3. "Naked time is any time!" --Facebook user Adrianne Jacquelise

4. "People assume you're ok with them moving in." --Facebook user Val Leek

5. "Back zippers." --Facebook user Charlene Cole Ribaudo

6. "You eat LOTS of gummy bears." --Facebook user Muriel A. Milne

7. "It helped me build my self-confidence." --Facebook user Chris White

8. "My bathroom stays cleaner longer." --Facebook user Anne Oliver

9. "It helped me realize I'm really not social and can easily never leave my apartment for days or talk to anyone." --Facebook user Jane Meyers

10. "I come from a huge family, so when I lived alone it was eerily quiet sometimes." --Facebook user Keri Ansley

11. "You talk to yourself. A lot." --Facebook user Cassandra Allen

12. "When you are sick, you realize how much another human being by your side is important." --Facebook user

13. "The plus? Burping and farting!" --Facebook user Stacy L Montes

14. "I went from trying to avoid my mom to wanting to call her all the time and hang out." --Facebook user Chris White

15. "You don't have anyone to split chores with." --Facebook user Cyntha Hammerel

16. "There's no one to else to kill that spider in the corner." --Facebook user Laura Rodriguez

17. "You are going to be afraid of someone breaking in. You are going to get a dog to warn you and keep you safe. Then you will have a heart attack every time your dog barks in the middle of the night, and it is not going to be someone breaking in." --Facebook user Rachael Taft

Have A Lightbulb Moment (Or Several)
Pendant lights are like statement jewelry for the home; they're meant to be stunning, yet with standard bulbs, they can be blinding at certain angles. Chrome-dipped bulbs reflect light back into the fixture, creating a softer glow, Cupcakes and Cashmere at Home author Emily Schuman told us via email. They tend to be about 40 watts, so you may want to add a floor lamp near reading areas.
Line It Up
Bright trim makes a room seem crisper, cleaner and more "finished," but too much contrast between the trim and wall color can make the space seem smaller than it is. Schuman recommends choosing a trim paint that's 25 percent lighter than the walls, creating a pulled-together look that doesn't sacrifice your sense of spaciousness. (She also relies on an art gallery trick for keeping the trim bright: A little Fantastik on a paper towel makes it easy to erase scuffmarks.)

Photo: Reprinted with permission fromCupcakes & Cashmere at Homeby Emily Schuman, ABRAMS, Spring 2015
Get Your Greens In
Interior designers have long argued that a room is never complete without a plant, but what do you do if you just don't have the floor (or counter space) for it? Try a pair of hanging planters, suggests Schuman, who prefers succulents, which don't need to be watered as often as other varieties.

Photo: Reprinted with permission fromCupcakes & Cashmere at Homeby Emily Schuman, ABRAMS, Spring 2015
Add This to Your Ready-for-Bed Routine
Fluffy white bath towels are an easy way to give even the tiniest bathroom a spa-like vibe -- but only if they're not mascara-smudged and foundation-smeared. That's why Schuman keeps a black washcloth with her beauty products. You could store it on a hook in the undersink cabinet, so it's out of sight but always within arm's reach.

Photo: Reprinted with permission fromCupcakes & Cashmere at Homeby Emily Schuman, ABRAMS, Spring 2015
Use This Simple Formula for a Great First Impression
When it comes to decorating your entryway, less is more, Schuman writes. All you really need is a place to hang your keys, like a hook or small tray; a light so you never feel like you're entering a cave; a mirror to reflect that light; and a chair so you have a place to sit as you take your shoes on and off. If you want to include a console table, stick to one that's 12 inches wide. It's large enough for your key tray, yet not so wide that you're edging around it to get through the door.

The one thing to avoid? A bowl for emptying your pockets -- it will soon overflow with crumpled receipts and other odds and ends, and nobody wants to be welcomed home with a pile of clutter.

Photo: Reprinted with permission fromCupcakes & Cashmere at Homeby Emily Schuman, ABRAMS, Spring 2015
Trade in Your Old Whiteboard...
...For a sheet of Plexiglass and wet-erase markers. That way you won't have to deal with dry-erase marker dust coating everything, Schuman writes in her book, and it looks less Office Space-y than the cubicle staple. (Schuman bought hers through Decently Exposed.)
Style Your Coffee Table Without
Overcrowding It
No matter your tastes, there are a few essentials that always look good on a coffee table tray: a stack of three books -- or two stacks of two, arranged side by side -- a small vase of flowers, candles, a box of matches and an interesting trinket (Schuman's is a small elephant statue a friend gave her after visiting India).

Emily Schuman is the author ofCupcakes & Cashmere at Home(ABRAMS), out this May.

Photo: Reprinted with permission fromCupcakes & Cashmere at Homeby Emily Schuman, ABRAMS, Spring 2015