Moving to a new city is exciting, there’s no doubt about that. But it comes with its fair share of challenges. First, there’s the unpacking and organizing; just this part feels like it can take forever. Though some among us relish the process of finding our way around our new grocery store and figuring out who makes the best breve latte in the neighborhood, many just wish they could skip that part and be done settling into a new city. When will it finally feel like home?
This can especially be the case if you are moving with kids. Who will they play with? Where will they go to school or daycare? How will you keep them entertained if you’re homeschooling? And where will you go to have a little “adult time”? We’ve gathered our top tips for settling into a new city in 2020, whether you have little ones or not. Have a look.
Explore your new city on foot.
It might seem like you won’t see as much, but getting out and exploring on foot should be your first step. You’ll be moving slowly enough to actually notice what’s in your neighborhood. You’ll begin to know the sounds, the intersections, and the little shops you might have otherwise missed. You’ll start to notice the people you see on a regular basis. Most importantly, you’ll begin that slow process of getting to really know your neighborhood. You’ll get to the rest of the city eventually.
Go on mini-adventures.
Once you have finished at least the first round of unpacking, it’s time to get out of the house for a little adventure. Choose a part of your new city that interests you (and your children, if they’re coming too!) and plan for a short outing. If you’re settling into a new job, you may choose something near your office. Map out how you’ll travel to your adventure, whether you have a car or will be taking some other type of transportation. If you prefer to plan everything fully, do a little research and find out what other attractions are in the area. You may plan to get lunch or dinner or bring the kids to a park to play.
Note: since things in 2020 are constantly changing, make sure to double-check whether restaurants are offering take-out, curbside pickup, or dine-in eating. That way you can be sure you can get what you need. And if your kids are along, find a few options where they can go to the bathroom!
Become a regular somewhere.
There is little that helps us feel more at home in a new city than seeing familiar faces. Try out a few of the spots around your new home, and then pick your favorite. Make it your mission to become a regular. Whether it’s your morning coffee or your workday lunch, creating a routine will make it more likely you see the same people. Over time, you’ll feel more comfortable saying hello, striking up a conversation, and the next thing you know? You have new friends in the area.
Look for a neighborhood bulletin.
Most city neighborhoods have some sort of community bulletin or listserv that you can join. This will help you get a sense of who is in the area as well as what’s happening nearby. NextDoor is one place many neighborhoods turn. Whatever the platform, use this space as your opportunity to ask for suggestions if you’re looking for local providers, childcare, or where to find a few running buddies!
Ask your friends and colleagues for connections.
In such a globalized world, it’s highly likely that you have at least a few friends or colleagues who know people in your new city. So why not let them with this particular long-distance moving challenge? Send out an email, blast off a handful of texts, or put out a social media post asking for connections or networking opportunities in the area. After all, who better to show you the ropes than a resident? If you have kids, you could be specific about asking for connections to other families with similarly-aged children.
Either unpack the boxes or store them.
It can be tempting to get the most important rooms unpacked and leave a few boxes tucked in the guest room or closet for a little too long. Maybe you’re busy, maybe you will be redecorating, maybe you’re waiting for your interior designer to get things squared away. But leaving boxes in your new home can contribute to that unsettled feeling. If you aren’t sure what to do with some of your belongings, consider putting them in short-term storage There, they’ll be easy to retrieve when you need them but they won’t clutter up your home. To settle into a new home, it needs to at least feel like you’ve completed your move!