10 Basic Living Skills An Accomplished Adult Should Know

So you’ve managed to finish school, got yourself a proper job, purchased a property, and accomplished other things on the ‘Life’s Must-Haves’ checklist. Well done! That said, how skillful are you when it comes to living life, as an independent adult?

There are so many skills that you can and should master in order to live your life to the fullest. However, certain skills may be more or less relevant to you depending on your life circumstances, your culture, beliefs, age, geographic location, etc. These are the 10 basic living skills that may be relevant to all of us:

1. Basic cooking skills
You don’t have to have the skills of a Michelin-star chefs; even basic knowledge of things like dicing, cleaning a fish, or cooking rice is sufficient (your cooking skills should at least match the foods you normally or want to eat). Read our 35 Food Malaysians Should Be Able to Cook by 35 article for some ideas on what to cook.

Get our easy-to-follow cookbook, Malaysian Meals in 30 Minutes!

2. Ironing
Whether you’re single or married, knowing how to iron is important (remember: first impression counts!). Imagine walking into a very important business meeting wearing wrinkled outfit; people will assume you’re a lazy person which will eventually lead to negative outcome. BONUS: Basic sewing skills.


ELBA Steam Iron ESI-1118 White & Blue  (RM59.00)

3. Laundering
If you don’t wash your clothes or linens properly, they’ll end up ruined or damaged. If you own a washing machine and prefer to use it instead of washing by hands, you need to know things like how to operate the machine, how much amount of laundry detergent is needed for ‘x’ amount of garments, and also laundering and dry cleaning symbols.

We did a product review on Samsung ActivDual Wash (RM1,499-RM2,999)

4. Grocery Shopping
Many of us tend to spend more on things we don’t need. While it may be easier to control our spending with budgeting, other things are a bit trickier to deal with (i.e. which brand is better, which grocery offers competitive price, how to manage our budget based on our needs/income/expenses, etc.). The key is to do your homework.
READ MORE: Browse through JewelPie’s grocery shopping-related articles.
GST SPECIAL: Read our GST-related articles to save more!
DOWNLOAD: The GST List by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department for a complete list of taxable and non-taxable goods.

RM 50 Grocery Haul

5. Vehicle maintenance
Knowing your way around your car may save you big time, especially with so many car workshops trying to cheat off their customers these days. Make sure you follow the maintenance schedule suggested in your vehicle owner’s manual. Make sure you know how to change a flat tire just in case, and remember to do these DIY car maintenance: rotate tires every 8,000 to 10,000km; change air filter every 19,312km; and change oil every 8,000km.


MY and CARR Flat Tire Repair System Tire Sealant  (RM99.00), LAZADA

6. What to do during an emergency
These are the basic things for you to know and do in case of emergency:

  • Call the right number: Depending on your emergency, you need to call the right number  to avoid wasting any precious time. Recently, the government has initiated the MERS 999 number, which is the number that covers many types of emergencies and reaches 5 emergency service providers, including the police, Fire and Rescue Department, the Ministry of Health, Civil Defence Department, and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM).
  • Stay calm: This is crucial. If you panic, you won’t be able to solve the situation. Make staying calm a habit in your daily life.
  • CPR: Know when to do it. You may also take a CPR course.
  • First Aid Kit: Help is late? Try using the First Aid Kit, but make sure you know how to use them and what they’re for.

call 999

7. Transportation savviness
If you don’t own a vehicle and need to get by (or if you’re travelling), these skills may come in handy: map reading; hailing a taxi; bike maintenance; utilizing and navigating public transit.

App Review: How to call for a taxi via MyTeksi app?

8. Life-management and organization skills
This include: creating a budget; keeping your finances records organized; organizing all passwords, accounts and important documents in a safe place for reference; using a credit card responsibly, avoiding debt; when/how to pay taxes; time management; keeping a daily calendar; how to set up internet/cable; how to split a check amongst friends; addressing an envelope; writing a check; balancing a checkbook; packing smarter; backing-up information on your computer and other devices; managing/cleaning-up your social media accounts.

How to have more time? 5 Tried and tested ways

9. Career-related skills
This includes: writing a resume; drafting a cover letter; professionally formatted emails; writing thank you notes; networking.

3 tricks to make writing and replying to email faster

10. Other home and personal care skills
This includes: how to use basic kitchen appliances; washing/drying clothes; determining which clothes to take to the dry cleaners; making a bed (with clean sheets); folding laundry; how to properly clean a toilet, shower, bathroom floor, etc.; how to unclog a toilet; getting rid of spiders and bugs (without help!).

How to fold your clothes using the KonMari method


Have you mastered all or any of these skills? Share your thoughts with us below or on Facebook!

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