You’ve braved Mom’s tearful goodbyes, settled payment plans with your landlord, the moving vans have deposited your two bits of furniture and boxes of stuff that you would never want to part with and your heart is filled with the thrill of being ‘master of all you survey’.

Enjoy the moment, because as the days go by you’re bound to make these discoveries.

  1. Your dream apartment is just that, a dream. No apartment on a budget looks like the pads in glossy mags. You need serious cash for a home like that, not to mention a brigade of servants and a lot of elbow grease. Besides, those heavenly abodes would never survive the clutter that actual residents are bound to produce sooner or later.

2. The fridge doesn’t have an ‘auto-refill’ setting. You’ll need to constantly replenish groceries as you eat your way through them. That’s what kept Mum busy when you were living at home. Also, bowls, plates, pots and pans, knives and forks are not part of a package deal and don’t come with the apartment, you’ll have to put in an investment there — which brings us to the next point

3. It’s not too hard to say ‘yes’ to parents. When they come to visit and insist on bringing along ‘a few essentials’ from the supermarket every time, you’ll find yourself actually feeling grateful to them, rather than reciting your old mantra of ‘it’s my life’.

4. You discover your best partner in life… is a tool kit. You’ll be amazed at how many little things can go wrong in a home; that’s where your best buddy will come to your rescue, whether you need to hammer in some nails, or fix a loose wire, you don’t need to pull your hair out waiting for the plumber or electrician unless it’s a major catastrophe.

5. You’ll realize hacking is your best talent. Once you live on your own, you’ll discover you have infinite reserves of innovative thinking and problem-solving skills, like using the bathtub for washing dishes after a party, because the kitchen sink is too small, making bookshelves with crates, sofas from old tires — the possibilities are endless.