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Moving to a New City: How to Make It Feel Like Home



Moving to a new city can be exhilarating but it can also leave you full of anxiety. After all, you are leaving the familiar and moving into an unfamiliar territory. Whether you are moving for work, a relationship or simply yearning for a new adventure, moving can leave you feeling disoriented, at least for the first few couple of months.

The first weeks may thrilling but as time passes, the excitement soon fades, and reality kicks in leaving you feeling frustrated. You need to figure out where the grocery store is, where the new school is, and even how to make new friends. Here are a few tips on how to make your new city feel like home.

Unpack Instantly

The sight of unpacked boxes and suitcases lined up in your new apartment will not help with beating the loneliness that you feel when you relocate. Set down as soon as you can. If you are hiring movers and packers let them help you with unpacking your belongings and setting down heavy furniture that you may be unable to handle alone.

Once they are gone, work on bringing your new space to life. Personalize your space. Give it a fresh coat of paint, rearrange the furniture as you deem fit, and work on your interior décor. Incorporating the sentimental pieces that you had in your previous home could make you feel at home. Whether it’s hanging the framed photos of your loved ones adding beautiful art pieces you love, or changing the curtains, incorporating your vision will give you a warm and homely feel.

Meet Your Neighbors

It’s never easy to put yourself out there, especially in a new environment. After moving into a new city, the easiest way to make new friends or at least meet people who can direct you is through meeting your neighbors. Do not be shy to knock on their door and introduce yourself. Get to know how long they have lived in the new neighborhood and learn a few things about it from them. They could also help you in mapping out the area and who knows, they may turn out to be great friends.

Establish a Routine

There’s nothing as bad as moving into a new city and not having an action plan for your day-to-day. Before you move, read up on the new city and establish activities that you would most likely love to be involved in.

If you are not moving into the new city for work, it can get boring just staying in the house before figuring out the new city. Establish a routine in the first few weeks of your move as this will help you avoid getting stuck in the house all day. Try out a few places but once you get a place you like, stick to it. Going into the same grocery store, pharmacy or even coffee shop will help you learn the routes and you could also meet people who will make your city feel more like home.

Find a Local Hangout

There’s got to be a go-to place in your new neighborhood. Whether it’s a grocery shop, a supermarket next door, a take-out joint, a restaurant, or even a bar. It could even be a pharmacy around your hood. One of the easiest ways to make yourself feel at home in a new city is by visiting the local businesses and making yourself a regular. Introduce yourself to the owner, and get to know some of the staff. By creating familiarity with the local people, with time, you’ll easily find your way around the new city.

Get Involved with Community Activities

If you have kids, it’s a good idea to check out the community center. Most community centers will have varying activities for kids including arts and crafts, movie nights, concerts, or even sports activities. Taking your kids for such activities may offer you an opportunity to meet other families and the kids will also have an opportunity to make new friends.

Are there social gatherings and volunteering opportunities? Get involved with other people at social gatherings in your hood or even at work. Interestingly, you will find that you may have shared values with some of the groups. If there is no community create one. Offer an opportunity for people to learn a new skill. Getting to know people through an activity you love is a way to feel at home in a new city.

Adopt a Pet

One way to establish friendships with other people in a new city is through taking a walk with your pet. If you have a dog, the walks will do. Interact with people you meet. If you don’t have a pet, visit your local shelter and adopt one. If you have the time, you could also get an opportunity to volunteer at a local shelter and that way, you can also meet new people who will make your stay in the new city less lonely.

Explore Some More

Take every opportunity you have to head out and explore. Take a walk around the city, drive if you can. You will get lost for sure. Use Google Maps to help you find out your location but do not give up. Take a bus or use the subway and learn how to navigate your new city. Learn the major roads and streets. Once you are able to get along without help you will start to feel more at home in the new city.

Be Patient

Do not be too harsh on yourself. Getting established in a new city takes time. Be patient with yourself – do not feel discouraged if you haven’t made a community in the first few weeks of your stay. Do not beat yourself too much if you get onto the wrong bus or make a wrong turn on your way home. The most important thing about moving into a new city is your physical and mental wellness. Do not overlook self-care. Love yourself and the city will love you back!

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