YouTube videos can teach young people living on their own for the first time step-by-step instructions on how to cook. Websites will tell them why they need to purchase a Dyson vacuum over a Hoover. And, friends will help them put their own personal touches on their first home away from home. But, what about everything else? How often should they wash their bed sheets? What basic supplies are needed to stock a kitchen? What’s the proper way to treat a bee sting? These are all questions answered in Santa Clara resident Kira Miller’s book, “I Moved Out!! Now What??!?”
Part how-to guide, part reference, Miller’s 58-page book is a straightforward and simply written survival guide to living away from mom.
“There’s a lot of books about how to make goat cheese, how to farm goats, how to hunt, and how to make a fire, but there’s nothing about the day-to-day – what to put in the kitchen so you can go to YouTube or whatever site and make what you want to make,” said Miller.
“There are things in here about doing laundry. There’s a whole chapter on recognizing a suicidal roommate or a roommate that may have mental health issues and need help. There’s basic CPR and first aid information – how to use a fire extinguisher. The personal best section is about showing up to work on time, not asking for a day off before you’ve been there for a significant amount of time, being presentable when you get to work, being respectful of your boss and co-workers, and being polite.”
Miller, a mother of two teenage boys (18-year-old Evan and 17-year-old Mitch), has a bachelor’s degree in home economics and wrote the book when she started hearing horror stories from friends. “Somebody said their nephew went away to school and when he came back he was broken out in acne. So they went through and asked what he was eating and if he was stressed out to try and figure out what was causing it. They finally asked what he was washing his sheets in and he said, ‘wash my sheets? I didn’t wash my sheets the whole semester’…This is how basic the book is. It has a whimsical front and feel to it, but it is, hopefully, valuable information [like] a pot versus a pan and how often you should clean your bathroom.”
“All of this seems very logical and in past generations everyone knew how to do this, but that’s not the case now,” continued Miller. “I’m finding that [kids] aren’t learning it in school and they aren’t learning it at home – their parents don’t have the time…My overall goal is to inform. This is nothing profound. This is not brain surgery, but we all have to do this.”
In addition to the book, published by Barefoot Bookworks, Miller is in the process of having a mobile phone application developed. “You enter the app and now you have to get a job and be able to purchase everything you need for your dwelling and you’ll earn points for getting the job,” said Miller. “It’ll be sort of an informational game.” She hopes to release the app sometime next year.
For more information on “I Moved Out!! Now What??!?” visit www.kirakrafted.com. The book is available for purchase through the website for $14.95 plus tax. Shipping is free.