Getting unpacked and settled into your new home can be easy, but settling into your new neighborhood can be difficult. Learn about tips that can help you get acquainted with your new neighbors and surroundings.
Once the moving truck is gone and your belongings are unpacked, you can get on with settling into your new home. But what about settling into your new neighborhood? That can be a little more difficult than finding a spot for the toaster and painting the walls. We’ve got tips to help make your new neighborhood feel like home.
Meet the Neighbors
Good relations with neighbors start with getting to know them. Take the time to go beyond friendly waves or polite chit chat; you can host a get together or house warming, or volunteer for neighborhood committees. Most people are happy to share opinions, so if you don’t quite know where to start, ask for recommendations to local restaurants and stores, or for information about schools, parks or town services.
Find Your Way
If you’ve moved to a completely new city, you need to learn not just where work, home, shopping and other places are in relation to each other, but the best way to get to them. And if you’ve moved from a city where the streets are neatly tied to a grid to an older ring city (hello, Boston!), you may find yourself driving in circles and completely confused. A good strategy is to try out different routes to find the shortest one (whether that’s shortest by time or shortest distance is up to you). In some cities, you may find that it’s faster to bike to the store than drive, or that even though it takes longer, public transit lets you skip sitting in traffic. But you’ll only find out by testing all the routes and options.
Whether you’ve moved as a single person or as a family, take the time to explore your new neighborhood. Be open to trying new restaurants, especially long standing local ones. Few things will give you the flavor of your new town like local festivals. And nothing says you can only use the park closest to your home, so explore all of them. Another good idea is to plan a couple of weekend day trips to sightsee.
You see a neighborhood differently walking than in a car, so do explore on foot, too. You’ll probably run into neighbors and have the opportunity to chat with people on nearby streets. You might also discover a local coffee shop or diner, a local beauty spot, or a good bike path.
One reason people can struggle after a move is that their sense of connection to a community has been broken. But connection isn’t automatic, and it takes time to build. You can give it a head start by finding a group to be involved with, whether that’s the PTA, a local charity, a church, or just finding a new trivia night to participate in.
Learn the Rules
Not all towns have the same rules, especially regarding parking, vehicle stickers, and recycling pick-ups. Take the time to learn basics, like whether overnight street parking is banned, whether you need a vehicle sticker, and if you can recycle number 8 plastic. You may save yourself money in tickets or fines. And we know that HOA rules are often arbitrary and silly sounding, but you’ll get along much better with your neighbors if you abide by them.