Adulting Cheat Sheet

Adulting (v): to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups.

Thank you urban dictionary for once again awing me with your insightful descriptions! But seriously, when you’re 12, 20 seems way more adult than when you’re 19 and on the cusp of leaving your teens.

Some of us are in school, some of us hold jobs, some of us live on our own, and few see us as real adults unless they’re in middle school. Regardless of this, we still have grown-up responsibilities like student loans and rent and buying your own dish soap! Transitioning into this world of very real responsibilities is challenging, especially when you’re in a slump and need to do your laundry but all you can muster are some Mr.Noodles and a netflix binge.

And you know what no one tells you? It’s fine to not do the adulting all day everyday. Who cares if you haven’t bought produce in a week? Who gives a shit if it’s been so long since you vacuumed that your socks are starting to clean your floors for you? There is a constant, endless list of things that can be done and need to be done and let me tell you, as someone who is cleaning and organizing some part of my apartment everyday it never ends – so give yourself a break.

That being said, it can feel damn awesome to check off a few things that make you feel like you’re adulting, so we’ve compiled a list of “easy-adulting” activities to make you feel like you have your fucking life together! Amen!

Clean/organize your fridge

This singular task will make you feel accomplished for a year! Grab a garbage bag, throw out old left overs, condiments you never use, and empty your shelves. Give them a good wipe down, and organize in a way that makes sense to you. I like to put in dollar store baskets for my produce so it doesn’t rot away where I can’t see it in the drawers and put my juice in the drawers as an alternative – whatever works!

Change your bedsheets

Strip it. Pillow cases, duvet covers, throw blanket. Everything OFF! Throw it in the wash, take your duvet and pillows outside and give them a good shake. If you’re really feeling productive sprinkling your mattress with baking soda and vacuuming it up will make it super fresh. We recommend following a fresh bed making with a relaxing bath and lavender in all forms for the best sleep you will have in a long time.

Put your leftovers in the freezer

Make a big meal and know you won’t finish all the leftovers? Grab an old yogurt or take-out container (I know we all hoard them), label it with masking tape and a marker, and freeze! You’ll never have to question what’s in your freezer again, you’ll reduce waste, and have a meal for those days you just don’t feel like cooking. This is great for fruit and veg that is going to go bad too, slip them into a ziplock and you have pre-made smoothie/stir fry bags.

Clean out your closet

This is a big task for some people. As well as traumatizing. None of us want to get rid of that shirt our parents got us when they visited florida in 1999. But realistically there’s a lot more shit hiding in our closets than old t-shirts. Grab some bags, get rid of things you don’t wear, don’t like, don’t fit and donate them. Or if you feel like you’re not ready to let go completely just yet, organize a clothing swap with some friends. Everyone wins! Plus you organized a thing which is the precipice of adulting.


I mean, most of us put our cans in the recycling anyway. But what I’m talking about are those bags of paper from middle and high school with notes and binders we kept because we think we will need them one day…. You won’t. It’s a fact. Get rid of them, get them out of your space! Declutter your life, dude, it will feel awesome I promise and you won’t have high school looming in your apartment anymore.

Credit Cards

If you’re like me then you’ve spent 20 years absolutely terrified of debt – which is reasonable because it get’s out of hand fast. But building a good credit is essential! Talk to your bank and see if you’re pre-approved for one or if you can get one with a low limit and set up your phone bill to come off it or start buying your groceries with it and pay it off right away. Let it become a thing of empowerment, not stress.

Do your dishes

Just get ’em done. And from here on out do them as soon as you’re done with them. No more bedroom hoarding, wondering where all your mugs are or cleaning a single spoon out to eat cereal in the morning. Once it becomes a habit it’s easy.

Clean your mirrors

It’s as easy as it sounds. Nothing makes you feel more adulty than not seeing spots on your face when brushing your teeth or doing your make-up.

Change your lightbulbs

Don’t lie. We all have at least one light bulb that needs to be changed but we just never do it because we’ve come this far without it. Let the light in!


We get our sweeping and vacuuming done enough but when was the last time you actually mopped? Do it. Revel in clean floors. Roll around on them with no fear.

Junk Drawer/Declutter

If you don’t have one, make one. All that random shit that doesn’t really have a place but it may some day have a use will now have a home. If you don’t have a spare drawer use a bowl or even a big ziplock bag. If you already have a junk drawer/space go through it and get rid of the things you really don’t need/want and put all the things that have accumulated in your home away.

Online Banking

Don’t have it? Get it ASAP. Do have it? Make it a habit to check your accounts every few days, set up a savings account and transfer 5$ every once in a while to it. It’ll add up and help you keep on top of what you’re really spending and save for what you want to be buying. E-transfers are life changing. And for banking in general, if you’re having problems with keeping track of your spending take out money from the ATM at the beginning of the week and make that your “allowance”.

Change Jar

Pretty simple. Grab a jar and put all your spare change in it. Keep it out of sight so you’re less tempted to dive into it and when it’s full cash it in – or get a bigger jar and keep saving!


If you have a couple extra bucks you can spare each month consider signing up to donate. Whether it’s an environmental, mental health, or animal cause, you can choose how much you donate each month (and it comes right out of your account so it’s hassle free) plus you can put it on your taxes and often times get rewarded for your donations with free tickets to events and the likes!


I don’t know why, but wine is just a sophisticated drink in my mind. Whenever I’m feeling stressed out there’s nothing that makes me feel more like I’m handling my stress like a real adult that drinking a glass or three of red.


Be warned: they are addictive. These little friends will liven up your home and give you something to keep alive outside of yourself without the very real worries of an animal or child. They’re low risk, low hassle, and generally easy to maintain. There’s nothing that feels better than keeping a plant alive for a month (except maybe yourself)


You know those spam e-mails you get that you either delete without looking at or just sit in your inbox cluttering up your digital life? Go unsubscribe from them. Every time you get a new, useless e-mail – unsubscribe. It takes less than a minute and is a mini-refresh every time you do it.


Do your taxes. There are various online sites that you can use that make the process easier and often you learn about benefits and tax reductions that you weren’t even aware of. If you’re sitting around scrolling through the internet, take a couple of minutes to set up an account and fill in some blanks. Then when you get your T4 you can input it and get your refund ASAP. It makes life easier and chances are you’ll get some money back to splurge, save, or pay bills.

Buy In Bulk

Canned chickpeas are on sale? Stock up. Favourite crackers on sale? Stock up. Frozen fruit? Stock up. If there’s anything you eat or use in mass amounts – dish soap, shampoo, moisturizer – those dollars that you end up saving by buying more while things are on sale can go towards things that you want, having the peace of mind to not remember to buy them, or just feeling nice that when the inevitable apocalypse comes you’ll smell good for a while.

There are so many little ways to feel like you’re adulting. Often times when we get these things off our check lists or improve our space it can create more mental space for the important things that need to get done. I can’t work unless my apartment is clean. My focus is on the 100 little things I would like to get done before I can sit down, relax, and write. I call this productive procrastinating! But the reality is these things just make me feel more like I have my life together which gives me the confidence and peace of mind to do the things to actually get my life together.

If you have other hacks that make you feel like you’re adulting put it in the comments.


download printable here

Written by Forest Greenwell

Edgar Allan Foe

mostly poet / witch / do-er of art and magic / caffeine fiend Leo Sun / Cancer Rising / Aquarius Moon

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