Moving Tips: Settling into a New Town

Moving across the state or the country can be exciting yet stressful, too. Whether it's a job opportunity, family obligations, or another reason that prompts you to move, it can take some time to get settled into your new home and community. These tips can help you get comfortable with your new surroundings and make new friends.

Do research before you arrive

If possible, handle a lot of your responsibilities before arriving in town, such as setting up utilities and changing your address with the post office. You’ll also want new car insurance to go into effect when you arrive. Search online to find out about the minimum requirements (e.g., liability insurance) in your new state. Additionally, look into the state’s car-related statistics including underinsured and uninsured drivers, to determine if you want to expand your insurance to cover these policies and/or personal injury protection. Compare rates among several different carriers before choosing a policy.

Take a few days to explore your community

As soon as you arrive in your new area, get out there and explore the community. Look for all the local spots that will meet your immediate needs, such as grocery stores, gas stations, coffee shops, pharmacies, and doctor's offices. If the main area of the town is walkable, then walk. This will allow you to get the lay of the land and meet some new people along the way. Stop by the local library and/or the visitor's center to get information about the area, upcoming events, available classes, and other details about the community.

Put yourself out there

Even if you aren't an extrovert, it's important to strike up conversations with people and try to make friends when you arrive in a new place. Go to a setting you feel most comfortable in (e.g., a coffee shop) and introduce yourself. Join local classes or find a church as soon as you can. Finding one friend will make a world of difference in how soon you will get acclimated to the area.

Unpack and organize your house

Don't rush yourself to unpack every last item the first day you arrive. However, you should have a plan to get settled into your new home. Unpack room by room, rather than doing little bits here and there. Start with your bedroom; if you have a comfortable place to sleep on your first night with all your favorite pillows and blankets, it will make the unpacking challenge of the next day a lot easier. Budget Dumpster recommends unpacking your bathrooms and kitchen next, and then the remaining rooms in order of importance to you and your family.

Get the kids involved

If you have children, they are probably missing their old friends and school already. Therefore, you should try to get them involved in your new area as soon as possible to ease the transition. Look into local sports leagues and scouting programs. Depending on their interests, you should also consider gymnastic programs, art classes, and youth church groups.

Take the lead

After you get settled in your new home, really delve into your community by taking the lead on a community project or starting a new group in the area. In your first year in town, Trulia suggests starting a book club, hosting a dinner club, or putting together a holiday event to lay down roots and make deeper connections with people in the area.

Change is difficult and moving can be stressful, no matter if you're moving to the other end of the state or the other side of the country. However, a new house, job, and town can provide opportunities to face different challenges, make new friends, and try interesting things. Embrace your new community, and soon you’ll be settled in completely and your new surroundings will feel like home.