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Moving On: 7 Tips for Getting Settled In a New City

Please enjoy this guest post by Natalie Jones of Home Owner Bliss.

Moving to a different city can be both riveting and terrifying. To build a social life and professional network from scratch are daunting tasks that can leave even the most adventurous of people feeling overwhelmed. With the new shine of relocation comes the inevitable nostalgia you feel when you think of your favorite hometown diner or the park in your old neighborhood where you and your family created so many memories.

But the truth is, even if you miss your old home, you’re open to new ideas. In time, and with the right approach, you should be able to settle nicely into your new city. Here are some tips to get you started.

Prioritize a smooth move.

The first part of settling into a new city is making sure the actual move is successful. Don’t procrastinate on unpacking, because the quicker you unpack your things and organize the new home, the quicker you will feel a sense of normalcy. Start by setting up the beds and unpacking the kitchen basics. If you have the budget for it, hiring a professional moving company can relieve stress and leave you more time to focus on organizing.

Get the necessary things done.

You may be too caught up in unpacking and adjusting to your new place that you forget to report a change of address to the post office or find a new doctor. But these are things that should be done as soon as possible to help you settle in more quickly. If your home is in a new state, things like switching your auto insurance are required by law to complete as soon as you move in. Each state is different in terms of auto insurance policies, so it’s crucial that you research your state’s rules and regulations. This is also the time to research different policies to compare coverage and choose a quote that works for your budget.

Hire a dog walker/pet sitter.

If you have pets, hiring a dog walker or pet sitter is one of the best investments you can make when you’re trying to adjust to your new city. A dog walker can free you up, ensuring your dog gets their outdoor exercise while you unpack and explore the area. A pet sitter will provide your pet the proper attention throughout the day so that you can take care of all the tasks that come with relocation.

Explore the area.

Rather than shutting yourself in, go for a drive or walk in your new neighborhood to get the lay of the land and discover what establishments are nearby. Find out where the essentials are, such as the closest grocery store, gas station and pharmacy. Look for local libraries, restaurants and coffee shops, and search online for upcoming events. This is the time when everything is new and exciting, so have fun and try some new things.

Say yes to people and experiences.

Don’t be afraid to commit to all kinds of opportunities when you first move to a new city. Whether it’s new people or new experiences, cast your net as wide as possible. This is how you will grow your social network and get to know your community. So if a neighbor invites you to a baseball game, go. If they invite you to a barbecue over the weekend, say yes. It’s important not to view every new commitment as permanent, but as a way to settle into your new city.

Make plans.

Along with staying open to new people and experiences, it’s important to make plans for activities you can look forward to. For instance, make plans to take your family to a nearby park on Saturdays or buy tickets to an upcoming concert. Plan a housewarming party, sign your kids up for local events, and/or join a local hobby group. Not only will these events give you and your family something to anticipate, but they can also provide opportunities to create new traditions.

Allow yourself some grace.

Most importantly, take it easy on yourself. You will probably need time to acclimate, so allow yourself to miss your old home. Once you start getting to know your new city and community, meeting new friends and finding places you like, it will start to feel more like home. It’s a process, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

Moving to a new city can bring with it a lot of mixed feelings, but if you take the right approach you can settle in and learn to call it home. Remember to make your move as smooth as possible by making unpacking and organizing your first task. Take care of important things like switching your car insurance right away, and consider hiring a dog walker or pet sitter to care for your pet while you get things done. Explore your new community, say yes to new people and experiences, and plan for events you can look forward to. Finally, take it easy on yourself and enjoy the process.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Christian Dunlap

I am a family man with four kids and one heck of a beautiful wife. For work, I'm one of those, "We buy houses" guys, which basically means I buy houses for cash through out Hampton Roads, fix them up and then resell them. It's a very rewarding career that affords me to the opportunity to meet and help out people from every walk of life.