How to Order All the Things & Basically Never Leave Your Apartment

How long could you stay inside your apartment without starving or going insane from boredom? 

The first problem is relatively easy to fix if you feel confident in the kitchen or if you own a phone. That’s pretty much every person, right? The latter challenge may not be such an easy solve and, depending on how active you are on a given day, this hypothetical question is either your dream or your nightmare scenario. 

But the question remains: what if you absolutely HAD to stay in your apartment? Don’t be too concerned with the ‘Why’ of this question -- it doesn’t matter if the self-imposed confinement is because of an injury, a severe air pollution warning or a zombie apocalypse. Think about what you might do if you were under strict orders to never leave your apartment.

If you live in a bustling neighborhood, then you would understandably lament being cooped up inside without access to nearby spoils such as great coffee shops, happening bars and cool restaurants. But the advent of digitally powered courier services and other on-demand apps makes it easy to bring the neighborhood to your doorstep. In fact, it’s only a few taps away on a smartphone.

Getting Groceries Without Going Outside

The task of bringing fresh groceries to your door is becoming less of a challenge--finances aside--with the proliferation of grocery delivery services. The major players in this category range from the locally geared upstarts, such as Foxtrot, to the giants of e-commerce like Walmart. The idea of turning the supermarket into a virtual shopping experience has been around since the 1990s, and grocery delivery companies were really at the forefront of e-commerce.

Inventory isn’t limitless, though. Having a membership with Amazon Prime (the delivery partner of Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market) or Foxtrot might help cover the basics, but you could also expand the variety in your pantry without sacrificing convenience (or stepping out of your apartment) if you sign up for a ready-set-cook service such as Blue Apron or Home Chef. These companies will send you a box of fresh ingredients along with recipes and step-by-step instructions for preparing meals. Pre-select the meals that you want and then presto! -- the cooking can commence. 

Don’t Feel Like Cooking? Order In

Not everyone is cut out to be a chef, and as easy as it can be to prepare a meal at home with the delivery services mentioned above, sometimes you feel like taking a night off.

You can always take the old-fashioned route and call your favorite sushi place on the phone, but you can also save your favorite spots to a profile and discover new restaurants with an app like GrubHub. UberEats has expanded to the Chicago market as well, so the rideshare company can still come in handy even if you aren’t going to cruise around town with Uber rides. 

Related: Chicago Restaurants That Never Close

All Dressed Up with No Place to Go (Literally)

Remember, this scenario stipulates that you don’t leave the apartment. It might be a bit lonesome but that’s no excuse for shuffling around in your pajamas 24/7! Get dressed up on occasion and you might end up feeling better about having to stay at home. 

Online shopping is in a golden age of convenience and variety, and that includes online retailers that will help you pick out new styles and stay up on the latest trends. Rent the Runway and Trunk Club are two examples of customizable clothing delivery that cut out the time-consuming task of visiting the store. Fly through online questionnaires in minutes and then you’ll receive curated clothing crates that match your preferences. You can tailor your delivery preferences to get recurring or one-time crate deliveries with many of these services. 

Binge Watch All Your Shows

If you’ve stuck with this premise so far, then you’ve seen solutions for ways that you can eat, shop and dress yourself while living as a total shut-in. Those are some of the basic needs, but what can you do to fend off boredom? 

Video streaming platforms make it easier than ever to skip out on the movie theater and appointment TV viewing of the old days. Dive into a show like House of Cards on Netflix and the entirety of the show’s six seasons are available to stream in marathon sessions, or what folks refer to as “binging” on a series. Beyond original content like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, Netflix has an extensive catalog of TV shows, movies and documentaries at the ready. Of course, Netflix is only one example of a solid streaming provider, with rivals like Hulu and Amazon offering their own catalogs of online content while producing critically acclaimed shows like The Handmaid’s Tale and The Man in the High Castle.

It’s actually not that difficult to stay in your apartment for prolonged periods of time while managing to eat well, look sharp and follow your favorite TV shows and movies. Still, it’s probably not something you’d ever seriously want to try (until another Polar Vortex hits Chicago) but you should feel content in knowing that it can be done. What helps a lot is if you’re in an apartment that you love and spending a bit of extra time inside of it doesn’t feel like a punishment at all.