If you regularly find yourself wondering how to clean certain parts of your home, trying to solve the mystery of where your money went, and throwing away spoiled groceries because you haven’t been cooking at home, you’re not alone. A lot of people, myself included, were launched into adulthood without knowing the basic tenets of Living On Your Own. What follows is usually a lot of trial and error, countless YouTube tutorials, and frantic phone calls to a parent or friend.
If you’re tired of feeling like you missed an important step on the road to adulthood, let this be the year you finally get your shit together. And if you think I’m going to give you a list of books with which to do so, well, you’re dead on. I didn’t want to focus on general self-help titles in this post; instead, I narrowed down my search to books full of practical, actionable advice for tackling those pesky areas that elude the best of us. Because of this, you’ll find a lot of Being an Adult 101–type titles here, the books that will tell you how to organize your office supplies, how to cook with what you have at hand, and how to identify misinformation online. Ready? Let’s go.
Professional Troublemaker: the Fear Fighter-Manual by Luvvie Ajayi Jones
I don’t know about you, but over the course of my life, I’ve often been held back by fear. In this book, Ajayi Jones tackles how to face this universal emotion, enabling you to face all the tasks needed to get your shit together.
The Complete Book of Clean by Toni Hammersley
I can’t be the only person who’s stared at various hard-to-reach parts of my home and wondered how to clean them. Luckily, Hammersley comes to the rescue with what I would call the bible of cleaning. Recipes for homemade cleaning supplies, advice on the right tools, and more importantly, a step-by-step on to how to clean any and every part of your house. I swear by these checklists.
The Money Manual: A Practical Money Guide to Help You Succeed On Your Financial Journey by Tonya B. Rapley
Ah, money. Who among us hasn’t wished that we were better with it? Rapley’s book is full of practical, effective advice for managing your money: from basics like budgeting to creating achievable financial goals. Also: she tells you how to handle student loans debt. Need I say more?
Cooking at Home: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Recipes (And Love My Microwave): A Cookbook by David Chang and Priya Krishna
I won’t tell you how many times I’ve bought perfectly nice food that I then had to throw away. It’s embarrassing. But if you’re on the same boat, check out this amazing cookbook that tells you how to cook with what you have without relying on recipes.
Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
The ultimate book on productivity, it pretty much tells you that everything you’ve ever learned about getting things done is wrong. Or at the very least, not quite as efficient as his method. A lot of folks here at Book Riot swear by this one.
Can You Believe It? How to Spot Fake News and Find the Facts by Joyce Grant and Kathleen Marcotte
With the terrifying amount of disinformation out there, it’s more important than ever to know how to discern facts from fiction. Although technically a children’s book, this is a perfect text for anyone who wants to grow more tech- and media-savvy.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
This one doesn’t need an introduction. Kondo’s decluttering method has become so ubiquitous that you probably already know the basics, even if you haven’t read the book or watched the Netflix show. Nothing says “I have my shit together” like an organized, clutter-free space.
Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication by Oren Jay Sofer
Communication is crucial in a healthy society. In these times of strife and conflict, learning how to communicate effectively is one of the best things you can do, for yourself and for those around you. This book will teach you how to face any conversation, regardless of how tricky or fraught.