Moving is an incredibly daunting experience. The chaos of packing, transporting, unpacking, settling in, and finding your way around takes a tremendous amount of time and energy. Moving becomes even more difficult when done alone or when relocating an entire family to a foreign area. In order to help yourself adjust to your new home, read through these thoughts and suggestions to make your transition as smooth as possible.
Prepare Your Home
The sooner you get organized and settled into your new place, the sooner you’ll begin to feel “at home.” The dizzying amount of boxes and bubble wrap can distract you from a few necessities required after a big move. Don’t let the burden of unpacking prevent you from some post-relocation musts. As soon as possible, fill out a change of address form. Skip the Post Office by doing this easily and securely online. You’ll also need to transfer your utilities and services. Chances are that your new city will be out of your current service range and you may need to switch providers. Try using WhiteFence.com, a website that allows you to conveniently hook up all your utility services online. Be sure to secure your home and double check its safety features. If you live in a new Home Owners’ Association, be sure to review any pertinent rules.
Research the Area
This is arguably one of the most important steps for comfortably settling into a new city. Take a drive or walk around the immediate area until you no longer feel dependent on GPS. Do some simple internet searches on sites like Google Maps, Yelp, and Citysearch to find new venues to eat, hang out at, watch movies, and so on. If children are a part of your move, chances are their new school district will be very different from the one they previously attended. Research the demographics in the area and have a conversation about diversity to set them up for success. Look into community programs and enroll your children in as much as possible. Whether it’s after school science classes, music lessons, or a sports leagues, extracurricular activities will keep your kids distracted and provide opportunities for them to meet new friends. You should also become involved with the community. Get a gym membership at your local 24 Hour Fitness or contribute to local volunteer work so that you can build new relationships, too.
Say Yes to Everything
It’s easy to be reclusive when moving into a new city. The fear of the unknown can be pretty overwhelming. Don’t let yourself fall into this trap. You’re not going to get anywhere by ordering pizza and watching reruns on TV. When presented with new opportunities, always say yes, even if it’s something you wouldn’t typically do. Anything that gets you out and social is going to make you feel a lot better than sitting at home doing nothing. Take risks and put yourself out there. Also, don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Instead of ordering takeout and heading home, try eating out by yourself. Do your work in a coffee shop. By taking an initiative, you increase the odds of meeting new people.
Remember Where You Came From
Keep up your old hobbies to create a more seamless transition into your new life. While this helps establish a sense of consistency, it will also help you meet people with interests similar to yours. Use social media to find out if anyone you know has a friend or two in your new area, and use them as a resource for networking. Embracing your new city doesn’t have to mean giving up your hometown. Find niche items like California mugs or state of Michigan shirts to always remember where you came from. Not only will such personalized mementos keep your hometown close to heart, but they’ll also act as great talking points.
Moving to a new place doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Use this guide to remind you to stay prepared, informed, and curious.
Images and tips provided by M. Frank